Need More Murders
August 1, 2023 11:55 AM   Subscribe

I have been binge listening to all the Agatha Christie audiobooks available through my library’s Libby - there are a lot. I am almost finished with them. Is there another prolific writer of mysteries that I might like?
posted by onebyone to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Anthony Horowitz is a contemporary mystery novelists who has a few books written as an homage to Christy. Start with Magpie Murders.

Georges Simenon is also great and prolific.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:01 PM on August 1, 2023 [4 favorites]

Ngaio Marsh, Josephine Tey, and Dorothy Sayers are other golden age classical mystery writers although not nearly as prolific as Christie.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:06 PM on August 1, 2023 [13 favorites]

Are you thinking classics specifically or series featuring a specific detective, or cozy mysteries in general?

Some that you might like from various eras: Arthur Conan Doyle (the Sherlock Holmes ouvre), P.D. James, Anthony Horowitz (see how you like "Magpie Murders" and go from there), Louise Penny...
posted by virve at 12:06 PM on August 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

Come join us over at Shedunnit, a podcast about golden age mysteries!
One place to start looking is the British Library's Crime Classics, republishing harder-to-find authors from the time period.

More easy to find are:
Dorothy L. Sayers
Ngaio Marsh
Marjorie Allingham
posted by PussKillian at 12:07 PM on August 1, 2023 [7 favorites]

What about the Brother Cadfael books by "Ellis Peters"? There's 21 of them:
posted by wenestvedt at 12:27 PM on August 1, 2023 [10 favorites]

The Nero Wolfe novels by Rex Stout. Recently on the Blue.
posted by jdroth at 12:33 PM on August 1, 2023 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Louise Penney is great!
posted by bluesky43 at 1:16 PM on August 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

There’s the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet series by Sue Grafton—25 of them (sadly, she passed away before Z).
posted by staggernation at 1:22 PM on August 1, 2023 [8 favorites]

The Cat Who books fill much the same itch.
posted by Bottlecap at 1:24 PM on August 1, 2023

My brainy friends who are into mysteries like PD James. Wikipedia lists 19 novels for her.
posted by FencingGal at 1:44 PM on August 1, 2023 [4 favorites]

PD James, hands down.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 3:41 PM on August 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

Dick Francis
posted by Daily Alice at 6:24 PM on August 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

Michael Innes, Ruth Rendell—more recent settings but the same vibe
posted by Countess Elena at 7:28 PM on August 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

Nthing PD James and Ruth Rendell.
posted by Ballad of Peckham Rye at 1:19 AM on August 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

Martha Grimes, especially the Richard Jury series (all titled with the names of pubs).
posted by SemiSalt at 5:47 AM on August 2, 2023 [1 favorite]

John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson/ Carr Dickson/Roger Fairbairn (all the same guy)
posted by james33 at 6:25 AM on August 2, 2023

Also, Ruth Rendell writes historical novels as Barbara Vine, and they are not always mysteries but they do tend to have mystery elements. Very prolific.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:35 AM on August 2, 2023 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I like Sarah Paretsky even better than Sue Graftan, whom I also like a lot. There are fewer Paretsky books than Graftan books, but I just looked her up and discovered she's kept going, and there are a bunch I haven't read, yet, yay!

Absolutely read Dorothy Sayers. Dorothy Sayers rules.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:51 AM on August 2, 2023 [2 favorites]

This is a hard one to answer - so much of this hinges on what you like about Dame Agatha that it's difficult to make recommendations!

If you are looking for more golden age mysteries then I will agree with others that Dorothy Sayers is absolutely the queen; Ngaio Marsh and Marjorie Allingham are the runners up. Josephine Tey, also mentioned, is slightly later and very good and I would add Patricia Wentworth, who was very prolific and fun. In the US, you might also like Phoebe Atwood Taylor, who was writing in the 30s (I love her) and Rex Stout also recommended above, or Mary Roberts Rinehart.

Ellis Peters, who wrote the Brother Cadfael mysteries in the 60s/70s also had some stand alone contemporary mysteries. Mary Stewart wrote gothic romances also in the 60s/70s which are actually mysteries and a lot of fun. And Amanda Cross wrote first wave feminist mysteries set in New York that I am very fond of. Moving up to the 80s I recommend Sarah Caudwell who wrote a very dry, very funny short series of British mysteries in which the detective is also a solicitor.

Once you get up to the present day there are So! Many! Mystery! Series! that it's really hard to narrow down. I'm going to take a stab at recommending some that are on the shorter side, not super violent, and very focused on the puzzles. In other words, what are called Cozies, or Cozy mysteries. Rhys Bowen and Anna Lee Huber write mystery series that are set in the 20s/30s and are pretty good, very addictive. Donna Andrews writes funny mysteries with birds in the title; I like them. Leslie Stone's Lucy Meier mysteries are good; they're a bit more realistic about the problems of juggling kids and solving murders at the same time than many cozies. Sarah Graves is good; sometimes they veer into thriller territory though. To round it out, here's a blog / list I just found with about a billion cozies listed! Have fun!
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:50 PM on August 2, 2023 [2 favorites]

I want to second Simenon’s Maigret novels; I have read a bunch of them over the last years. I’m sure audio versions would be good as well, if that’s what you prefer.

Big Advice: the earliest novels are not the best. I would start around the 30ths books in the series. Maybe Maigret, Lognon, and the Gangsters. Don’t worry about catching up on the returning characters; Simenon is excellent at bringing you up to speed quickly.

(Looking in my Kindle files, I see I have read 14 of these, not including the ones I checked out of the library…)
posted by wittgenstein at 2:04 PM on August 2, 2023

Best answer: I recently worked my way through most of Ruth Rendell's back catalogue on audiobook, and I can recommend that.

What's especially interesting to me in her work, consumed that way, is how much her settings and mysteries change to reflect the changing norms in society; her earliest work is set in the 1960s, and she continued writing until her death in 2015.

So character motivations have to shift as her work progresses because the demands and trials of society are changing; in her early works, being an unmarried woman is a true crisis; by the 2000s, her detectives are emailing each other.
posted by citands at 6:38 AM on August 3, 2023 [2 favorites]

Tana French's Dublin Murder squad mysteries are not cosy in any sense, but they're well written and the audiobook versions are really enjoyable, if you wanted to branch out a bit.
posted by peppermind at 6:39 PM on August 4, 2023

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