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General mystery discussion

Discussion in 'General mystery discussion' started by Maine Colonial, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's have at it!
     
  2. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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  3. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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  4. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Nice link. Has anyone here read Benjamin Black or Stuart Neville?

    Banville/Black's books, are well written and just wonderfully lyrical. http://www.benjaminblackbooks.com/

    Neville's The Ghosts of Belfast was excellent, with the following sequels not quite as excellent, imo, but still good. http://www.stuartneville.com/
     
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  5. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    I read Neville's Ratlines, but not Ghosts of Belfast. I enjoyed it. I'm not sure why I've never gotten into Benjamin Black. I do want to read The Black-Eyed Blonde.

    janebbooks is a fiend for Irish crime fiction. I hope she'll be along to talk about it.
     
  6. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    The Black-Eyed Blonde is great. He really stays true to Marlowe. :)

    I liked The Ghosts of Belfast more than Ratlines. The main character was so well done.
     
  7. Maine Colonial

    Maine Colonial Moderator Staff Member

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    That's great to hear about The Black-Eyed Blonde. Reads to Sleep is the one who's craziest about noir and I know she's planning to read that one.

    (Hmm, I think I was probably supposed to say "hard-boiled," not "noir" in this case.)
     
  8. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm no expert, but to my eye, BEB fits more into hard boiled. /shrugs/ Six to a half dozen of the other. :)
     
  9. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    Oooo, really looking forward to watching Black channel Chandler in The Black-Eyed Blonde. I'm very relieved to hear you liked it, pontalba. I was afraid to get my hopes up much, although I like Banville/Black.

    I liked Neville's The Ghosts of Belfast, but I haven't read Ratlines.

    I'm loving Donal Ryan's The Spinning Heart, a book narrated by many different characters, about the economic tragedy that overtakes an Irish village.

    What did you think of Maine's link, Jane?
     
  10. janebbooks

    janebbooks Member

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    Ah, Pontalba.. another gal who reads Ben Black and Stu Neville.
    How about Alan Glynn and Adrian McKinty?

    I'm currently reading Bingham's debut Fi Griffiths novel....recommended by Maine. But I have definite plans for my favorite Irish writers: #l read Glynn's GRAVELAND...a very Irish writer of international noir...this time about corruption on Wall Street....radical student politics...global recession (again)...two murders and a missing girl. #2 finish reading Tana French's BROKEN HARBOUR... #3 read Adrian McKinty's first Sean Duffy thriller THE COLD COLD GROUND...a "fearless trip into Northern Ireland of the 1980s: riots, hunger strikes, murders--yet...a very personal story of an ordinary cop trying to hunt down a serial killer..." and #4 read the last couple Quirke's by BBlack in hopes that we in USA will get the BBC film adaptions starring Gabriel Bryne sometime this year...
     
  11. janebbooks

    janebbooks Member

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    Jane...she of Irish crime/thrillers...will not be reading THE BLACK-EYED BLONDE.

    But there was, RTS...a very interesting book by Joseph Hone titled GOODBY AGAIN...in Maine's link. Art and mystery.
    This time Modigliani...maybe I can get Open Road to give me an arc....
     
  12. MrHill

    MrHill New Member

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    please members tell me what you consider the best murder mystery you have ever read. i would like to start with quality.
    I once tried cornwell but found her meandering and dull, am i mistaken, did i pick a bad one?
     
  13. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi MrHill, we're always happy to meet new crime fiction readers.

    Which Patricia Cornwell book did you start, do you remember? I read her first, Postmortem. Her books are not my thing, but there are as many opinions about what constitutes a good book as there are people, and she has a lot of fans.

    If you look farther down at the list of threads in this subforum, you'll see What is your all time favourite Crime, Mystery or Thriller? There are many different answers there.

    If you tell us more about the kind of books you like, we'll help you find something. Do you want a book that is fast-paced; slower-paced and character-driven; very suspenseful; one that features a private eye, a criminal protagonist, or the cops; set in a small town, big city, the US or a foreign country; something bleak like noir or black comedy; etc.

    Right now, I'll give you a few to think about. Given that you found Cornwell meandering and dull:

    Joseph Wambaugh is a former LA cop, and his books are vivid and realistic. The Onion Field, based on a real-life 1963 crime and trial, details what happens when the paths of two young LAPD cops and two young robbers cross. You really get to know what makes these four characters tick.

    Lawrence Block writes a terrific series about an alcoholic ex-dirty cop turned unlicensed private eye, Matt Scudder. Part-way through the series, he sobers up and gains a license. In A Dance at the Slaughterhouse, a man hires Matt to prove his sister's TV-anchor husband killed her. This is a dark and twisted tale that delves into New York City's sex-trade underworld.

    Some writers are natural story tellers, and reading their books is just a pleasure. Walter Mosley is one of those writers. His Easy Rawlins series evokes their time and place. In the first series book, Devil in a Blue Dress, WW-II vet Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins has arrived in 1940s LA from Texas. He's wondering how to pay his bills when a guy says he'll pay him to find Daphne Monet, a missing blonde who likes black jazz clubs. The ninth series book, Little Scarlet, is set in the aftermath of the 1960s Watts riots. Easy is asked to help the cops find a red-haired woman's murderer.

    Frederick Forsyth's The Day of the Jackal pits a professional killer, hired to kill French President Charles de Gaulle, against the French cop who is tasked with stopping him. De Gaulle is a courageous and haughty leader who refuses to change his schedule or behavior in any way, and political in-fighting doesn't help the poor cop, either.

    Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, about an ex-military cop turned drifter, is well-written, violent and fun. It starts with Killing Floor, in which Jack is passing through Margrave, Georgia, when he is arrested for murder.

    If you like beautiful writing, a Louisiana bayous setting, an examination of the dark side of human nature, and watching a man struggle with his demons, James Lee Burke is the man for you. Now that I've told you the series is set in Louisiana, we hightail it to Montana with ex-New Orleans cop/now fish-and-tackle shop owner Dave Robicheaux in the third series book, Black Cherry Blues. Robicheaux is on the run from his recent personal losses, a pro killer, and a homicide rap.
     
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  14. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I can definitely second the James Lee Burke books, top notch! Excellent stories, and fantastically lyrical prose. His descriptions of the Gulf of Mexico, and Louisiana are superb.
    Agreed re Lawrence Block as well, you might want to try his Hit Man series, featuring John Keller. The guy has a great sense of humor.

    Anything by George Pelecanos. Hard hitting, well done police procedural stories that are deep as well.

    Oh, you might want to try Jo Nesbo, The Redbreast, police procedural featuring Detective Harry Hole.

    Or, Ken Follett's The Eye of the Needle...spy story set in World War II, to do with the invasion attempt by the Germans of England.
     
  15. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes! I really like these suggestions. Nesbø's Harry Hole books, set in Oslo, Norway, and Follett's The Eye of the Needle are top-notch.

    I like Lawrence Block's hit man, John Keller. Another excellent criminal protagonist is the cold-blooded thief, Parker. That series, written by Richard Stark (pseudonym for Donald E. Westlake) begins with The Hunter.

    George Pelecanos is great. One of the things I like about his hardboiled books is that he sets them in working-class Washington, DC, and they come alive with the clothes, music, food, current events, movies, and TV shows of their setting. In this way, they're a bit like Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books, set in Los Angeles. Connelly also pays a lot of attention to popular culture in his books.

    Which of Pelecanos's books have you really enjoyed, pontalba?
     
  16. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    I have 6 on the shelf, but have only read two of them so far. The Night Gardner and Hell to Pay. Not to mention enjoying his work on The Wire.

    I tried one of Stark/Westlake's books, not sure which one, it's been years. Maybe it was my mood, or just a bad combination but I didn't care for it.

    I'd almost forgotten about Bosch...I've read the first three. I only nicked onto him after Amazon Prime had their bit online.....the new TV, hopefully series, of theirs. I like what I've read.

    Also, I've read a few by William Lasher. The Barkeep, just out, and Veritas and The Accounting. He is an interesting author, perhaps a little slow moving, but interesting plots.
     
  17. MrHill

    MrHill New Member

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    ladies,
    thank you, your lists are exactly what I was looking for.
    I have read the hit man series, as I also collect stamps and had it recommended for that reason.
    so i'm going to start with a scudder.
    if any of you fancy a refreshing change, i'm currently reading harry harrison's eden series.
    it's a superb premise.
    dinosaurs did not die out and live alongside man
    i found a free download of it on a legitimate site.
     
  18. Reads to Sleep

    Reads to Sleep Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm happy that my library system has copies of these Eden books because they sound fascinating. Thanks for this suggestion, MrHill.

    What we discover about dinosaurs makes them odder all the time. Did you see the latest news (article here) about the "Chicken from Hell"? I still can't get over the University of Liverpool T. rex research. Using life-size models and computer analysis, researchers state that "the biting force of T. rex may have been able to deliver 12,800 pounds of force—almost 20 times more powerful than previously thought." They likened the force to what it would feel like if an elephant sat down on you. Yikes!
     
  19. janebbooks

    janebbooks Member

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    Maine....here's a better list of Irish crime fiction. Lovers of Eire and crime do not overlook Declan Hughes. He's a playwright...but several years ago wrote a series of books about native son Ed Loy P. I. who returns home to Dublin from America to bury his mother and stays around. See my review of his debut novel THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD.

    http://offtheshelf.com/2014/03/9-riveting-irish-crime-reads/
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  20. MaryJo Dawson

    MaryJo Dawson Member

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    that changes all the time!
    I thought I had read every Ngaio Marsh book there was, but think maybe Night at the Vulcan escaped me.... can't have that.

    My head is spinning, reading all of the information about successful books and authors in this gendre.
     

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