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Series with Sass
When we fall in love with a new book, there’s nothing better than knowing that there’s another book—or two books, or five, or ten books—that continues the story, especially when that story stars a smart, flashy, charming leading lad or lady. The following list is titles that are the first in a series of books. These series range from adventure to mystery to fantasy, but all chronicle the adventures of a central character. Sassy, dashing, witty, or wise-ass, sometimes one book about a favorite hero or heroine just isn’t enough.    Print this list Print this list
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Cover Art: Storm front /
Storm front
Butcher, Jim, 1971-
There’s more than one wizard named Harry. This Harry is no mere boy living in fantasyland; this Harry is a hardboiled detective working the mean streets of Chicago. When the police department has a case that runs to the supernatural they turn to Harry Dresden, because he’s good at what he does—well, okay, he’s the only one who does what he does. But he needs rent money, so someone starts using black magic to murder his victims, Harry takes the case. But this is not an easy case to crack. The White Council of Wizards pegs Harry as the killer. The cops are suspicious. A mob boss wants Harry out. And then there’s Bianca, the sexy vampire, and British Bob, the ancient talking skull. Author Jim Butcher juggles all the weird and wacky with aplomb, throwing in a pinch of fantasy here and a dash of horror there to make this classic loner-detective a little more than interesting. Harry is a sympathetic, likeable guy for all his grumbling, and readers who like their magic with a healthy dose of sarcasm, irony, and humor will find themselves rooting for Harry Dresden as he sweeps the streets of Chicago clear of all its paranormal and supernatural dangers. Book 2: Fool Moon
Adult Fiction BUTCHER
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Cover Art: The Eyre affair : a novel /
The Eyre affair : a novel
Fforde, Jasper
Great Britain, 1985. The Crimean War has dragged on for 130 years. England is practically a police state. Cloned dodo birds are the pet of choice. Even time travel is routine. For plucky literary detective Thursday Next, this is all in a day’s work. Thursday’s got other things on her mind. She’s got a dysfunctional family—her mother is distinctly wacky, her father is a rogue time-traveler, her absent-minded uncle keeps forgetting what his inventions do, and she’s still got to win back her long-lost love. Thursday’s also got a challenging career. Literature is taken very seriously in this surreal version of England and Thursday’s job is to track down Shakespeare forgeries and the like, with some occasional freelance work on the vampire and werewolf hunting squad. But when a criminal mastermind figures out how to go inside the world of fiction and starts kidnapping characters from their books, Thursday takes a stand. What good would the world be, after all, without Jane Eyre? Allusions to the great works of literature abound and readers will have a ball spotting them. Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, and—above all—humor all play a role in this madcap adventure. But it’s the character of Thursday that really makes The Eyre Affair and its sequels the quirky, madcap reads that they are. Thursday Next is a no-nonsense, hardboiled detective, but she’s also a plucky, witty, winsome heroine just trying to keep her life from spinning out of control. Jasper Fforde begs, borrows, and steals from the classical works of literature and almost every literary genre to create a delightfully comic and satirical world that gets more and more inventive with every turn of the page. Book 2: Lost in a Good Book
Adult Fiction FFORDE
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Cover Art: Flashman : from the Flashman papers 1839-1842 /
Flashman : from the Flashman papers 1839-1842
Fraser, George MacDonald, 1925-2008
Rogue, rake, cad, cur, blackguard, brute—you know all those great old-fashioned words for a jerk that nobody uses anymore? Well, bring them all back for Sir Harry Paget Flashman, the Victorian era’s most loveable scoundrel. A bawdy, jolly tale that is also a great historical fiction, Flashman is a rousing, rollicking introduction to Harry Flashman’s “memoirs” and readers won’t fail to be charmed by Flashman’s candor as he gleefully sets the record straight and confesses all his past indiscretions, fabrications, and outright lies. In his first adventure, Flashman is out for little more than free drinks and fast women. A seduction-gone-wrong saddles him with a one-way ticket to Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Now all Flashy just wants to save his ass, but he keeps getting flung right into the middle of every major historical event of the time, culminating in the military’s 1841 defeat during Britain’s Afghanistan campaign. But Flashman is always an opportunist, making time to hone his skills as a lover, fighter, imposter, and coward. The character of Flashman is first heard of in a real Victorian novel—he’s a minor character, a schoolboy bully, in Thomas Hughes’ 1857 novel Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Over a hundred years later, George MacDonald Fraser resurrected Flashman for a twelve-book series that celebrates the escapades of this dastardly clever antihero in all his glory. Book 2: Royal Flash
Adult Fiction FRASER
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Cover Art: Dead until dark /
Dead until dark
Harris, Charlaine
Sookie Stackhouse is a small-town waitress on a seemingly permanent streak of bad luck. She can read minds, one of her coworkers has been murdered, and her new love interest is a vampire. Life in rural Louisiana has just gotten very complicated. Still, Bill is a hunk and dating a vampire has its benefits—Sookie can’t hear the thoughts in his head, for one thing, which is a refreshing change—but it’s not all fun in the dark. Bill has some decidedly unsavory friends, and there is that pesky murder… Sookie’s no damsel in distress—she’s a smart, thoughtful, generous young woman who readers care about, even as author Charlaine Harris causes thrills and chills with a quirky array of supporting characters and a suspenseful mystery plot. Plus there are vampires, and let’s face it, we all love a mystery with a blood-sucking undead creature of the night. Sookie’s romance with Bill the vampire and her relationships with other mythical creatures continue in eight other books. Each one is as colorful and atmospheric as Dead Until Dark, which serves as the introduction to Sookie and her distinctly unusual lifestyle. Cleverly blending romance, action, and the paranormal, Sookie Stackhouse is the go-to girl for some seriously spooky sleuthing. Book 2: Living Dead in Dallas
Adult Fiction HARRIS
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Cover Art: Crocodile on the sandbank /
Crocodile on the sandbank
Peters, Elizabeth, 1927-
If you think the Victorian era was a prim and proper one when delicate ladies stayed quietly at home, you’ve never met the irrepressible, indomitable Amelia Peabody. When near-spinster Amelia (she’s thirty-two) comes into a rather large inheritance, she flings off the mantle of home and hearth and sets out for faraway Egypt. Along the way she meets lovely Evelyn, abandoned by her lover with no means of support. With her typical disregard for convention, Amelia takes Evelyn under her wing and whisks her away up the Nile. Amelia indulges her passion for Egyptology at an archeological site run by the Emerson brothers. Amiable young Walter Emerson is smitten by Evelyn, but hot-tempered Radcliffe is soon butting heads with Amelia at every turn. And soon there’s a kidnapping attempt on Evelyn, a few too-coincidental accidents, and a walking, talking (well, moaning) mummy haunting the dig site. How Amelia solves these many mysteries is only half the fun. The historical details and the exotic setting add their charms, but Amelia herself is the biggest draw to this mystery series. Armed with her unflappable self-confidence, her dry wit, and her trusty umbrella, Amelia is a delightfully loveable Wonder Woman of the Victorian age. Amelia’s circle of family and friends grows over the years and there are always mysteries and murders to solve, but Amelia’s wit remains sharp, her passions always run strong, and her sense of determination never, ever flags. Book 2: Curse of the Pharaohs
Adult Fiction PETERS
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Cover Art: The ruby in the smoke /
The ruby in the smoke
Pullman, Philip, 1946-
On a cold afternoon in 1872, sixteen-year-old Sally Lockhart walks into her deceased father’s London office. By the time she walks out again, young Sally is deep in a compelling mystery fraught with murder, betrayal, deception, cursed jewels, secrets from the distant past, and a whole crew of Victorian scalawags and villains. There’s more to her father’s death than meets the eye. A horrifyingly creepy old woman is out for Sally’s blood. Danger lurks around every corner and Sally herself is the key to unlocking all the intertwined mysteries that threaten her very life. But Sally is nothing if not resourceful, and with a few colorful friends of her own, our intrepid heroine sets out to right wrongs and uncover truths. Sally is an independent young woman, a modern creature in an era that wants to rigidly control the independence of women. But Sally is also very much alone in the world now that her father has died, and what her independent spirit really needs is a few fellow souls who understand and appreciate her unique qualities. The reader, needless to say, becomes one of Sally’s allies right away. Author Philip Pullman, best known for the intricate fantasy worlds of His Dark Materials trilogy, knows full well how to create a hero who his readers will follow through thick and thin; he also knows the subtle and masterful art of spinning a good old story. As the Sally Lockhart Mystery series continues, Sally builds a life for herself—and solves a whole mess of thrilling, chilling, bump-in-the-night mysteries while she’s at it. Book 2: The Shadow in the North.
Teen Fiction PULLMAN
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