As I’ve said before, I go through periods where I can’t get enough of one genre or another. For a time, crime and detection stories were my genres of choice. My passage through theses genres went something like this: Fantasy-Steampunk-Victorian Literature-Victorian Detection-Detection-Murder-Scandinavian Crime. I know that’s a funny old way of doing things but that’s how my mind works.
Anyhow, the result of said ramblings through murder were not just to make me the world’s greatest detective, but to have a much more varied outlook on the books I read. The most pertinent example would be the Scandinavian authors and my absolute love of the barren way they often write. Again, so different to anyone else and utterly enthralling. So, that’s where I’ll start. As always, I own every one of these books and my opinions are my own.
Unseen/ Mari Jungstedt
I loved the way Mari created an unmistakably Scandinavian ambience to this series, you could feel the chill, the cold sea, everything. Brilliant.
Italian Shoes / Henning Mankell
I took a bit of a liberty placing this book in this category but not too much. It’s a hard one to describe, but my lasting memory was of the anthill that slowly grew in the protagonist’s shack. You don’t see that every day.
The Death of a Red Heroine
In the same way the above authors evoked Scandinavia, Qui Xiaolong does the same with modern day China. This book oozes The Orient from the food upwards. A great read.
Blood On The Mink / Robert Silverberg
Allegedly, Silverberg couldn’t even remember writing this. I was greatly cheered to read that salient detail as I’m always doing the same.
Die A Little / Megan Abbott
If ever a book could be described as Film Noir, then this it. I enjoyed Die A Little an awful lot and read several more of Abbott’s stories because of it.
The Bone Garden / Tess Gerritsen
This is a time hopping story that was constructed in a very easy to read manner. I enjoyed this a lot. The other good thing about Tess’s books was that when I resigned from work to write full time, you could always buy them on three for one. (Every penny counts.)
A Death in Tuscany / Michele Giuttari
It was set in Tuscany. I love Tuscany. ‘Nuff said.
Sexton Blake, Detective / Various
Born of the Penny Dreadfuls, Sexton Blake was a varied read that I felt encapsulated the period perfectly. A nice alternative to Sherlock Holmes and Denis Nayland Smith, (as you know, I hate reading the same as everyone else).
The Affair of the Mutilated Mink / James Anderson
If you like your British murders to be old school with a touch of whimsy in their detection, read these.
The Eiger Sanction / Trevanian
Not only has this book got Switzerland as its main setting, the Eiger (my favourite mountain) and a movie version of it starring Clint Eastwood, but it’s a great read, too. What more could you want to round off a list.
I hope you enjoyed the choices. If you want another list doing just shout out in the comments.
Thank you for reading
Richard M. Ankers, author of The Eternals trilogy.