Mark, I'm like you in wanting to read authors in order. Must be a Mark thing. As far as Bruen goes, I started with his first official crime novel, Rilke on Black and I've been reading him mostly in order ever since, taking into account the separate release dates on different sides of the Atlantic, not to mention books that have only been released on one side or the other. As far as the standalones go, I really don't see a reason to read them in order. And one of the more recent standalones, Finding Baudelaire, was actually written before any of the already published ones. I've throughly enjoyed the standalones, especially The Hackman Blues, a favorite of mine. I agree if you, the HCC collaborations are lite far, very unlikely, but fun quick reads if you dont' think too much about them.
As for Brandt, they must definitely be read in order, and I'd advise reading the entire first trilogy, handily published together as The White Trilogy, as one book. I didn't think there was much to the first two when I read them as they came out, with time in between, but when I reread them in prep for the third, I saw how they fit together. Separately, they're kind of thin (short books with lots of white space due to the high percentage of dialogue), but together they're far more than the sum of their parts. After that foundation, I've enjoyed each of the successive books in the series. And don't miss Brandt's visit with Jack Taylor (although he does it under a different name, as the two series have different publishers).
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