The inspector Gamache series of books by Louise Penny is a captivating series of mystery novels based on a fictitious figure, Inspector Armand Gamache, who works as the head of the homicide department in Quebec. The plot of the series is built around the inspector solving a series of mysterious murders that will leave you as a reader in suspense and yearning for more.
While the story is unique and captivating, it closely resembles several other stories, discussed in this post. Read on to see authors similar to Louise Penny.
Books Similar to the Inspector Gamache Series by Louise Penny
1. Jackson Brodie Series by Kate Atkinson
This series is based on a central character, Jackson Brodie a single father who worked as a policeman but now works as a private investigator in Edinburgh. The series bears some resemblance to the inspector Gamache series in that Jackson Brodie investigates mysterious murders and disappearances.
The Jackson Brodie case is sure to leave you captivated with its riveting scenes and storyline as it follows the investigative career of Jackson Brodie as he solves different mysteries over four series of novels.” Case Stories” A BBC adaptation of the novel series was released for television and ran for two series and nine production episodes.
2. Bess Crawford Mysteries by Charles Todd
This is a 13-book series of mystery novels based on a fictitious heroine, Bess Crawford who is a British nurse serving in France during WWI. Bess Crawford develops an interest in solving mysterious deaths while still serving as a nurse creating gripping plots to every mystery she solves as she exposes herself to danger. Thus, it guarantees to captivate your attention as you follow her adventures in the series of novels.
Created in a different time and setting when compared to the Inspector Gamache series, the Bess Crawford series is as captivating and also entertaining to mystery novel fans, especially women, as it delves into the life of a female detective operating in a dangerous time when the roles of women in society with regards to security and law enforcement were unheard of.
3. Dublin Murder Squad Series by Tana French
This is a 6-book murder mystery series based on a group of detectives. The novels are set in Dublin, Ireland and follow a group of detectives investigating a series of murders over a different period. Whilst the series shares a similar element of being a detective series with the inspector Gamache series, it lacks a central character instead every novel in the series has a different detective as the protagonist.
Tana French’s approach to the detective mystery genre of novels is sure to capture your imagination, especially if you are not attracted to monotonous central characters as the protagonist since each novel has a different main character as the star detective while still maintaining a certain level of suspense expected of detective mystery novels.
4. Inspector Wexford by Ruth Rendell
This is a series of twenty-four mystery novels published over a period of five decades based on a fictitious character main character, inspector Wexford set in a fictitious town “Kingsmarkham” in Sussex, England.
Inspector Rendell is a family man and with two daughters and a wife who investigates mysterious murders and disappearances throughout out his career as a sleuth and also in his retirement in final series of the novel.
This series bares some resemblance to the Inspector Gamache series as both protagonists are career policemen. Thus, it is a spectacular series for detective mystery novel lovers. Based on its long run, it captures different periods of time in its setting which will take you down memory lane of 21st-century Sussex.
A television series “The Ruth Rendell Mysteries” based on this novel series was released on ITV and ran for 12 series and 84 episodes in total spanning a period of 13 years from 2nd August 1987 to 11th October 2000.
5. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
This series is based on a female main character Maisie Dobbs, who works as a detective in post-WWI England. Maisie having worked previously as a nurse in the war becomes an apprentice of Maurice Blanche who teaches her the trade of being a detective. Soon she ventures out on her own after Maurice retires and begins solving mysteries as a private detective.
Maisie Dobbs series of novels guarantees to take the reader through the post-WWI English criminal mind and the mysteries surrounding crime during that period. Women who love mystery novels will find this series empowering and captivating based on the context of time and the heroine’s character.
A novel in this series (Maisie Dobbs 2003) has received numerous awards including:
- Edgar Award nominee for Best Novel (2003)
- Agatha Award for Best First Novel (2003)
- Alex Award (2004)
- Publishers Weekly’s Best Mystery (2003)
6. A Thursday Murder Club Mystery Series by Richard Osman
This mystery series of novels by Richard Osman is based on four protagonists who are pensioners, Elizabeth Best, Ron Ritchie, Joyce Meadowcroft and Ibrahim Arif, who meet up every Thursday to solve murder mysteries. The novel series begins with the pensioners investigating a murder that occurs near their retirement home.
The allure of this series of novels is in the age of the detectives and in their amateur detective work since none of them worked in detective work before retirement. This series is meant to cut across generational lines in the mystery novel genre as it is as interesting and exciting to old age pensioners as to any young mystery novel lover.
7. Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Series by Deborah Crombie
This 19-book series is based on two fictitious characters Duncan Kincaid who is a Scotland Yard Superintendant and Gemma James his assistant. Set in London, England, the two detectives investigate mysteries surrounding murders in a post modern-England. This series bears some similarities to inspector Gamache series since it involves professional investigators operating in a big modern city.
If you enjoy reading series based on post-modern settings then this series is best for you as it captures scenes that you can relate to in the modern world. This novel series is sure to capture readers with curiosity about the workings of spy and detective agencies like the Scotland Yard and the interpersonal relationships of its agents.
8. Ruth Galloway Series by Elly Griffiths
This series is based on two fictitious characters: Ruth Galloway, a specialist in forensic archeology and Harry Nelson, a detective, who combine their knowledge to solve mysterious murders from the recovered bones of murder victims. This series is exhilarating as it is entrancing as it employs elements of science and traditional detective work in solving murder cases.
This series, unlike many murder mystery novel series adds romance to the mix which makes for a compelling reading for fans of both mystery and romance. The romantic relationship between Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson makes this series as additive and thrilling when added to the detective and investigative work of the two.
9. Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak by Ausma Zehanat Khan
This series is based on two female detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty, who are tasked with crime-solving in Canada’s vulnerable or minority communities. They, however find themselves solving cases spanning across the globe as they investigate mysteries beyond their country’s border.
This five-part series of novels is quite addictive to the reader as it takes you from a simple localized setting to solving crime mysteries spread across the globe from The Hague to Sarajevo, and from Tehran to Toronto, chasing criminals and mysteries beyond the reader’s imagination.
10. A Joanne Kilbourn Mystery Series by Gail Bowen
This series is based on a fictitious female character, Joanne Kilbourn who is a Canadian detective. Her role in the 14-book novel series seems to evolve as she seems to constantly change her career as the novel series progresses. However, she seems to be always solving mysteries involving murder despite her career and setting.
Joanne Kilbourn is a modern woman who is not held down by career or family commitments as can be seen with her holding different jobs throughout the novel series yet she still solves crime mysteries whether or not she quits her private detective work.
11. Commissario Brunetti Series by Donna Leon
This is a mystery series set in Venice whose protagonist Guido Brunetti, a police detective begins by investigating the murder of a German conductor who was poisoned at the La Fenice opera house based in Venice. The series received critical acclaim from The Washington post which praised the work as “one of the most exquisite and subtle detective series ever”.
The New York Times Book Review also praised the authorship of the series as “A brilliant writer……an immensely likable police detective who takes every murder to heart.”
Guido Brunnetti is a dedicated police detective like Inspector Armand Gamache which can be seen by his commitment to solve any murder mystery. Also, you will appreciate his approach to the investigation as he is a professional like inspector Gamache.
12. Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith
This 6-book mystery novel series revolves around two protagonists; Cormoran Strike, a private investigator and his secretary Robin Ellacott. Strike, a former soldier turned private detective, solves murder mysteries with the help of his secretary and assistant, Ellacott. As the series progresses the setting changes and also the character evolution changes as Ellacott becomes a partner to Strike in the fourth series.
The award-winning series finds similarity to inspector Gamache series in the sense that the nature of cases solved keeps on changing with each novel in the series making it as unpredictable as it is exciting. This novel series will surely captivate you as a reader based on its global best-seller status of the first novel, “The Cuckoo’s Calling” and other positive reviews on the subsequent novels in the series.
13. Flavia de Luce Series by Alan Bradley
In this novel series, the protagonist, Flavia de Luce is an 11-year old aspiring chemist and amateur detective with a passion for poison who goes on solving mysteries in her village in Britain. This series is the first detective series in this category to feature a pre-teen in the mystery detective novel series genre.
This novel series fits into this mold since it has received a lot of critical acclaim for its portrayal of Flavia as a detective. Though amateur compared to Inspector Gamache character, who is a seasoned detective, this novel series has captured the hearts and minds old and young people alike and became the New York Times Bestseller “The world’s greatest adolescent British chemist/busy body/sleuth.”
14. A Perveen Mistry Series by Sujata Massey
Set in 1920’s India, Perveen Mistry the protagonist, is the country’s first woman lawyer who is pushed into detective work as some of the cases she’s covering take a turn for murder. Perveen is determined to solve the mysteries surrounding her cases as she feels like the system is not doing enough. Her role in championing the role and voice of women in India at a time when male patriarchy ruled makes this series quite compelling based on the historical context.
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