An array of razzle-dazzle detectives parade through these books: a full-blown alcoholic, an emotionally scarred cop, and a precocious 11-year-old.
The Devil’s Star Jo Nesbø
The Story Caustic drunk Harry Hole, the most brilliant detective on the Oslo force, grudgingly sets aside his life’s mission — exposing a corrupt fellow cop — to investigate a serial killer who places diamonds behind his victims’ eyelids.
TV Pitch Hole and The Wire‘s Jimmy McNulty were separated at birth.
Lowdown A gritty, gripping thriller — but Nesbø assumes you have read the other books in the series. A-
The Dogs of Rome Conor Fitzgerald
The Story When an animal rights activist — and husband of a prominent Italian politician — is murdered, the case goes to police inspector Alec Blume, an American expatriate who’s lived in Rome for over 20 years.
TV Pitch Imagine a young, cute Columbo.
Lowdown A sizzling-hot debut that deftly weaves together corrupt politicians, organized crime, and centuries-old tradition. A
The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag Alan Bradley
The Story Budding Miss Marple Flavia de Luce — an 11-year-old chemistry whiz — solves the murder of a puppeteer.
TV Pitch Prime Suspect’s Jane Tennison as a child.
Lowdown Bradley takes everything you expect and subverts it, delivering a smart, irreverent, unsappy mystery, hobbled only by a predictable plot. Bonus points for such a great title, though. B