'Do you have any more books like this one?" is a common request here at the Beaufort library. It's fun to find matches for single novels, but starting a new series can be even more satisfying. A series lets the reader become intimately familiar with a set of characters and their world.
The series novel that inspired this column is "Towers of Midnight ," the penultimate volume of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Jordan built a detailed fantasy world with a cast of unique characters. Relatively new to the scene, author Brandon Sanderson took over the series after Jordan's death. With the final volume coming out in 2012, it's a good time to start with "The Eye of the World ," in which farm boy Rand al'Thor discovers his vital role in the upcoming Last Battle. Also look for Sanderson's "The Way of Kings ," the first book in the "Stormlight Archive."
Here are some series that contain 10 or more books, guaranteed to absorb you for a long time:
- The Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters (19 books): In "Crocodile on the Sandbank ," Victorian heiress Amelia Peabody travels to Cairo to indulge her passion for Egyptology. During her adventures she encounters a disgraced young woman, a mummy's curse and a set of charming, educated brothers. The rest of the series continues the saga of Amelia and her adventurous family. A good fit for fans of M.C. Beaton and Charlaine Harris' mystery novels.
- The Hideaway, Missouri series by Hannah Alexander (10 books): The first book, " Hideaway, Missouri ," features Dr. Cheyenne Allison, who is used to dealing with difficult cases until she is unable to save her own sister. Ordered to go on leave and angry with herself, Cheyenne retreats to a remote farm in Hideaway, Missouri. But the peace is short-lived: Cheyenne finds herself on the trail of a vandal even as she struggles to make peace with God. Terri Blackstock fans will love this series.
- The Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais (11 books): In "The Monkey's Raincoat ," Ellen Lang walks into the Disney-memorabilia-filled office of wisecracking P.I. Elvis Cole. Her husband is missing, and she needs Cole and his partner to find him. A routine trip to the seamy side of Hollywood veers dangerously into a world of sex, drugs and murder. "Elvis Cole" is a good match for fans of Robert Parker and Harlan Coben. The 12th book in the series, "The Sentry," comes out in January.
- The A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket (13 books): The author would warn you not to read this series, but I beg to differ. The Baudelaire children become orphans after a mysterious house fire. Placed with a distant relative, the evil Count Olaf, the children escape, meeting (and outwitting) misfortune wherever they go. Dark humor and odd tangents pepper this suburban Gothic black comedy. This series is perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and critics of Frances Hodgson Burnett. Start with "The Bad Beginning ."
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