Déjà Dead (and Subsequent Books in the Series)
The book: Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs (No. 1 in the Temperance Brennan series)
The hook: This is the first in an ongoing series of books (No. 17 just came out this year) starring forensic anthropologist Temperance "Bones" Brennan as she solves murders alongside a cop love interest mostly in either Montreal, Canada, or Charlotte,NC. It also inspired the TV show Bones, although the characters and plots differ.
Fear factor: There are always some nail-biting scenes in which Temperance's life is in danger or she's trying to save someone in the nick of time, but it's more thrilling than scary.