The longer a series, the better! There is nothing quite like getting to know and love a character book after book in a long-running series, where the characters actually become part of you. There are plenty of authors who publish ongoing or long-running series with beloved and recurring characters across all fiction genres. Some of these series are ongoing, with books still being written with new plots and the same protagonist. Other series are spinoffs from the original series, where authors will take a minor character and turn him or her into a major character in a different series. Here are some long or ongoing series that the Aurora Public Library District has for you to check out today!
Crime/Mystery fiction is a great nook for a writer who wants to create an ongoing or long-standing series with one main character. The protagonist is typically some kind of detective or private investigator who can solve a different crime or multiple crimes in each installment. For example, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is a favorite among our patrons at the Aurora Public Library District. The series follows the hilarious antics of bounty hunter Stephanie Plum through twenty-three novels (so far). The books are considered mysteries, but without all of the heavy drama that is usually involved in Thriller or Suspense fiction. Other notable authors with ongoing Crime/Mystery series include Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series, C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett series, Robert B. Parker’s various series (Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, Jesse Stone, and Spenser), and Faye Kellerman’s Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series.
Of course, a sub-genre of Crime/Mystery fiction would be Cozy Mysteries. Once again, the protagonist will typically solve crime, but as an amateur. Violence, sexual content, and language will be absent or subdued. Popular Cozy Mystery authors include Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Rita Mae Brown’s Miss Murphy series, M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth series, Leslie Meier’s Lucy Stone series, Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson series, and Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden and Sookie Stackhouse series. Other “Gentle” reads include Debbie Macomber’s various series (Rose Harbor, Virgin River, Cedar Cove, Blossom Street, and Angelic Intervention) and Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series.
Another genre that is great for ongoing series is Thriller/Suspense fiction, which can be similar to Crime/Mystery fiction, but manages to be different through that added layer of heart-pounding drama. James Patterson is notable for his Thriller/Suspense/Mystery series, such as Detective Luc Moncrief, Private, Detective Harriet Blue, Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Zoo, and NYPD Red. Other popular long Thriller/Suspense series include Tom Clancy’s series (Jack Ryan and John Clark, Jack Ryan, Jr., and Net Force), Stuart Woods’ various series (Stone Barrington, Holly Barker, Teddy Fay, Ed Eagle, Lee Family, and Rick Barron), and J.D. Robb’s Romantic Suspense In Death series.
Fantasy fiction is a broad term that can cover all sorts of sub-genres, but this is a great place for a long series because the author gets to make up all the rules to his or her fantasy worlds. My favorite epic Fantasy series is Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, which was completed after his passing by fellow notable fantasy writer, Brandon Sanderson. Some other popular epic Fantasy reads include George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series and Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series is considered to be both Fantasy and Mystery. Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series is Fantasy with strong elements of Horror mixed in. The Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton is considered to be Urban Fantasy. And Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is considered to be Historical Fantasy.
Of course, there are plenty of other authors who write ongoing series (Karen Kingsbury, Sophie Kinsella, Vince Flynn, Fern Michaels, Anne Perry, Wanda Brunstetter, etc) to choose from, too. Check out the Novelist website through the Online Resources tab on the Aurora Public Library District’s website for series’ book orders and author read-a-likes! Don’t forget about the Indiana Digital Download Center for even more series!