What makes us want to follow a mystery or detective series isn’t just wanting to see what new crime the detective solves; it’s wanting to follow the path of the detective through the challenges of their life.
Questions abound: did the detective’s career tank as a consequence of the last escapade in which they defied authority; did they stop drinking; did their wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend come back/leave them; what’s happened with their friends/colleagues with whom we’ve bonded, etc. The questions are endless, as is the reader’s enjoyment.
My favorite series that I read regularly to see how the detective’s own story evolves are (alphabetically by author’s last name):
1. C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett
2. James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux
3. Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar.
4. Deborah Crombie’s Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James
5. Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley
6. Sophie Hannah’s Simon Waterhouse/Charlie Zaller
7. Greg Illes’s Penn Cage
8. Craig Johnson’s Sheriff Walt Longmire
9. Robert Krais’s Elvis Cole/Joe Pike
10. William Kent Krueger’s Cork O’Connor
11. Stuart Macbride’s Logan McRae
12. Michael McGarrity’s Kevin Kerney
13. Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache
14. Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus
15. Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon
16. Karin Slaughter’s Sara Linton
Who am I missing? Let me know!