When I broke up with Grey’s Anatomy, it was a big deal. Normally if I start watching a show, I am in it until the end. Even if the end is slow in coming and the seasons in between are full of lame jokes or nonsensical plot lines or irritating characters (or all of the above). I’m weirdly loyal (or stubborn?) that way.

And I’m the same way with books.

While I don’t believe in wasting my time reading bad books, I also have an annoying, nagging need to know what happens in the end. So when I get sucked into a series, it takes a whole lot for me to stop reading it, to not pick up the next novel in the ongoing story.

But I have to admit, I’ve been struggling with Stephanie Plum. For a while now. And even though the twenty-second book in the Janet Evanovich series came out last week, I’m not sure when I’ll get around to reading it.

[If you don’t know, Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter in Jersey with a crazy family, even crazier friends, and a tendency to get into trouble. The hijinks, they are wacky and they ensue on a regular (some might say predictable) basis. Oh, and there’s a never-ending, never-resolved love triangle.]

For the first dozen and a half books, I enjoyed the series thoroughly. (I didn’t even mind the Katherine Heigl movie, but that’s another post.) But over the past few years, the stories have become repetitive and the characters cliches. So while waiting the months between releases (and the months I spent waiting my turn in the reserve line at the library), I started looking for similar series.

I didn’t know it at the time, but what I was looking for was a cozy mystery with a strong female lead. [Again, if you don’t know, the cozy mystery is {according to Wikipedia} “a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.”]

In case you, like me, are both a little tired of Stephanie Plum despite a previous love of the series and also wondering how long it will take for the 636 people in front of me in that library reserve list to read the most recent installment, here are a few other series you might like.

What to Read Next When You Can't Wait for the Next Stephanie Plum Book | via givinguponperfect.com

Eat, Pray, Die Mysteries by Chelsea FieldThe only time I’d heard of a professional taste-tester was in a Bible story, but this series is about a top-secret organization that trains its operatives to detect the tiniest hint of poison. They’re then hired out to high profile people who, apparently, might be poisoned. Izzy is Australian and on the run from a knee-busting debt collector, thanks to a deadbeat ex-husband. She’s also in training to become a poison taster and finds herself teaming up with a quirky neighbor and a handsome client. Funny and definitely unique!

(And all six books are free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. Click here to learn about Kindle Unlimited–or sign up for a FREE 30-day trial.)

The Geek Girl Mysteries by Julie Anne LindseyThis is exactly what it sounds like. A self-described geek girl (who’s into coding, comics, gaming, and cosplay) is at the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up solving murder mysteries. 

Miss Fortune Mysteries by Jana DeLeon: An undercover CIA operative is made by a deadly arms dealer, so she hides out in a small Louisiana town. Where she solves mysteries. Because of course. Very funny, very sweet, and unlike in the Plum books, the characters actually show some personal growth.

Lexi Carmichael Mysteries by Julie Moffett: Beautiful but socially clueless computer geek works for intelligence agency and navigates the world of love triangles. Okay, to be fair, the love triangle is resolved before too long (although the social skills are still a work in progress).

Rose Gardner Mysteries by Denise Grover Swank: Rose is working at the DMV and living with her overbearing mom in a beige, boring life. Until she has a vision of herself dead – and then finds her mother murdered. Suddenly life is a lot more colorful – and so is Rose. This one has difficult family dynamics, a small town with more than its share of mysteries, and – surprise! – a love triangle. I like this series but am about three books behind.

(And don’t miss the spin-off series, Rose Gardner Investigations.)

Addison Holmes Mysteries by Liliana Hart: This series is like a carbon copy of the Stephanie Plum books. Addison is a teacher whose life implodes in wacky ways, whose family is as quirky and complicated as can be, whose tendency to get in trouble is rivaled only by Ms. Plum’s. Seriously, this is the southern version of the Stephanie Plum books – and I really liked them! I will warn you that they’re a little racier than the other series, though.

Though they aren’t quite as similar to the Stephanie Plum books, these series are also good if you’re a fan of any of the above:

White House Chef Mysteries by Julie Hyzy: Learning about the world of White House chefs is interesting, and the titles of each installment are delightfully punny. Plus, good characters solve mysteries. Writing this made me realize I’m three books behind, so I’d better get caught up!

Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner: You might have guessed from the series’ title that this one involves a supernatural storyline. A sweet reader recommended this one, and I might have ignored her suggestion if I hadn’t read the description that said, basically, “What if Buffy the Vampire Slayer grew up and moved to the suburbs?” She had me at Buffy – and kept me through all five books available on Amazon immediately.

I’d also recommend anything by Jennifer Crusie (more romance than mysteries, but lots of quirky characters and small towns full of whimsy) or the Maggie Kelly mysteries by Kasey Michaels (romance novelist solves crime with the assistance of her book’s characters, who have somehow come to life).

Do you read the Stephanie Plum books? What do you do when you are a little tired of a book series – quit or power on through? 

What’s your favorite cozy mystery series?

This post includes affiliate links, so if you click through and make a purchase I might make a small commission at no extra charge to you. And this post may be linked to these amazing carnivals and link parties.

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