Ten Mystery Novels which were SO Well Researched…
Research Between the Covers
I’ve found that, for the most part, when doing extensive research for a novel perhaps 10% of that research makes it into the book. But, it’s that 10% that brings the story to life for the readers.
I love to read books where I feel the author has researched well. It could be as simple as a location or as complex as cutting edge science. I thought I’d share my top ten suspense books that I love and feel were well researched.
Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman
I’d always wondered about the Jewish culture for women. This book was so fascinating and I felt I got a better understanding of what’s always seemed a secretive culture to me. This book is the first in the Decker/Lazarus novels and the characters feel very real and well thought out.
Bee Keeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
I wish I could make everyone read this novel. It’s the first in the Mary Russell mystery series in which a young Mary stumbles upon a curious bee keeper by the name of Sherlock Holmes. Together the two are well matched and on the case! I love how Laurie R. King drops in little factoids throughout her novels. I always feel as though I’m learning something as I read. I love how you can tell the author read Sherlock Holmes novels and researched this character thoroughly.
The Golden Rendezvous by Alistair MacLean
Though this book was written in the 1960’s it still holds its sense of suspense and urgency. I was young when I read this but remember that, even as a teen, I was intrigued by how much detail there was about the freighter. I learned so much about a cargo ship and how it worked. I realized that it is important to know what you’re talking about, especially if you plan on explaining details.
Patriot Games by Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan stories captivate me still. No one does international intrigue like Clancy. Everything he does is well researched to the point that sometimes it’s difficult to separate what’s fact from fiction. He adds his research smoothly as to be part of the story, not just a fact to ground you in reality.
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Jason Bourne is one of my all-time favorite heroes. The plot of this book is intricate and detailed. So is the research. You feel you’re in all those countries and the suspense creates this rollercoaster ride of a story. But one of the things that I was very much impressed with was mathematics used by the heroine to help keep them safe. Yes, Jason Bourne is amazing and brilliant, but so is Marie. Though I enjoyed the movie, the book is, as many books usually are, much better and there’s so much more to it.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I’ve never been so impressed with a character as I was with Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander. The story itself held me captivated with its mystery and suspense, but I was so very impressed with the attention to detail on so many fronts. Larsson’s knowledge of war crimes and economics was outstanding
Lucky’s Lady by Tami Hoag
Naturally, I would be attracted to a mystery/suspense romance, especially one set in the Louisiana Bayou. As someone who knows a lot about the bayou, it was obvious to me that Hoag researched the area very well, both the land and the people. Sensual, suspenseful and real, I enjoyed every page.
Shadows All Around Her by Catherine Mulvany
A romantic suspense with a touch of paranormal but it all felt so real and a lot of that can be attributed to the research. The story takes us all around the world and each place feels real. This book is one that highlights the importance of keeping as much realism grounded to the story so that the paranormal element feels as much a natural part of the story as anything else.
Alone in the Dark by Karen Rose
All of Karen Rose’s books are full of details and you feel as though you’re watching a movie in your mind. I know this author does a great deal of research and even travels to places she writes about, so when you read her Cincinnati thrillers like Alone in the Dark, you can almost map out the city with the details she uses. Her books are darkly suspenseful, but always with a touch of family and hope so even it out.
Never Go Back by Lee Child
Jack Reacher is one of those characters you never forget. Neither is Lee Child. What impressed me was Lee Child’s knowledge of the military, especially since his famous character is from the U.S. and Mr. Child is originally from England. But, some details don’t change, such as weapons, fighting, suspense and intrigue. You can never go wrong with a Lee Child novel.
Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of over 60 novels. Her current release, Power Game is a military suspense with science fiction and romance. She currently writes five series, all of which have romantic suspense.
Christine is a 3rd degree black belt who taught martial arts and self-defense for over 20 years. She currently lives in Northern California where she enjoys her dogs, the ocean and a really cool steampunk room.