Ah, summer in Texas! Those few short months between February and November are the perfect time to seek out a cool place read the newest entries in your long running favorite series and to find some great new, although somewhat lesser known, ones to enjoy.
Each summer, Janet Evanovich publishes another chapter in the continuing adventures of Stephanie Plum, Joe, Ranger, Lulu, Grandma Mazur, Rex the Hamster, and all the rest of the gang in Trenton, New Jersey. This year's entry is Sizzling Sixteen and while Evanovich says she will always write about Stephanie and her cohort, it is the last "numbered" book that she is under contract for, at the moment. If you are a Evanovich fan, try one of these series -all of them have new installments: the Riley Spartz series by Julie Kramer; the Izzy Spellman Mysteries by Lisa Lutz; and the Odelia Gray Mysteries by Sue Ann Jaffarian.
Thanks to Eric Van Lustbader, Jason Bourne continues his mysterious and dangerous existence in the latest installment of the Robert Ludlum originated series, The Bourne Objective. If you like international intrigue a la Bourne, may I suggest that you explore the two books in the Milo Weaver series by Olen Steinhauer, The Tourist (soon to be a movie with Johnny Depp) and The Nearest Exit. Alan Furst also has another World War II spy thriller, The Spies of the Balkans, a fine follow-up to The Spies of Warsaw. While the Magdalene Line series (The Expected One, The Book of Love, and The Poet Prince) by Kathleen McGown is not technically a spy series, as it is very similar to Dan Brown's Robert Langdon books, it is full of enough conspiracy, adventure, and over-the-top intrigue to make it a perfect summer read for any Ludlum/Van Lustbader fan.
Looking for something a bit more romantic? Nora Roberts has just published the third book in her Bride Quartet series, Savor the Moment, and Mary Balogh recently concluded her Huxtable Quintet series with the publication of A Secret Affair, another delightful romp through Regency England. For all you vampire romance fans, the prolific Meg Cabot has published the first book, Insatiable, in a new series. She describes this book as a "modern sequel to Dracula" although it is has a rather unconventional, at least as far as most Dracula related books I've seen, setting: the set of a soap opera which just happens to be populated with all manner of supernatural denizens. It maybe an odd juxtaposition but what a fun piece of "mind candy". A sequel is expected early next summer.
Two of my favorite Jennifer Crusie titles, Tell Me Lies and Crazy for You, have just been released in an easier to read trade paperback format. Okay, they are not parts of a new series but I just love her books and I always take any opportunity to urge people to read them!
There are also some wonderful new books in both new and established mystery series. Donna Leon (the Guido Brunetti series), Elizabeth Lowell (St. Kilda series), and Elizabeth George (Inspector Lynley series) all have new entries in their long running series, respectively: A Question of Belief; Death Echo; and This Body of Death. Two very well-received and award winning series, which published their first entries last year, have just published their second volumes. Pray for Silence is the new book in Linda Castillo's intriguing and unusual Kate Burkholder series. Stefanie Pintoff has also created a wonderfully flawed, haunted, and tortured all-too-human hero in her historical Simon Ziele series and A Curtain Falls is just as riveting as the first book In the Shadow of Gotham.
Enjoy the next book in an old favorite, or discover a new series that draws you in and leaves you wanting more and hopefully that more will continue in the next installment! So, get series-ous with your reading this week (sorry, couldn't resist the horrifically bad pun).