Nancy: Serious About Series Part 3: Dublin Murder Squad

Into the Woods is Book 1 of the Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series.

Into the Woods is Book 1 of the Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series.

In Part 1 of this series on series, we discussed Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series. Set in Quebec, these books follow the cases of homicide detective Gamache and return each time to the eclectic, artistically-inclined, anything-but-sleepy small town of Three Pines. With each book we get closer to Gamache, learn more about residents of the small village, and, for the first several books, watch watch the plot arc of police corruption grow until it explodes in book 9.

In Part 2, we took a look at Julia Quinn’s The Bridgertons.  This series follows the love lives of the eight Bridgerton siblings as they each meet their mates, fall in love, and find their HEA. While the main characters change, we get to meet and learn about the whole clan, watch secondary characters step up for their own story, and revisit old friends and recurring ‘inside jokes’.

This week, we’re looking at a series that takes a different approach to introducing and developing main characters – Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. These books take place in another homicide division, this time set in Ireland. But there is no set main character. There’s no big-picture story threaded through each book. And there’s no guarantee in each new book that we’ll see our previous protagonists return as secondary characters, and even when we do, we might not recognize them. Continue reading

Nancy: When Writers Read

Nancy's Favorites Bookshelf

We’ve been talking a lot about what we’re reading (or have read or have considered reading) quite a bit here on 8LW this week. While we identify as writers, we were all readers first. We love books, we love story, and we are over the moon when we find a new book or author who intrigues or inspires us.

But we are also writers, and most of us have found that learning and exploring the craft of writing forever changes the way we view books. The analytical part of my brain never fully disengages when I’m reading, and there’s something a little sad in that. But there’s also a whole other world that opens up when you’re reading as a writer, and every new story is a chance to learn more about the writing craft, or to view things we think we know from a new angle. Continue reading

Nancy: Getting Away with Murder Mysteries

sherlock holmes silhouette

When I was in the second grade, I fell in love. The object of my affection? The Mystery of the Silver Spider in the Three Investigators mystery series by Robert Arthur. In the months and years to follow, I read not only every book in that series, but in the Hardy Boys  (Franklin W. Dixon) and Nancy Drew series (Carolyn Keene) as well. Years before I read my first romance or women’s fiction novel or even knew the fantasy genre existed, I discovered mystery novels, and I was hooked. Continue reading