Someone took a swipe at my writing and ended up introducing me to a great new author.  The negative comment was that I was a cut-rate Julia Spencer-Flemming I wasn’t familiar with the author, which is surprising. I’m not one of those writers who doesn’t read her own genre. I love mysteries. Most especially mystery series. 

 
I’m not sure how I missed the fantastic Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries. It’s about a female Episcopal priest and army veteran who moves to a small town and meets a fellow vet who serves as the chief of police. Sparks fly, bodies pile up, and an intriguing world of fascinating characters comes to life. I spent a hundred bucks on mysteries in one weekend. This series tackles real-world issues head-on and there are no easy answers. I highly suggest trying out this series starting with the first book, In The Bleak Midwinter (all of the titles come from hymns).
In The Bleak Midwinter
 
I am very flattered to be considered even a cut-rate Julia Spencer Flemming. It’s kind of true since my books do sell for about 1/3 of the price of her series.  
 
I discovered another great series thanks to a positive review of my book Killer Clowns From Out Of State.
 
A reader compared it to J.D. Robb. J.D. Robb is a name that Nora Roberts writes a the In Death series under. These books are sexy thrillers with a little bit of a Sci-Fi twist. Again, I’m not sure how I managed to never read any of the 40 plus books the 20-year-old series. I read the first book, Naked In Death.  I thought the sci-fi futuristic angle wasn’t handled that well. But I kept reading, mostly because I admire the way Nora/J.D. handles writing banter and fairly explicit sex. I think she walks a great line between romantic and too much information.  I initially said that the series was okay. 
 
A lot of the sci-fi element consists of saying, I used my future phone to call a future cab. The main characters are a standard tortured tough-cop and a handsome billionaire who can basically make you roll on the floor in ecstasy by unbuttoning your top blouse button. But I absolutely could not stop reading them. It’s as if Fifty Shades of Gray had an actual plot. (Don’t worry, so spanking involved)  I actually think my Martha Garrett Mysteries have more similarities to this series.
 
 I didn’t spend $450 buying all of them, but I have used my OverDrive app to a lot of them from my library. I’m just a little addicted. I’m also reading them out of order. That’s a little confusing. 
 
 
 
The Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries are like a first-rate Netflix series that gets tons of Emmy nominations. 
The “Naked” series is like your favorite procedural that’s been on for 15 years. There’s an expected formula, but you love it anyway. 
 
Anyway, I’m fine with being a cut-rate Julia Spencer-Flemming. Here are some other things you could call me without hurting my feelings: 
 
A discount J.D. Robb
A bargain basement Robert B. Parker
A half-price Dorothy L. Sayers
A closeout Emma Jameson
A thrift-store David Handler
 
If you haven’t read these authors, please do. They rock.