Thursday, 1 August 2013

100 must read crime novels

On Saturday 29 June I finished the Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide of 100 Must Read Crime Novels. I got this as a birthday present, along with equivalent volumes on SF and Fantasy. It was well put together, with many 'if you like this one, try these' points, and worth reading - although I had picked up the actual bare list somewhere already online. It was particularly helpful to focus the mind on what kind of books I really amn't interested in, however well-recommended they are (and even if they're on lists I have of books I should read...) - modern American (broadly), anything that focuses on the gruesome and 'getting into the mind of the killer' (why?), ones that are more about the detector's personal life - and what kind of things I am, including police procedurals and puzzles. I like the cosy old school where a murder is only something to set in train a plot, not a realistic and awful event. I never try to work out who's done it as I go along, but I like a good satisfying resolution. One of the appeals of crime fiction for many, including me, is that sense of resolution, order out of disorder, and justice being done. As opposed to real life, where the solution to, and motivation for, most murders is depressingly simple, but where also all too often the murder is not caught or convicted.