Books by Location

Authors, especially those writing a series featuring a continuing character, often feature a specific geographic location. Popular choices are Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Boston, and other large and small cities across the country. Some feature international locations such as Great Britain and southeast Asia. When travel is available, many readers like to take along a book that takes place around their destination. Make a list, far off places await.

Joe R. Lansdale

Hap and Leonard series and Stand-alones.

Locations in Texas

Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale has written novels and stories in many genres, including Western, horror, science fiction, mystery, and suspense. As of 2018, he has written 45 novels and published 30 short-story collections along with many chapbooks and comic-book adaptations. He has been inducted into The Texas Literary Hall of Fame, and several of his novels have been adapted to film.

His Hap and Leonard series of ten novels, four novellas, and three short-story collections feature two friends, Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, who live in the fictional town of Laborde, in East Texas, and find themselves solving a variety of often unpleasant crimes. The characters themselves are an unlikely pairing; Hap is a white, working-class laborer in his mid-forties who once protested against the war in Vietnam and spent time in federal prison rather than be drafted; Leonard is a gay, black Vietnam vet. Both of them are accomplished fighters, and the stories (told from Hap’s narrative point of view) feature a great deal of violence, profanity, and sex. Lansdale paints a picture of East Texas which is essentially “good” but blighted by racism, ignorance, urban and rural deprivation, and government corruption. Some of the subject matter is extremely dark, and includes scenes of brutal violence. These novels are also characterized by sharp humor and “wisecracking” dialogue. These books have been adapted into a TV series for the SundanceTV channel and a series of graphic novels began publication in 2017. Season 2 of the television series is based on the second Hap and Leonard novel, Mucho Mojo, and season 3, which premiered on 3/7/18, is based on the third novel, The Two-Bear Mambo. Much of Lansdale’s work has been issued and re-issued as limited editions by Subterranean Press and as trade paperbacks by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Publications. His current new-release publisher is Mulholland Books. Lansdale also publishes with Dark Regions Press and Tachyon Publications, and with his daughter Kasey he has started a new publishing company called Pandi Press to control the re-issue and publishing of his older works.

Laura Lippman

Location – Maryland

Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working full-time and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. 

Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards.

She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade.

After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.

James Grippando

James Grippando is the bestselling author of twelve novels, including When Darkness Falls, Got the Look, Hear No Evil, and Last to Die, which are enjoyed worldwide in more than twenty languages. He lives in Florida, where he was a trial lawyer for twelve years.   His main character, Jack Swyteck, is the perfect Florida legal mesh, father American, mother Cuban and always on the side of the underdog.

Location – Miami

Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is an American crime writer. The author of eighteen novels, Slaughter has sold more than 35 million copies of her books, which have been published in 37 languages.

LOCATION – GEORGIA (MAINLY ATLANTA)

Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane is an American author. He has published more than a dozen novels; the first several were a series of mysteries featuring a couple of protagonists and other recurring characters, including A Drink Before the War. Of these, his fourth, Gone, Baby, Gone, was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name.

In addition both Mystic River and Shutter Island were also made into feature films.

LOCATIONS – BOSTON/FLORIDA

Florida Writers

Going to Florida?

Don’t Forget to Write!

Florida. True, it is the land of retirement, sunshine, Disney, traffic, crime, and hurricanes. Let’s not forget environmental and immigration problems. What a great place to write about. Some who write Florida fiction make it to the best-seller list some don’t. Most, however, write a darn good story.

John D. McDonald’s Travis McGee set the standard for Florida crime fiction. Prominent on bookstore shelves is Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen. His quirky novels are “laugh out loud” events, even if they don’t always make it to critical acclaim at the box office (i.e. Striptease.) In memory, I have never recommended a Hiaasen book to a friend and gotten anything but terrific reactions.

The list of well known writers boiling just below superstar status is a fairly long one. On it are some of my favorites. Some would qualify as mystery writers, some, a half step away, suspense/crime. Others have simply created memorable characters, many reappearing, and all enormously engaging. Laurence Shames, Randy Wayne White, James W. Hall, Les Standiford, John Lutz, Paul Levine, Ed McBain’s “Matthew Hope” series and the unforgettable Charles Willeford, who although deceased may have been the “writers writer” in the Florida genre.

In the past several years several writers have emerged as best-selling Florida writers. Jeff Lindsay, the creator of Showtime series character, Dexter has four books to date featuring the intrepid “Dark Passenger.” James Grippando is hot and so is James O. Born.

If Key West has ever enchanted you, authors Laurence Shames and Tom Corcoran can put you there in a fashion that most tourists would surely miss. They each have casts of characters, recurring in their books, zany New York transplants, good guys and bad guys, funny guys and hard guys. Sometimes a minor character in one story becomes central in another. Throughout their work; humor, love, unusual criminals and unlikely heroes abound. It may have been Hemingway’s town once, with Shames and Corcoran, it’s a whole different trip.

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