3. My favourite series
I narrowed it down to three, which was already like a knife through the heart. What do you want, blood?
- My lovely Sherlock Holmes omnibus. Doyle created the stories for serialisation so I think that's legit, although of course they can all be read as stand-alones. I love the short, slightly dumb ones as much as the multi-chapter stories; Holmes shows more personality in the former, and the latter let Doyle stretch his narrative legs, such as they are. People talk about his authorial shortcomings but they're usually the same people frantically writing Holmes slash at three in the morning, muttering yeah deduce the pants off that round arse, so whatever.
- Instituitionalised racism notwithstanding, I've always got time for Miss Marple. I don't know if she was the origin point of the cozy mystery category, but she will always be a comfort read for me. Something about her self-possession and studied flatness always calmed me as a young reader; and as an adult I admire how absorbing Christie made her.
- The Lake Woebegon books, by Garrison Keillor. It probably needs a bit of squinting to shelve it as a series, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you haven't really been to Lake Woebegon if you haven't read all the books. Also, your interpretive dance would be affected; what kind of missionary are you, anyway?