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flavia de luce series books mysteries

I love a good series, as you know – especially a mystery series. (I’m also fond of young adult trilogies and other series, such as Miss Read’s tales of life in Fairacre, but the mysteries are getting a lot of attention from me right now.)

I stumble onto the occasional series at the outset, like the Amory Ames mystery series by Ashley Weaver, whose first book I devoured and then reviewed on Great New Books this spring. The sequel came out this fall, and I eagerly dove into the second installment of Amory’s adventures. (I’m hoping there will be a third!)

The only problem with this method: it’s a long wait between books.

But more often than not, I discover a series when there are already a few books out: Maisie Dobbs, Flavia de Luce (see above), Harry Potter, Chet and Bernie. It’s always a true pleasure to dive in and read multiple books in a row featuring characters I love – especially if the characters and plots grow deeper and more complex over time. But then, of course, I have to wait for the next book to come out.

My friend Jaclyn says she can only read one mystery series at a time, and my friend Jessica says she’d rather wait until all the books in a trilogy (or sometimes, a longer series) are published, instead of torturing herself by reading one or two at a time. But I tend not to be able to wait.

Of course, if the series is already complete – like Agatha Christie’s Tommy & Tuppence adventures or Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries – I can devour them all at once, with impunity. But with series that are still being written, I possess a shocking lack of restraint.

My tendency is to gobble up whatever’s available, even if it means I read five or six books in a row and then have to wait months (or a year!) for the next book in a series. I can’t say it’s a perfect strategy, exactly, but I don’t seem to be able to help myself.

Do you binge read? Savor a series one book at a time? Or employ another reading strategy altogether?

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