Every once in a while, I just have to watch a good police show. You know what I mean — those procedural dramas where the personal lives of the characters take a backseat to the murder of the week. Sure, you might get hints at their love lives or pine for them to finally hook-up (or end up) with that one coworker, but for the most part these shows are all about the criminal element.

I can’t wait for three of my favorites to come back on the air in September. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Law & Order: SVU, and Castle. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the brainchild of Andy Samberg, who plays the hilariously excitable cop Jake Peralta. It took me a little while to warm up to the procedural comedy, which blends quirky characters, weekly mysteries and tongue-in-cheek police work. But once I fell, I fell hard. Now I’m dying to know if Jake and uptight detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) will actually couple up, and just who will replace the endlessly dry Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) as captain of the precinct.

I’ve loved Law & Order SVU for years and years and years. This show has been on forever, it’s starting its 17th season on September 23. Seventeenth! Just think of all the fictional rapists and murderers they’ve put away in almost two decades. But unlike other Law & Order spinoffs (or even the original!), SVU has nailed the perfect formula: creepy crimes, awesome detectives and ripped-from-the-headlines cases that are both horrifying and fascinating. Who knows what this season will bring, though I would bet my money on more sex crimes and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) generally kicking ass.

Let me be clear: I would watch Nathan Fillion read the phonebook. Thankfully, his crime show, Castle, is a touch more interesting, though he does bring the patented Fillion charm to his role as Richard Castle, a mystery novelist who helps solve crimes. It took years for him to finally get together with his detective partner, Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), but now the two are enjoying wedded bliss while they put away NYC criminals. The show is returning for its eighth season, bringing more of its charming humor and inventive murders to our screens.

Since September still seems so far away, here are three books to tide us all over while we wait for our favorite crime shows to return:


51U2UOEgIVL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_If You’re Jonesin’ on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, try:

Is Fat Bob Dead Yet?: A Novel, by Stephen Dobyns (Blue Rider Press, September 1)

Jake Peralta would definitely approve of this funny, quick crime novel by veteran author Dobyns, out September 1. It tells the story of Connor, who gets caught up with a small-town con operation when he sees a horrifying motorcycle accident, only it may or may not actually be an accident. And Fat Bob, a missing biker, may or may not actually be dead. From there, Connor deals with combative cops, a homeless man named Fidget, and even more mobsters. Fans of Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be instantly drawn to the novel’s quick wit, snappy language and strange cast of characters.


If You’re Jonesin’ on Law & Order: SVU, try:51Qghc5XadL

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, by Soji Shimada (Pushkin Vertigo, September 15)

Honestly? It’s the creepy sex crimes that often steal the show on SVU. To get a literary influx of that same voyeuristic fascination, try The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, out in the U.S. on September 15. Detective Kiyoshi Mitarai has one week to solve the 40-year-old mystery of who murdered an artist, raped and killed his daughter, and chopped up six other bodies to create a ‘supreme woman.’ Doesn’t that sounds like a case worth of SVU? Author Shimada blends maps, charts, illustrations, challenging the reader to solve the murder even before the detectives can.


cover_girl_waits_with_gun_amy_stewartIf You’re Jonesin’ on Castle, try:

Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, September 1)

One of my favorite parts of Castle is the tough detective Kate Beckett. Girls Waits With Gun, out on September 1, is a novelized account of Constance Kopp, one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs. Set in 1914, the story revolves around a wealthy factory owner who runs down the buggy of Constance’s poor farming family. Not only does he refuse to pay damages, he uses his money to bully, harass, and threaten their farm. Constance sets out to help the local sheriff with the crime, finally acknowledging her past, her future and what she really wants out of life.