Mysteries set in every US state?
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Don't you love lists? I've listed the states below and I will edit this post every once in a while and delete the states we've covered (the regions listed here are NOT mine, btw). Remember we're talking setting here, not where the author is from... List just an author if the series is set there, title if just the one book, maybe no more than three or four states at a time. Everyone can play, and states can be duplicated...
Ta Dah! We did it! Thanks to all who participated!
I'll do Northern New England and Massachusetts (all which are covered by William G. Tapply's Brady Coyne mysteries, btw):
Maine: John Connolly's Charlie Parker series starts there
Sarah Graves home repair series
New Hampshire: Brendan Dubois' Lewis Cole series
Vermont: Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series
Massachusetts:Dennis Lehane, Linda Barnes, Robert Parker, David Hosp... Philip Craig, Jane Langton, Margaret Miles, Dianne Day, Cynthia Peale (the last three being historical), also The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl.
For Georgia, there's Beverly Connor's Lindsay Chamberlain novels and Karin Slaughter's Grant County series.
Texas: Nancy Bell's Biggie Bell series.
Illinois (Chicago): Kris Nelscott's Smokey Dalton series - I think all but one of them take place there.
And there are hundreds for California: Harry Bosch, Fearless Jones, etc. etc.
I hereby declare that it's "cheating" to look up the answers in list elsewhere, so we're only supposed to list ones of which we're aware (though don't necessarily read ourselves)? Here are a few of the series I read that haven't been brought up yet:
Texas: "Ruby, the Rabbi's Widow" series by Sharon Kahn.
Florida: "pet sitter" series by Blaize Clement.
Rhode Island: "The Haunted Bookshop" series by Alice Kimberly.
Washington: "Miss Zukas" series by Jo Dereske and "Bed and Breakfast" series by Mary Daheim.
Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski series
The Jimmy Flannery series, by Robert Campbell
Eleanor Taylor Bland's Marti McAlister books, set in a thinly-disguised Waukegan, IL
Fred Hunter writes a couple of series set in Chicago, as does Mark Richard Zubro.
Rita Mae Brown mysteries are set in Virginia
Michigan: Anatomy of a Murder, by Robert Traver
Ellen Hart's Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenway series are both set in and around Minneapolis.
Laurie King's Kate Martinelli books
J.M. Redmann's Micky Knight series
Julie Smith's Tabitha Wallis and Skip Langdon books
John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee, including with The dreadful lemon sky. McGee lives in Fort Lauderdale, although he takes out-of-state cases as well as in-state.
James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux, including In the electric mist with Confederate dead. Robicheaux doesn't go out of state often.
Robert B. Parker's Spenser, including Sudden mischief.
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, including Gambit.
Jane Haddam's Gregor Demarkian, starting with Not a creature was stirring. Gregor lives in Philadelphia, but does travel out of state occasionally (mostly remaining in New England, though).
How about Jeff Lindsay's Dexter serial killer mysteries, set in Miami/Dade County and environs? Some might consider them horror or thrillers, but they really are at heart mysteries.
Weren't The Cat Who... mysteries by Lilian Jackson Braun set in Wisconsin? Or was it Michigan? Wait ~ I can't remember whether the location ever made clearer than "north of everything." Hmmm.
J.J. Jance wrote mysteries set in Arizona, and Tony Hillerman's mysteries (some of my favorites) were set in and around the Navajo reservation near the Four Corners (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado).
Massachusetts: Phoebe Atwood Taylor's Asey Mayo mysteries are set on Cape Cod.
Moose County in The Cat Who... books is just "400 miles north of everywhere". It's set vaguely in the vicinity of one of the Great Lakes, in "the northeast central United States." To the best of my knowledge the geography is not nailed down to a particular state.
Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason.
Dean R. Koontz might be counted, depending on your value of "mystery" and which book you were considering. Most of his books seem to be set at least partly in California. Whispers is a good example; the setting isn't just an arbitrary backdrop.
The novella of Strange Highways would count for Pennsylvania, though.
New York (again)
Ellery Queen. The character also spent time as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, so California counts for him occasionally as well as his native New York City.
Monica Quill (a.k.a. Ralph McInerny)'s M. T. Dempsey books are set in Chicago.
James Lee Burke, again - his non-Robicheaux books are often set in Montana.
Irene Allen's Elizabeth Elliot mysteries; the character lives in Cambridge.
16kachappell First Message
OK. Here are a few more:
Michigan (UP) Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight
Wyoming: CJ Box's Joe Picket
Alaska: John Straley's Cecil Younger
Texas: David Lindsey's Stuart Haydon
Montana: James Lee Burke's Billy Bob Holland
Mississippi: Greg Iles' Penn Cage (The Quiet Game, Turning Angel)
New York: Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder
Oh, and I just remembered three of my favorites:
Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins is set in Los Angeles and one of the states in the deep South ~ Mississippi or Louisiana, I think.
Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch is set in Los Angeles and Nevada.
Robert Crais' Elvis Cole is set in Los Angeles and, I think, New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Cat Who series I believe is in Wisconsin, since the large cities most often refered to (in the stories I'm familiar with) are Madison and Milwakee, Not Detroit or Minneapolis/St. Paul. It might not state which one but it reads like Northern WI.
19gabriellel66 First Message
All of Earl Emerson's books, including his Mac Fontana and Thomas Black series are set in Washington.
Wow. I'm going to delete some states off the list but leave some we've mentioned on ...to encourage multiple listings for some states...
I'll add for Rhode Island: Gravewriter by Mark Arsenault
and for Maryland: Tim Cockey and Laura Lippman
Are you going to compile a list of the books/series by state? Might be neat to try to read a mystery book from each of the 50 states.
Arkansas ~ The Lily Bard mysteries by Charlaine Harris are set in Shakespeare, Arkansas. (Get it? Bard. Shakespeare. heh) According to Amazon.com, the first is Shakespeare's Landlord.
I haven't read them (yet), though I've read all her paranormal (southern Vampire and clairvoyant) mysteries and enjoy her writing.
(Edited to add author Touchstone.)
#18 ~ I was reading something on Amazon.com that indicated the author of the "The Cat Who..." mysteries is a Michigan native, but I agree with you that it sounds more like Wisconsin (or, to me, Minnesota).
Tennessee: the Harry James Denton series by Steven Womack is set in Nashville.
Many of Barbara Michaels aka Elizabeth Peters's non-Amelia Peabody books are set in Maryland or Northern Virginia. And of course there are plenty of political thrillers which use D.C. as the backdrop (Margaret Truman, Allen Drury...)
Something I noticed a while back is that there are no or very few crime/mystery stories set in Hawai'i (no, Magnum and 5-0 don't count). I know the state as a long-time resident, so if I were a writer...
Wasn't the original Charlie Chan in the short book series by Biggers from Hawai'i?
Yeah, but as I recall the Chan stories didn't take place in Hawai'i, for the most part.
I thought that one or two started there but its been so long since I read them...
I'm holding out on some states for a second title or author (just for fun). Meanwhile, I've eliminated a few more states...
#22...I wasn't planning to, the information is all here if someone wants to dig for it; but, on the other hand, if someone wants to put together the a state list with the titles when we're done, they're certainly welcome to do so. I do imagine some readers might appreciate it.
Why I find it hard to believe there are no mysteries set in Idaho, Delaware, Kansas or Utah... Where are the Lthingers from those states? (Remember no cheating...)
Sarah Andrews' geology mysteries are set in the Rocky Mountain region, usually Colorado, Wyoming...etc., but I don't know if I can pin her down to just one state (and I've only read about three).
NC was mentioned very early on (post #4), but still appears under Mid South.
There is a UT series, but I read it a long. long time ago and cannot recall many details without cheating. Gentile native P.I. occasionally un-officially assisted by his childhood friend, now a honcho in LDS structure, who has access to info that many would just as soon keep quiet, but the P.I. really needs for his cases.
The first two I'm surprised no one has mentioned ...
Virginia: Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell.
New Jersey: Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.
Georgia: Callahan Garrity series by Kathy Hogan Trocheck.
Good one, Owlie!
I don't know if we're allowed to include romantic mysteries, but Nora Roberts wrote one entitled Northern Lights which also took place in Alaska.
Wisconsin: Michael Craft's Mark Manning books are (at least most of them) set in Wisconsin.
Arkansas - Joan Hess's Maggody series and Claire Molloy series.
California can boast 2 of the masters of the hard-boiled school: Raymond Chandler (especially the Philip Marlowe novels) and Dashiell Hammet, author of The Maltese Falcon.
Florida can lay claim to Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford series and Robert Hall's excellent novels, set largely in the Keys and the Miami/Everglades area, with side trips all over the map.
Excellent! I'm taking them off the list as a second suggestion appears for each state (although my tallying may be slightly inaccurate...). I'll * the states we have at least one suggestion for.
Hawaii: At least two of the Charlie Chan books "The Chinese Parrot" and "The Black Camel" took place there (I did look that up, but I knew at least one book "qualified"). For a second Hawaiian book, there's Mahu by Neil S. Plakcy. So, you can remove that state from the list.
New Jersey: In addition to the Stephanie Plum series (mentioned earlier), Jon Katz wrote the "Suburban Detective" series set there.
West Virginia: Rhett MacPherson's series featuring genealogist Torie O'Shea is usually set in Torie's hometown in Missouri. However, the 4th book A Misty Mourning is set in WV instead.
Missouri: (see above re: Torie O'Shea)
Georgia shows as one mention, but there are two -- posts #2 and #37.
Connecticut - Laurie Berenson's dog mysteries. I know the author Jane Haddam lives in CT, does anyone know if her mysteries are set there?
Also are any of the Dick Francis books set in Kentucky?
It seems to me that one of Francis' characters did visit a Kentucky horsefarm but I don't remember the title at all. There's also a visit to Florida in one and the D.C. area in another.
Dick Francis's Blood Sport had its protagonist wandering around Kentucky and Arizona trying to foil the criminals. The denoument took place in AZ.
As I've just discovered Jane Haddam, several of them are fresh in my memory; most of them seem to take place in Philly, elsewhere in PA, or in upstate NY.
Louis Owens's Dark River is set in Arizona. Native American literature with a mystery at its heart.
Colorado (2nd mention): Goldy-the-Caterer series by Diane Mott Davidson is set outside Denver.
Missouri (2nd mention): The Francesca Vierling series by Elaine Viets is set in St. Louis.
Kentucky (2nd mention): The Bert and Nan Tatum series by Barbara Taylor McCafferty is set in Louisville. Written by identical twins, and told from point-of-view of identical twins, alternating voice each chapter.
Utah: The Moroni Traveler series by Robert Irvine is set in Salt Lake City.
This is more of a thriller/suspense novel than a mystery, I guess, but Still Life With Crows takes place in Kansas.
The books by Sue Henry are for the most part set in Alaska, I believe. Lovely descriptions of racing sleds during the "snowy time" and of Alaska/Yukon in the summer.
Since we appear to be losing interest, I deleted those states with even one mention. That leaves seven states. I may have to call my sister in Delaware...unfortunately, I don't have any family in the other states!
The action of The Beasts of Valhalla by George C. Chesbro begins in Nebraska, but doesn't stay there. Mongo Frederickson and his brother were brought up there and have returned home for a funeral.
The fact that the initial setting is a rural Nebraska community is very relevant, since it led to two young teenagers becoming acquainted with a young programmer at a nearby agricultural research station. He didn't have anyone else to game with.
Cork of the Colonies (mentioned previously) has a short story set in Delaware, if that helps.
Since Ohio has only one mention I would add that many of Michael Z. Lewin's mysteries are set in there.
13, 15, 18 More on the Cat Who...series. Definitely NOT Minnesota, and as proof I offer this quote from The Cat Who Talked Turkey ""Nancy married a dogsledder who races in the Iditarod, and she moved to Minnesota ..." (Italics mine). Doesn't help except by process of elimination, but there you are.
Just a few states left. How neglected they seem! Just one mention for each will complete our task (obviously, two mentions for them would be pushing it). You have all been such enthusiastic participants!
Indiana - The Flower Shop Mystery series by Kate Collins
Seajack tracked down a mystery set in North Dakota --Flesh and Metal by John Early and suggested I close out the thread since I am one of two LTers who have it in their catalogues. I don't think I've read it and doesn't ring any bells, but it meets the case.
Florida is well represented by John D. Macdonald's mystery series featuring Travis McGee, who lives on a houseboat on the Florida coast.
Georgia also has Kathy Hogan Trochek (Callahan Garrity series) and Virginia Lanier's Bloodhound series (deceased unfortunately)
77braddigan51 First Message
Illinois: Marcus Sakey - The Blade Itself and At the City's Edge
Maine has J.S Borthwick Sarah Deane mysteries (most of which are set in Maine, although one is in Texas)
Being set in central Michigan myself, I feel Jackson Braun's cat who mysteries are set in Michigan. Braun is a Michigan native and lived in the Thumb for many years but she mixes up features and big city names to keep it from being a particular place. It's always seemed like a mixture of the thumb and the UP to me.
P.S. Thanks for the thread. I'm thinking of making a list for my library.
(and I can't figure out how to make Lilian Jackson Braun work in the touchstones, sorry.)
Oregon: Kate Wilhelm's Barbara Holloway series. Holloway is a defense attorney and most of the action occurs in the area around Eugene.
As for Idaho -- there's an author named Steve Roos who has written at least a couple of books that my nephew really likes a lot. Titles include: Deep Cover and Double Jeopardy. (Touchstones don't work because these titles are not unique enough.) What my nephew especially likes is that the detective is a Mormon.
What an interesting topic! I was thinking of doing something similar to explore books from different countries.
Anyway, Slim Randles is a good author about Alaska. He wrote the long dark which is not a mystery but it was great. Then he wrote Raven's Prey which IS a mystery and involves the same characters as the book before.
Someone recently asked me for the list that was kept with this. The list was only a list of states which we checked off when mentioned, not a list of the books, authors and series mentioned (part of the game was to try to see how many states we could tick off without using the internet as a resource!).
This morning I compiled a list of books, authors and series mentioned (this is not meant to be an exhaustive list). Apologies, for I haven't time to do touchstones. Anyone can feel free to continue this, if they would like.
Anne George's southern sister series
John Straley’s Cecil Younger series
Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak series
Nora Roberts Northern Lights
Slim Randles Raven's Prey
Lewis Owen's Dark River
Charlaine Harris’s Lily Bard novels
Joan Hess's Maggody series and her Claire Molloy series
Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series
Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millnone books
Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series
Robert Crais, Dean Koontz, James Ellroy
Karen Kijewski's Kat Colorado series (here and Vegas)
Dashiell Hammet, John Lescroat, Elmore Leonard
Sarah Andrews’ Em Hansen Forensic Geology series (also other Western states).
James Doss' Charlie Moon series
Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy-the-Caterer series
Laurie Berenson's dog mysteries
only a short story mentioned:-(
# District of Columbia
Margaret Truman, Allen Drury, George Pelecanos,
Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series
Blaize Clement’s “Pet Sitter” series
John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee books
Carl Hiassen, Tim Dorsey
Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford series
Beverly Connor's Lindsay Chamberlain novels
Karin Slaughter's Grant County books
Kathy Hogan Trocheck's Callahan Garrity series
Virginia Lanier's Bloodhound series
Earle Derr Bigger's Charlie Chan novels (several), The House Without a Key, The Chinese Parrot, The Black Camel
Neil Plakcy's Mahu
Patrick McManus's The Blight Way
Eleanor Taylor Bland's Marti McAllister books
Kris Nelscott's Smokey Dalton series
Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski novels
Robert Campbell's Jimmy Flannery series
Fred Hunter, Mark Richard Zubro
Monica Quill's M.T. Dempsey books
Marcus Sakey's The Blade Itself and At the City's Edge
Kate Collins' The Flower Shop Mystery series
Michael Z. Lewin's mysteries
Michael Z. Lewin's mysteries
Still Life with Crows
Dick Francis A Blood Sport
Barbara Taylor McCafferty's Bert and Nan Tatum series
J. M. Redmann's Micky Knight series
Julie Smith's Tabitha Wallis & Skip Langdon books
James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux series
Barbara Hambly's Benjamin January mysteries
John Connolly's Charlie Parker series
Sarah Graves' Home Repair series
David Crossman A Show of Hands
J.S. Borthwick's Sarah Deane mysteries
Robert Parker's Spenser series
Dennis Lehane, Linda Barnes, David Hosp, Keith Ablow, Stephen Carter, Sally Gunning, Jeremiah Healy, Harry Kemmelman, Katherine Hall Page, Phillip Craig, Jane Langton, Margaret Miles, Dianne Day, Cynthia Peale, Christopher Golden, Phoebe Atwood Taylor, Irene Allen.
Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club
Robert Traver Anatomy of a Murder
Steve Hamilton's Alex McKnight series
P.C. Tracy's Monkeewrench books
Ellen Hart's Jane Lawless & Sophie Greenaway books
John Sandford's Prey series
Nevada Barr's Deep South
Greg Iles' Penn Cage novels
Rhett MacPherson's Torie O'Shea series
Elaine Viets's Francesca Vierling series
James Lee Burke's Billy Bob Holland books
Peter Bown's Gabriel DuPre mysteries
James Crumley's The Last Good Kiss
Liza Ward's Outside Valentine
George C. Chesbro's The Beasts of Valhalla begins here.
Karen Kijewski's Kat Colorado series (Vegas & CA)
# New Hampshire
Brendan Dubois' Lewis Cole mysteries
# New Jersey
Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series
Jon Katz's The Suburban Detective
# New Mexico
Michael McGarrity's Kevin Kerney series
# New York
Julie Spencer Fleming's mysteries
Louis Bayard The Pale Blue Eye
Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder series
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin books
# North Carolina
Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott series
# North Dakota
# North Dakota
John Early's Flesh and Metal
A.M. Pyle's Murder Moves In
Michael Z. Lewin's mysteries
Anne Seale's Finding Ms. Wright
Kent Anderson's Night Dogs
Kate Willhelm's Barbara Holloway series.
Jane Haddam's Gregor Demarkian books
# Rhode Island
Alice Kimberly The Haunted Bookshop
Mark Arsenault The Grave Writer
# South Carolina
Gwen Hunter's Rhea Lynch, MD series
# South Dakota
Harold Adams's Carl Wilcox series
Steve Womack's Harry James Denton series
Nancy Bell's Biggie Bell series
Sharon Kahn's Ruby, the Rabbi's Widow series
David Lindsey's Stuart Haydon books
Robert Irvine's ThE Moroni Traveler series
Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series
Rita Mae Brown
Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series
Jo Dereske's Miss Zukas books
Mary Daheim's Bed & Breakfast series
G. M. Ford
# West Virginia
Rhett MacPherson's A Misty Mourning
Lillian Jackson Braun's "Cat Who . . ." series is believed to be set here.
Michael Craft's Mark Manning series
C. J. Box's Joe Pickett series (or is it Montana?)
Aren't the China Bayles mysteries set in Texas too? And the Leeann Sweeney Yellow Rose series, including Dead Giveaway.
For Connecticut there is the Karen E. Olson Annie Seymour series that is based in the New Haven area.
Dead of the Day
I thought I mentioned Erle Stanley Gardener's Perry Mason but I think he didn't make the final cut of the list.
I think one of Ralph McInerny's other series is set at Notre Dame. (In real life he teaches there, I think.) ...rummage... The series is listed on LibraryThing as Notre Dame; the titles are suffixed with "a Notre Dame mystery". example title: On this Rockne
Tony Hillerman's Leaphorn and Chee mysteries are set on the big reservation, but I think they're mostly in New Mexico.
There is an interesting web site Mystery Places: Mystery Novels with a Sense of Place . It says As of Apr 03, 2009, this site includes 228 authors, 52 countries and multi-country regions, 43 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. If you cover all the states you might want to contact them.
Has anyone mentioned Larry Millett's Sherlock Holmes series? They are set in Minnesota. The first one in the series is Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon. I've read the first three and I recommend them.
In the hopes that this topic stays active, I'll add one I haven't noticed here:
Arizona (Phoenix area specifically) -- Jon Talton's David Mapstone mysteries.
I may have missed this but add these for GA
# Georgia - the Fever Devilin series by Phillip Depoy
california: James Paterson's Womens murder Club (Lindsay Boxer)
New York: James Patterson's Michael Bennett series
D.C. James Patterson's Alex Cross Series
A new one to me re mysteries set in GA (Atlanta) is "The Stranger You Seek" by Amanda Kyle Williams. Sounds very good so I'll have to read it eventually. I was not familiar with her.
Is there anyone out there who has NON 'cozy' / NON 'amateur sleuth' crime fiction recommendations for Connecticut and New Hamspshire?
I'm nearly across all states but am stuck on those two... any suggestions gratefully apreciated.
Lanier: Georgia; bunch of mysteries featuring bloodhounds, most of which are actually pretty good
Nevada: Karen E Olson has a Tattoo Shop series set in Las Vegas
I notice on the other list that you have other continents and countries as well. Are you looking for people to add onto this thread series set in other countries?
I've posted a collated, updated and expanded list here in a new topic as a reference list:
State by State List - updated and collated
This is a wonderful piece of work. Thanks very much for putting it together. Do you want more contributions? All of these mysteries take place in North Carolina:
Katy Munger's series featuring Casey Jones
Sarah Shaber's series featuring professor Simon Shaw
Joyce and Jim Lavene's Peggy Lee garden mysteries
John Hart's The Last Child and Down River
#102 / 104 /105 added to updated list (103 already listed)
State by State List - updated and collated
The updated version now has the beginning of additional lists for Canada, Mexico and Latin America, Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, UK, Rest of the World and other topics...
CALIFORNIA: Tim Dorsey, Terence Faherty, Kris Neri, T. Jefferson Parker, KK Beck (the Jane DaSilva books, but check out her Iris Cooper series), Lisa Lutz, Marcia Muller, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
FLORIDA: James W Hall, Jessica Speart, Les Staniford, Aileen Schumacher (Rosewoods Ashes - the earlier ones in the series are set at the NM/Texas border)
LOUISIANA: John Dillman, Heather Graham, Barbara Hambly (very good series), Jewell Parker Rhodes, Erica Spindler
NEW JERSEY: Jane Rubino (great series), Jane Kelly, Beth Sherman, Jane Isenberg, Valerie Wilson Wesley, Anthony Bruno
NEW MEXICO: Rudolfo Anaya, Tony Hillerman, Sarah Lovett, Carolyn Rose, Connie Shelton, Aileen Schumacher (really good series), Judith Van Giesen
WYOMING: Gregory Bean, Carol Caverley, Lise McClendon, Marnie Davis Kellogg
>108 LibrarianBarb: Some names new to me in that bunch, Barb. I'll have to check some of them out.
Currently on my to-be-read list, and one I'm very much looking forward to reading:
For Mississippi: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin.
#108 checked against updated list**
**Except I have Tim Dorsey as Florida not California and john Dillman looks like non-fiction only? (Rest already on or now added)
#110 added to updated list (#111 already listed)
State by State List - updated and collated
The updated version now has the beginning of additional lists for Canada, Mexico and Latin America, Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, UK, Rest of the World and selected other topics...
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.