Happy Dance - A Series to get Excited About

Our guest blogger is Sola, who is an avid reader and a library school student through the University of Washington. She is interning in the Central Branch Popular Library until the beginning of June.

I'm a sucker for a series where the characters start to feel like family members. That discovery that I can be reunited with someone I've come to appreciate (dare I say cherish?) by just reading another book is almost enough to make me do the happy dance. Usually this results in me devouring the books one after another, and then moping around until I find a new book I like, or the next one in the series gets published. If the series is something that my husband enjoys and we can chat about? Well, so much the better. A few years back, shortly after my twins were born, I stumbled on Craig Johnson's The Cold Dish. Being sleep deprived usually means that I'll forgo reading for a little shut-eye, but Sheriff Walt Longmire, of Absaroka County, Wyoming, jumped off the page and into my life, and I found myself unable, during those rare, quiet moments, to put the book down. Walt is one of those characters who is not immediately likable, and in fact, I don't really know that many mildly depressed, middle-aged, widowed, almost-alcoholic lawmen. Those questionable features were balanced out by the fact that he's also sweet, sincere, well-read, and is totally lost around women. Once I added in his friends, including a Native American named Henry Standing Bear, the former sheriff Lucian, and Walt's current deputy, the ever full-of-attitude Victoria Moretti, the scales definitely came down on the side of wanting to keep these people in my life. Walt would rather hang out in his partially built cabin, drink rainier, and obsess about a rape case that ended with suspended sentences for the four young men who were convicted, when one of those young men is found shot. Walt's sense of justice is strong enough to start looking into it, and determine that it wasn't, in fact, a hunting accident, when the second of the four is murdered in the same way, and it's clear that someone is out for revenge (a cold dish indeed). With a solid mystery, characters I found myself caring about, and a setting that I was starting to feel like I'd visited even though I've never been there, I powered through The Cold Dish.

And, in fact, I did do the happy dance when I found out it is was the first in a series of books with Sheriff Longmire. I'm up to speed at this point, but I'm always on the lookout for the next book by Craig Johnson. In the meantime, I'm hunting for a new book (or series) that I can fall in love with to fill the gap. Any suggestions?