When I set out on Kerrie’s Crime Fiction Alphabet I promised myself two things.
The first was that I would read nothing just for the sake of filling a slot, that I would only read books that I would have picked up sooner or later anyway.
I’ve managed that, though I did have to bend the rules a little for the difficult letter X and I had to throw in an emergency short story when the book I’d picked for letter Y let me down.
The second was that I would mix things up, and choose some familiar and some less familiar books.
And so my list is made up of:
- Persephone books for H and X, and a classic short story by a Persephone author for G.
- A Virago Modern Classic, and a winner of the CWA Gold Dagger to boot, for K.
- A wonderful anthology of new writers at W.
- Victorian crime for S and Victoriana for U. I would have liked to read more of both, but I ran out of time and letters.
- Crime fiction in translation at L and V.
- A Cornish book, set in very familiar countryside, at B.
- Agatha Christie re-reads at A and F. A for Agatha seemed to be the perfect place to start, and once I had re-read one book a number of others called me.
- Neglected woman authors, who were published in numbered green Penguins, at E, M, P and R. If I have learned one thing through the alphabet, it is always to look carefully at green Penguins as there are some real gems there.
- Male authors from the middle of the last century, who aren’t as lauded as some but really should be, at I, N and Q.
- A lovely range of contemporary crime fiction at C, D, J, O, T and Z.
- And that excellent, emergency short story at Y.
Mission accomplished, I think!
Here’s the A to Z in full.
|A is for Agatha||The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie|
|B is for Bolitho||Framed in Cornwall by Janie Bolitho|
|C is for Crombie||Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie|
|D is for Darkside||Darkside by Belinda Bauer|
|E is for Ethel||The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White|
|F is for Five||Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie|
|G is for Glaspell||A Jury of her Peers by Susan Glaspell (short story)|
|H is for Holding||The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding|
|I is for Innes||Death at the President’s Lodging by Michael Innes|
|J is for Jane||The Burning by Jane Casey|
|K is for Kelly||The Spoilt Kill by Mary Kelly|
|L is for Läckberg||
The Stone-Cutter by Camilla Läckberg
|M is for Mary||Death and the Pleasant Voices by Mary Fitt|
|N is for Not||Not to be Taken by Anthony Berkley|
|O is for Other||The Other Half Lives by Sophie Hannah|
|P is for Potts||The Man with the Cane by Jean Potts|
|Q is for Question||A Question of Proof by Nicholas Blake|
|R is for Roth||Shadow of a Lady by Holly Roth|
|S is for Study||A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan-Doyle|
|T is for Tyler||The Herring in the Library (and others) by L C Tyler|
|U is for Unburied||The Unburied by Charles Palliser|
|V is for Van der Vlugt||Shadow Sister by Simone Van Der Vlugt|
|W is for Written||Written in Blood: a Honno Anthology|
|X is for Expendable||The Expendable Man by Dorothy B Hughes|
|Y is for You||You are a Gongedip by Sophie Hannah (short story)|
|Z is for Zouradi||The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi|
And that really is the end of the alphabet.
So where does my crime fiction reading go now? Well, I have The Quarry by Johan Theorin, A Herring on the Nile by LC Tyler, Now You See Me by S J Bolton, and two books by Erin Kelly in my library pile. My own green Penguins and my Agatha Christie collection are calling too, Plus those authors I discovered, and rediscovered, along the way and want to read again. And recommendations I picked up from others along the way ….
No end of possibilities …