The wonderful Armand Gamache mysteries by Louise Penny, where Three Pines, Quebec is just as much of a character as the wily Armand, is just the (currently) best known series based in a fascinating culture. Try one of these other great mystery series for more travel-without-moving-a-muscle opportunities….
Mysteries with International Settings
Armchair Travel Your Way Around the World
Lin effortlessly blends humor, plausible plot twists, and the politics and economics of contemporary Taiwan. Lin takes readers on a whimsical ride along with the reluctant Jing-nan and some very shady characters, deftly mixing comedy, mystery, and drama in a page-turning series that will appeal to readers who enjoy dark comedy, drama, and some very unexpected plot twists.
- Ghost Month
- 99 Ways to Die
Portraying his native Ghana in a way that is always fresh and alluring, Quartey introduces us to intriguing yet flawed characters who live in a vivid West African culture. The writing is strong, the stories intense and the twists unexpected.
- Wife of the Gods
- Children of the Street (also ebook)
- Murder at Cape Three Points
- Gold of Our Fathers
- Death by His Grace
Savagely funny with quirky characters, crisp dialogue, and bright storytelling. Salvo Montalbano is one of the most engaging protagonists in detective fiction, being one of the few truly honest men on Siciliy’s mean streets.
- The Shape of Water
- The Terra-Cotta Dog
- The Snack Thief
- Voice of the Violin
- Excursion to Tindari
… and 13 others. Check Amazon for the Inspector Montalbano series in order.
On her sixtieth birthday, Auntie Poldi retires to Sicily, intending to while away the rest of her days with good wine, a view of the sea, and few visitors. But Sicily isn’t quite the tranquil island she thought it would be, and soon there are investigations, a smoldering police inspector, romantic entanglements, one false lead after another, and finally, of course, Poldi herself, slightly tousled but still perfectly poised.
- Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
- Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna (pub date is March 5, 2019)
Set in early 20th century colonial India, Detective Wyndham and Sargeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID–embark on investigations that take them from the opulent mansions of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens in the slums of Calcutta.
- A Rising Man
- A Necessary Evil
These are poignant, elegantly written mysteries laced with great characters where second-generation Canadian Muslim detective Esa Khattak and his partner Rachel Getty handle the “minority-sensitive” cases.
- The Unquiet Dead
- The Language of Secrets
- Among the Ruins
- A Dangerous Crossing
Afrikaans writer Deon Meyer uses political intrigue as the fuel for his fast-paced crime thrillers set in South Africa. With flawed but compelling characters who are often unlikely allies, this series is almost unbearably suspenseful.
- Devil’s Peak
- Thirteen Hours
- Seven Days
In 1980s Northern Ireland, Belfast is on the verge of outright civil war. The Thatcher government has flooded the area with soldiers, but nightly there are riots, bombings, and sectarian attacks. In the midst of the chaos, Sean Duffy, a young, sardonic and darkly witty, Catholic detective in the almost entirely Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, does his best to solve the crimes others avoid.
- The Cold Cold Ground
- I Hear the Sirens in the Street
- In the Morning I’ll Be Gone
- Gun Street Girl
- Rain Dogs
- Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly
In this stand-alone mystery set in the Philippines during the rainy summer of 1997, two Jesuit priests take the matter of protecting their flock into their own hands. Father Gus Saenz, a respected forensic anthropologist, along with his protégé, Father Jerome Lucero, a psychologist, dedicate themselves to tracking down an elusive serial killer preying on impoverished boys.
More series to try …
Set in Provence, France.
- Murderous Mistral
- Deadly Camargue
Set in London, England and steeped in Hindu immigrant culture.
- Her Nightly Embrace
- Her Beautiful Monster
Set in India.
- The Case of the Missing Servant
- The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing
- The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken
- The Case of the Love Commandos
Set in Japan.
- The Devotion of Suspect X
- Salvation of a Saint
- A Midsummer’s Equation