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Author Topic: Addicted to murder
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 08 December 2005 10:42 AM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The secret indulgence of a lit lover at www.rabble.ca/reviews — and some mighty mysterious recommendations too

So, time to admit it, who else is addicted to the murder mystery? Let's see a show of hands.


From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rundler
editor
Babbler # 2699

posted 09 December 2005 12:56 PM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No one willing to admit their addiction, hey? Interesting...
From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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posted 09 December 2005 01:16 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'll admit to being addicted to Travis McGee. They're not exactly murder mysteries but there were a fair number of murders in the series. And often a certain amount of mystery.
From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
alisea
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posted 09 December 2005 01:24 PM      Profile for alisea     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm usually too busy reading mysteries to take the time to admit to being an addict. But I can stop anytime, sure, just let me check if there's a new Rendell or Rankin or Hill coming out, one second ...

(And for all his sexism John D. MacDonald did some fabulous pulp writing, and was sounding the horn about corruption and environmental degradation in Florida long before it was on most people's radar ...)


From: Halifax, Nova Scotia | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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Babbler # 6477

posted 09 December 2005 01:33 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm addicted; lately it's been more historical mysteries: Lindsey Davis, Ellis Peters, John Maddox Roberts, etc. and people writing about specific regions: James Lee Burke, Sharyn McCrumb, Howard Engel. I like humour and miss Charlotte MacLeod; but at least Elizabeth Peters is still writing. And Joan Hess and Jane Haddam. And...
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 09 December 2005 01:48 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Daurio says that she goes on and off her mystery reading, and that's me too. I fear that I've been off lately - I do my best immersions when I can get at my sister's basement bookshelves on Christmas visits, and that isn't in the cards this year, I fear. But she's got everything, the great stuff, the trash, and everything in between.

I remember being quite excited when Peter Robinson started to publish. He lives in Toronto but sets his Alan Banks mysteries in Yorkshire, where he was born and which I also know a little. He is a superb writer, and he will usually sneak a little Toronto scene into the Banks novels. Banks himself, like P.D. James's Dalgleish and even Le Carre's Smiley, is charming partly because of his aging melancholy.

Ian Rankin has been my favourite for years, though. Well, c'mon: since Conan Doyle, the Scots have always done death and detection best. The amazing thing about Rankin is that he sets the Rebus novels in Edinburgh, which is such a small and civil city on the surface, and yet Rebus seems to be staggering into grisly murders and mob violence and international conspiracies several times a day. Seriously, there is a hidden Edinburgh, or there are hidden Edinburghs, and Rankin summons them up powerfully - I so wish his publishers would put maps in his novels. (It never hurts a good book to have a map or a family tree.)

I like Rebus, again, because he is gritty and fallible and human (often graphically hung over). And Rankin is a poet.

So many great mystery writers have been. Agatha Christie, alas, was a gawdawful writer, and Dorothy Sayers was fairly heavy-footed on the page as well (better plots and characters though). Anyone interested in going back to the British lady puzzle-writers would be better advised to read Margery Allingham, creator of the Campion series - lovely writer.


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clersal
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posted 09 December 2005 09:02 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Sharyn mcCrumb, Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth George, Patricia Cornwell, PD James, Michael Connely, Kathy Reich, Reginald Hill............Yes Peter Robinson.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: clersal ]


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Diane Demorney
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posted 09 December 2005 09:27 PM      Profile for Diane Demorney   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by clersal:
Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Sharyn mcCrumb, Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth George, Patricia Cornwell, PD James, Michael Connely, Kathy Reich, Reginald Hill............Yes Peter Robinson.

[ 09 December 2005: Message edited by: clersal ]



Agree completely except for Patricia Cornwell. Her books are (to me) annoying. And you forgot Martha Grimes! I have a fantasy crush on Melrose Plant. ::::sigh::::

From: Calgary | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
faith
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posted 09 December 2005 09:48 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I adore Ian Rankin, and many of the others already mentioned.
I would add Minnette Walters to that list although perhaps her books are more social commentary than mystery, but as there is usually a murder to start them off I think they qualify.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 09 December 2005 10:04 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Several writers are good, but somehow I've stopped reading them: Martha Grimes, Tony Hillerman, and Anne Perry, who has written tons of books. Just got satiated I guess.

I've been enjoying Barbara Hambly's fantasy for years, but more recently she started writing mysteries set in New Orleans in the 1830's and they are excellent.


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 09 December 2005 11:28 PM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
And you forgot Martha Grimes! I have a fantasy crush on Melrose Plant. ::::sigh::::
Agreed. I left out a lot of writers.

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Tommy Shanks
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posted 10 December 2005 11:59 AM      Profile for Tommy Shanks     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wow, I don't feel so bad about owning every Ian Rankin book published.

Other authors I love who use murders as the basis for their work (although maybe not technically mystery writers) are James Ellroy, Jim Thompson, Dashiell Hammett, Ross MacDonald, and Walter Mosely. And I love just about everything by Patricia Highsmith.


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skdadl
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posted 10 December 2005 12:30 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ross Macdonald (Kenneth Millar - Canajun, too) is another of the poets. He took over from Hammett and Chandler and raised them a notch. Lovely man.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rundler
editor
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posted 12 December 2005 09:45 AM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Whoa! I'm impressed! I think I need to adopt a new addiction. It seems somehow more pure -- it's reading, after all -- than the TV equivalent: Law and Order franchise, CSI franchise, all the copycat shows, etc. But it's Medium I'd actually rush home for. There, I've joined the confessions, which seems only right after imploring the rest of you to do so.

[edited for typos -- it's Monday morning!]

[ 12 December 2005: Message edited by: Rundler ]


From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Melsky
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posted 12 December 2005 12:03 PM      Profile for Melsky   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have read mysteries frequently, as did many in my family. Mostly series mysteries, just for amusement. Then all of the sudden they started to bother me because they were so unrealistic. They also seem to fetishize death in a way, or just pull it out for our amusement. I can't read true crime anymore either. It disturbs me now in a way it didn't used to and there's been no event that triggered it.

I switched to science fiction instead, because I can believe giant sandworms and stuff like that a lot easier than I can believe most mysteries. Even though there are more deaths it seems to be part of the story, not the main event.

I'll still read some mysteries, like anything by Tony Hillerman. They just don't fill up the bulk of my reading anymore.


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Contrarian
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posted 12 December 2005 12:29 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't read them so much for the mystery as for the story and the person telling the story. Many of them are written in the first person, and the narrators are charming characters.
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Catchfire
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posted 12 December 2005 02:52 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Generally, I love the Scots. At great risk to myself, however, I challenge their mastery of the mystery novel. No one does it like the yanks. Raymond Chandler (The master!) and Dashiell Hammett of course. But add: In a Lonely Place by Dorothy Hughes, The fabulous Ripley books of Patricia Highsmith, The amazing Harlem duo of Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones in Chester Himes's incredible novels, specifically Blind Man with a Pistol, Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me and some postmodern takes on the crime novel like American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and most of Paul Auster's books.

Hmm. I may have unwittingly revealed myself as an enthusiast. I regret nothing.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
cookie
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posted 12 December 2005 11:20 PM      Profile for cookie        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I remember using my allowance to buy Nancy Drew books at Bi-Way. By 10, I was reading Agatha Christie. If I discover an author I read all of their books at once. Also, I find I read subgenres as well. So, my current favorites are: Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, Jonathan Kellerman (I read Faye's books as a counterbalance to his disturbing stories), Ian Rankin, Josh Lanyon, Reginald Hill.

Until Josh Lanyon, my favorite gay mystery authors are Michael Nava and Joseph Hanson. Valerie Wilson Wesley is my favourite black female author.

Other favourite female authors: Sparkle Hayter, Lauren Henderson, Liz Evans

Ross Macdonald, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett are great as eye-openers to the era that they lived in (especially the slang).

Other good authors: Chester Himes, Walter Mosley, Jon Cleary (Australian)

I highly recommend the first Ed McBain book. You don't realize until you read it how it influenced every cop show you see now.

I forgot to mention: Anthony Bidulka - his stories take place in Saskatchewan.

[ 12 December 2005: Message edited by: cookie ]

[ 12 December 2005: Message edited by: cookie ]


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Banjo
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posted 12 December 2005 11:54 PM      Profile for Banjo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Elmore Leonard, Lawrence Block, James Lee Burke, Donald Westlake, Tony Hillerman, James Ellroy, are the contemporary authors I read that I can think of.

I don't read much for the puzzle or mystery of it. I think they're good for their depiction of character and setting.

Any fiction writing course will give the advice to "raise the stakes," ie, make the characters have the most to lose to add interest to the story. In mysteries, the characters have the highest stakes of all, usually their lives.

I don't know why I read only these semi-hard boiled Americans. Usually I prefer British and European movies and TV. Well nobody's perfect.


From: progress not perfection in Toronto | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 13 December 2005 02:25 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Haven't read much trashy mystery; too busy reading trashy SF and fantasy.
But I read Chandler, just because my F and SF kept making references. I quite liked it.
And I read a fair amount of Sherlock Holmes, again because there's so much around in the culture that it seems almost mandatory to go to the source at some point. Plus, I loved the series with Jeremy Brett. I liked them too.
And there was this odd couple of books about this lady egyptologist and her husband, which a relative lent me and was lots of fun.

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tallyho
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posted 13 December 2005 02:43 PM      Profile for tallyho        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
i usually read a mystery or so a week.

Just a note if you like mysteries. Not to take away from reading but our Calgary local branch libraries carry lots of CDs... mostly regular movies but also all those British mystery series from PBS and A&E.....Cadfael, Lord Perer Whimsey, the Poirots, Prime Suspect, Morse, etc. must be at least a couple hundred and each one a gem in itself. They may be at your local library.

I'm currently reading 'Death Benefit' by Philip Harper. It's 'ok' but the characters are a bit formula. It involves the insurance industry which doesn't sound exciting but I've actually learned a lot about inside machinations that can go on .

Edit to read 'DVDs'. I'm from the 8-track generation.

[ 13 December 2005: Message edited by: tallyho ]


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