Literary Feline and I had a short conversation yesterday, and it's a perfect topic for Sunday Salon. How do you feel about a series? And, to be more specific, how do you feel when you discover a whole new series, and have all of those books ahead of you?
I just read the fifteenth book in Steven F. Havill's Posadas County mystery series, The Fourth Time is Murder. I normally don't start at the end of a series, but I was reviewing it for Mystery News. I liked it so much that I went back to the beginning, picking up Heartshot. And, I'm going to read the entire series, as soon as I can get my hands on some of the earlier titles. But, this is a manageable series, with only thirteen more books, until Havill writes another one. I'm excited about these books, and looking forward to the other ones.
But, Literary Feline is right. Fifteen books isn't scary. I often thought I'd want to read Ed McBain's 87th Precinct books. Do you know there are are over 55 books in that series? That's a formidable number. I always kidded and said I'm saving them for retirement. I'm one of those readers that likes to start at the beginning and read all of the books, if I like the series.
And, Literary Feline mentioned Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, one that has thirty-six books. I work with a librarian who is one of the biggest fans of the author, and she got me started. I bogged down. She told me I can read the different storylines. She knows I like the Witches, and she even listed all of those for me. How do you start when there are already thirty-six books in a series?
And, then there are the authors you love, and you discover them early in their career, and wait impatiently for the next book. With Robert B. Parker, I started with the early Spenser books, and it hasn't been hard to read one a year, reading all thirty-six or so. I've read every Inspector Armand Gamache mystery by Louise Penny, and every Ceepak/Boyle crime novel by Chris Grabenstein. Look how the whole world waited for the Harry Potter books.
However, when John Jakes started his Americans series with The Bastard, I didn't have the patience to wait for a year for the next book. My sister read all of the books, and loved them.
I love a good series when it gives me interesting characters that return in book after book. I just like to be in on the story early on so I don't find the number of books too challenging. How do you feel about a series?