- The Dresden Files - This one is pretty obvious - I talk about it a lot. The truth is, the Dresden Files solidified a really vague concept in my mind by showing me what a good magic PI story looked like. While I didn't end up doing a magic PI story, that was the original idea, and I left a lot of the elements of that style in the series.
- Stephanie Plum series - This may seem a bit out of place, but having a woman main character in a mystery/thriller series was a bit of a new thing when I was developing my concept (around 15 years ago). The first book of this series, especially, showed me a woman who didn't need to be the romantic interest to carry the story.
- The Rowan Gant Investigations - MR Sellars did a spectacular job bringing in Pagan beliefs and magical realism for his paranormal PI series. The story arcs with the individual books, as well as the series arc, were so well done, I couldn't help but learn a bunch about plotting by looking closely at this series.
- The "Dark" Carpathian series by Christine Feehan - Speaking of plotting, nothing has shown me the power of plotting series arcs like this series. It's a paranormal romance series with over 30 books, and the overall series plot is still rolling strong. Looking at how the hints in the beginning build into full plots in later books is a thing of authorial beauty. I've picked up a lot from reading this series, and I recommend it for a good series arc example.
Those are my selections for series that have inspired me. I will be posting more, focusing on individual books, and things that inspired other of my works.