Listen, there used to be so much more time that could be spent reading. Personally, I am a book worm, and I spent a good portion of my childhood, awkward stages, high school, and even college with my nose in a great book – even if that day included a bikini and a beer. I also have the ability to read in the car, on boats and on planes without feeling even the slightest bit sick, and I frequently knock down a series of books on my cross country flights from Portland to the land of the pines (NC). There is something so calming about diving into a good read, getting to know the characters, and often times I find myself at the end of a book wishing that there were many pages left. Then I anxiously await the next book in the series. So, I have decided to share my all time favorite female writers, get your booty to the bookstore, or whip out your kindle and get started – I promise you won’t regret it.
Disclaimer: I am an avid crime reader, and that preference shows in my picks below.
1. Chelsea Cain
Holy Gretchen, I mean Chelsea. This bad B has created the ultimate female villain (Gretchen) to terrify the life of the addled, but lovable detective Archie. No amount of pain pills can stop the havoc that Gretchen wreaks upon the world, although Archie has been known to try. Seriously, it’s murder, mystery, drama, love, sex, and everything else you could possibly want in a series. I seriously recommend starting at the beginning with Heartsick. Bonus: the first book in a new series, One Kick, releases August 19th. I saw Chelsea Cain wearing army pants and flip flops, so I bought army pants and flip flops…. just kidding that was Mean Girls, but I did meet Chelsea earlier this year at a Portland signing, and she rocks.
2. Janet Evanovich
I cannot recommend anything written by this lady enough. I frequently cry laughing while reading her books, sometimes baffling passengers around me on flights, or my boyfriend who prefers to read historical non-fiction… but I digress. It all started for me with One For The Money, and last night I finished Top Secret Twenty-One, and I have read everything in between, and all of her collaborations with other writers. If you are looking for a chaotic, semi-spastic, very real, and completely compelling female character you have found it here. Stephanie Plum is my idol, and don’t even get me started on Lula.
3. Kathy Reichs
My mother started me on her books, but I stayed all on my own. Temperance Brennan is a brilliant and powerful character brought into the real world with every word you read. A forensic anthropologist, Brennan tackles it all with curiosity, smarts, a healthy dose of fear. Side note – this series gave birth to one of my favorite TV shows, Bones. Hey, David Boreanaz, how are ya?
4. Patricia Cornwell
Patricia Cornwell’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta is one of the country’s top forensic pathologists, as well as the Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She has beauty, brains, a sexy FBI beau Benton, and a superstar & somewhat sinister niece Lucy. Taking charge and kicking ass is the name of the game with Scarpetta, and she is aided in her attack on crime by Pete Marino, her homicide detective and occasional personal curse. When you pick up a Scarpetta book I recommend a big pot of tea and night completely clear of social engagements – because you aren’t going anywhere.
5. Tana French
Although her books are (almost) entirely unrelated, they read as a series, but you’re never truly following one character. Each novel’s narrator is a different detective in a Murder Squad in Dublin. Her books are somewhat dark, twisted, and leave you immensely interested and at times quite annoyed. Prepare yourself to be confused, blindsided, and attached to the internal struggles of each narrator in her novels that are about so much more than just solving the crime. I love the complexity of her novels as they have always left me on the edge of my seat.