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Book Yourself Some Foreign Travel

A tour of mysteries with foreign settings

If high gas prices and the low value of the dollar are keeping you home this summer we’ve got the answer at MLB. We’ve got loads of books with settings from Bangkok to Italy, France to Africa and everywhere in-between.

Now most of you have probably dipped your foot into the wonders of Venice with Donna Leon’s best selling Guido Brunetti series featuring the brilliant police inspector in Venice Italy. If you haven’t the whole set will give you an elegant tour of the city, the art world, the opera and some of the best of mystery writing.

Another tour popular with all readers is the creation of Alexander McCall Smith and the mystery series featuring Precious Ramotswe, owner of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, Botswana Africa. This series will give for an upclose and personal view of a country you probably never visited.

And don’t forget the mystery books that travel like Maddy Hunter with international travel escort for Senior tours, Emily Andrews or Dan Fesperman with adventures in Sarajevo, Afghanistan and Cuba.

Chris Ewan has a charming series about a mystery writer, Charlie Howard, who moonlights as a thief. Settings around Europe include Amsterdam and Paris.

Michael Pearce can combine some history with a tour of various cities in his series with Seymour of the Special Branch, a British poiceman who handles sensitive investigations in a variety of cities in the '30's.

Herewith, a listing by geographic region, of some mysteries to check out for an armchair tour:

Book passage to Italy

Grace Brophy --- Alessandro Cenni series, commisario, state police of Umbria, Italy

Andrea Camilleri --- Inspector Montalbano series, detective, Sicily

Roberto Costantini - Roman police commissario Michele Balistreri

Michael Dibdin ---- the Aurelio Zen series, Italian police inspector, various Italian locations

Conor Fitzgerald -- Alec Blume, ex-pat American and Commisario of Police, Rome

Michele Giuttari - Michele Ferrara, Squadra Mobile, Florence, Italy


David Hewson ---- Nic Costa series, police detective, Rome, Italy

Christobel Kent - Sandro Cellini, cop turned PI, Florence, Italy

Donna Leon ---Guido Brunetti series, police inspector Venice

Carlo Lucarelli ---- Commissario De Luca series, policeman in post-Mussolini Italy

Carlo Lucarelli - Grazia Negro series, police inspector, Bologna

Beverle Graves Myers ---- Tito Amato series, castrato opera singer, 18th century Venice

Magdalen Nabb --- Salvatore Guarnaccia series, Carabinieri Marshall, Florence

John Maddox Roberts - Decius Caecillius Metellus, sleuth in ancient Rome

Steven Saylor - Gordianus the Finder, an early PI in ancient Rome in the time of Caesar

Valerio Varesi - Commisario Soneri, Parma, Italy

Marco Vichi - Inspector Bordelli, Florence in the '60s

Jan Merete Weiss - Natalia Monte, police captain, Naples, Italy

Tour de France (plus Belgium)

Cara Black - Aimee LeDuc series, Franco-American PI in Paris---8 books

Michael Bond - Monsieur Pamplemousse series, French culinary critic

Alexander Campion - Capucine Tellier, policemwoman married to food critic, Paris

Claude Izner - Victor Legris, bookseller in 19th century Paris

Gerald Jay - Inspector Paul Mazarelle, Paris cop now in the Dordogne region

M.L. Longworth - Antoine Verlaque, magistrate Aix-en-Provence

Adrian Magson - Inspector Lucas Rocco, 1960's Picardie France

Peter May - Enzo MacLeod series, Scottish forensic scientist, Toulouse, France         

Georges Simenon - Maigret series, police detective, Paris, France---220 mysteries

Peter Steiner- Louis Morgan and Jean Renard, retired CIA agent and village cop in south of France

Fred Vargas - Det. Commissaire Jean-Baptise Adamsberg series, Paris, France

Martin Walker - Bruno Courreges, chief of police, south of France

Michelle Wan - Mara Dunn series, sleuth, Dordogne


Pieter Aspe - Inspector Pieter Van, Bruge Belgium

Germany & Austria

Jakob Arjouni - Turkish-German PI Kemal Kayankaya

Rebecca Cantrell - Hannah Vogel, journalist in pre-war Berlin

David Downing - John Russell, Anglo-American journalist in pre-war Berlin

Philip Kerr - Bernie Gunther, PI in pre and post-war Germany

Jonathan Rabb - Nicolai Hoffner, police detective, pre-war Berlin

Nele Neuhaus - Pia Kirchhoff & Oliver von Bodenstein series, German police inspectors

Morley Torgov - Herman Preiss, police inspector 1868 Munich

Wolf Haas - Simon Brenner, ex-cop, Vienna Austria

Oliver Potzsch - Jakob Kuisly, town hangman and his daughter Magdalena, 16th century Bavaria

Scandinavian excursion

Jussi Adler-Olsen - Inspector Carl Mork, cold case squad, Copenhagen, Denmark

Karin Alvtegen - standalone crime novels, Sweden

Blaedel, Sara - Louise Rick, Detective Inspector Copenhagen, Denmark

K.O. Dahl - Frank Froelich, detective inspector Oslo, Norway

Ake Edwardson - Erik Winter series, chief inspector, Gotesborg, Sweden

Kjell Eriksson - Ann Lindell series, Police inspector, Libro, Sweden

Karin Fossum - Konrad Sejer series, police inspector, Norway

Anne Holt - Hanne Wilhelmsen series, police detective Oslo, Norway

Anne Holt - Joanna Vik and Adam Stubo series, former FBI profiler and police chief, Oslo Norway

Matti Joensuu - Timo Harjunpaa, detective sergeant, Helsinki, Finland

Lene Kaaberbol - Nina Borg, nurse, Copenhagen Denmark

Mons Kallentoft - Malin Fors, policewoman, Fjallbacka, Sweden

Lars Kepler - Detective Inspector Joona Linna, Tumba, Sweden

Camilla Lackberg - Patrik Hedstrom, detective, Fjallbacka, Sweden

Asa Larsson - Rebecka Martinsson series, tax attorney, Sweden

Stieg Larsson - hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikail Blomkvist, Stockholm, Sweden

Henning Mankell - Kurt Wallander series, police detective, Sweden and others

Liza Marklund - Annika Bengtzon, reporter, Sweden

Jo Nesbo - police inspector Harry Hole, Oslo, Norway

Hakan Nesser - Inspector Van Veeteren series, detective inspector, in a country much like Sweden

Kristina Ohlsson - Alex Recht, Swedish National Police, Stockholm, Sweden

Anders Roslund - crime novels set in Stockholm, Sweden

Yrsa Sigurdardottir - lawyer Thora Gudmundsdorrir, Reykjavik, Iceland

James Thompson - Kari Vaara, police inspector Finland

Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo - Martin Beck, police detective, Sweden

Helene Tursten - Inspector Irene Huss, Goteborg, Sweden

Jan Costin Wagner - Detective Kimmo Joenta, Turku, Finland

Other European destinations

Michael Genelin - Jana Martinova, police commander, Bratislava, Slovenia

Vilmos Kondor - mystery set in pre-war Budapest Hungary

Anne Zouroudi - Hermes Diaktoros, enigmatic detective, Athens, Greece

Jeffrey Siger - Andreas Kalidis, Chief Inspector, Greek National Police

Janwillem VandeWetering - Grijpstra and de Gier, Amsterdam cops

Asian Adventures

John Burdett - Sonchai Jitpleecheep, police detective Bangkok, Thailand

James Church -- Inspector O series, North Korean police detective

Colin Cotterill - Siri Paiboun, coroner in mid-seventies Laos

Colin Cotterill - Jimm Juree, crime reporter rural Thailand

Shamini Flint - Inspector Singh, Singapore

Timothy Hallinan -- Poke Rafferty series, expat American travel writer, Bangkok, Thailand

Keigo Higashino - Detective Galileo, Tokyo, Japan

Natsuo Kirino -- various standalone crime novels

Diane Wei Liang - PI Mei Wang, Beijing China

Martin Limon - George Sueno & Ernie Bascom, Army CID investigators, 1970s South Korea

Peter May - Li Yan and Margaret series, Chinese police detective and American forensic pathologist, Beijing, China

Sujata Massey - Rei Shimura series, Japanese American antiques dealer

Christopher G. Moore - American expat PI Vincent Calvino, Bangkok Thailand

I. J. Parker - Akitada Sugawara series, civil servant turned sleuth, feudal Japan

Eliot Pattison -- Shahn Tao Yun series, disgraced Chinese policeman in Tibet

David Rotenberg - Zhong Fan series, homicide detective, Shanghai, China

Lisa See - Liu Holan series, police detective, Beijing, China

Yu, Ovidia - Singapore restaurant owner Aunty Lee

Nuryi Vittachi - C.F. Wong, Feng Shui consultant, Singapore

Michael Walters - Inspector Nergui series, Serious Crimes Unit, Mongolia China

Qiu Xiaolong - Chen Cao series, Shanghai police inspector

Expedition to Egypt, the Middle East, Turkey and India

Esmahan Aykol - Kati Hirschel, mystery bookstore owner, Istanbul, Turkey

Parker Bilal - Egyptian PI Makana

Paul Doherty - Amerotke series, Chief Judge of 18th Dynasty Egypt

Kishwar Desai - Simran Singh, social worker, Punjab India

Nick Drake - Rahotep, detecive dynastic Egypt

Zoe Ferraris - Katya Hijazi, medical examiner, Jidda Saudi Arabia

Batya Gur - Michael Ohayon, police detective Israel

Tarquin Hall - Indian PI Vish Puri

Joseph Kanon - standalones, settings include Germany, Venice and Istanbul

Barbara Nadel - inspector Cetik Ikmen, Istanbul, Turkey

Michael Pearce - Gareth Owen series, Mamur Zapt in 1905 Cairo Egypt--WWI

Elizabeth Peters - Amelia Peabody series, Edwardian archaeologist, Egypt

Mary Reed - John the Eunuch series, Lord Chamberlain to Justinian 6th Cent Constantinople

Matt Beynon Rees - Omar Yuseff, schoolteacher Bethlehem, West Bank

Mehmet Murat Somer - drag queen sleuth, Istanbul, Turkey

Paul Sussman -Yusuf Khalifa series, Inspector, Luxor, Egypt

Jenny White - Kamil Pasha, magistrate in 19th century Istanbul, Turkey

African adventure

Suzanne Arruda - Jade del Cameron, photojournalist 1920's East Africa

Nick Brownlee - Jake and Jouma, retired Scotland Yard detective and poiice detective, Mombasa, Kenya

Nina Darnton - standalone set in Nigeria

Adimchinma Ibe - Nigerian detective Peterside

Jassy Mackenzie - PI Jade DeJong, Johannesburg, South Africa

James McClure - Kramer and Zondi series, a white detective and his Bantu sergeant in apartheid South Africa

Deon Meyer - several standalone crime novels set in South Africa

Tamar Myers - missionary Amanda Brown, 1950's Belgian Congo

Malla Nunn - 1950's South African cop Emmanual Cooper

Kwei Quartey - Inspector Darko Dawson, Ghana

Alexander McCall Smith - well known for his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series

Roger Smith - standalone crime novels set in Capetown, South Africa

Michael Stanley - David "Kubu" Bengu, assistakient superintendent, Botswana

Robert Wilson - Robert Medway, fixer, East Africa

Explore Russia

Boris Akunin - Sister Pelagia series, Russian Orthodox nun, czarist Russia

Boris Akunin - Erast Fandorin series, suave, young policeman in Tsarist Russia

Sam Eastland - Inspector Pekkala, czarist-era cop in 1930's Stalinist Russia

Brent Ghelfi - Alexei Volkovoy series, Russian undercover agent

Andrey Kurkov - aspiring writer Viktor Zolotaryov and his penguin Misha, Kiev, Russia

R. N. Morris - Porfiry Petrovich, Czarist-era policeman

William Ryan - Alexeii Korolev, policeman in Stalin-era Moscow

Martin Cruz Smith - Arkady Renko series, police detective, Moscow, Russia

Spanish Sojourn

P.J. Brooke - Max Romero, inspector, Granada, Spain

Arturo Perez-Reverte - Diego Alatriste series, swordsman, 17th century Spain

Rebecca Pawel - Carlos Tejada series, cop in the Guardia Civilia, civil war-era Spain

Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett - Petra Delicado series, police detective, Barcelona, Spain

Robert Wilson - Javier Falcon series, policeman, Seville, Spain

Manuel Vazquez Montalban - Pepe Carvalho, PI, Barcelona

South of the US Tour

Annamaria Alfieeri - two historical mysteries set in Paraguay and Bolivia

Peggy Blair - Inspector Ricardo Ramirez of the Havana, Cuba major crimes unit

Lisa Brackmann - standalone set in Mexico

Hilary Davidson - travel writer Lily Moore, 2nd book set in Peru

Joan Druett - Wiki Coffin series, Pacific Islander linguist, 1838 Exploring Expedition

Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza - Inspector Espinosa series, police detective, Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Leighton Gage - Mario Silva series, Chief Inspector, Federal Police, Brazil

The Book of Murder,standalone by international bestseller Guillermo Martinez

Leonardo Padura - Mario Conde series, police lieutenant, Havana, Cuba

Steven Torres - Luis Gonzalo, sheriff of Angustias, Puerto Rico,

Voyage Down Under

Peter Corris - Cliff Hardy series, Australian PI

Garry Disher - Hal Challis series, Detective inspector, Melbourne Australia

Garry Disher - bank robber Wyatt

Kerry Greenwood - Phryne Fisher series, '20 sleuth, Australia

Kerry Greenwood - Corinna Chapman series, bakery owner, Melbourne, Australia

Adrian Hyland - Emily Tempest series, half-Aboriginal tribal police officer

Peter Temple - Melbourne homicide cop Joe Cashin

Irish Odyssey

Benjamin Black - Quirke series, pathologist, Dublin, Ireland in the '50s

Ken Bruen - Jack Taylor series, ex-cop, Galway Ireland

Tana French - Cassie Maddox series, police detective, Dublin Ireland plus other standalones

Cora Harrison - Mara the judge, 16th century Ireland

Declan Hughes - Edward Loy series, PI, Dublin Ireland

Brian McGilloway - Bededict Devlin series, Garda Inspector, Ireland

Adrian McKinty - Michael Forsythe series, Irish mercenary

Stuart Neville - several interconnected books set in Northern Ireland

Gerard O'Donovan - Mike Mulcahey, det. insp., Dublin Ireland

Ian Sansom - Israel Armstrong series, bookmobile librarian

Peter Tremayne - Sister Fidelma series, 7th Century Irish Nun, Ireland

Enter the country into the search box and click. Our website can provide a search based upon character name, setting author or title.

Once you receive the list for your search, just click on “series” and the chronology so important to mystery readers will soon appear.

Bon Voyage!


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