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What is your all time favourite Crime, Mystery or Thriller?

Discussion in 'General mystery discussion' started by ylris611203, May 1, 2008.

  1. ~Anne~

    ~Anne~ New Member

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    Hard to pick one favorite, but I love Patricia Highsmith and Dorothy Sayers. Strangers on a Train or The Talented Mr Ripley would be up there along with The Nine Tailors or Murder Must Advertise.
     
  2. Oscar_Jade

    Oscar_Jade kickbox

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    Currently Reading:
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    On Her Majesty's Secret Service, by Ian Fleming :cool: If the only James Bond you know is from the movies, you're missing out!
     
  3. Bluenote

    Bluenote Member

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    Montana and Texas , Billy Bob originally being from Texas , and the Dave Robicheaux series isn't set just in New Iberia but all over southern Louisiana and up and down the Bayou Teche' , 'ol Robicheaux being an ex N.O. detective , along with Clete , can't forget old Clete can we? Gotta like his style , he's a character that's a throwback to a Chandler novel.


    James Lee Burke is without a doubt one of the very best of the American mystery writers across the span of time , not just within the modern context.

    Another who pens a good yarn often set in southeast Louisiana is Tami Hoag.
     
  4. chiangmaifalcon

    chiangmaifalcon New Member

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    I also really like the Robicheaux novels and especially the Clete character. I have not read any of his newer ones though. My favorite private eye novels of all time are Lawrence Block novels about Matt Scudder. He is reformed alcoholic ex-cop who works with no PI license. Novels are in NYC and sometimes involve Irish mafia.
     
  5. Bluenote

    Bluenote Member

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    Ah yes Scudder , another character that's a throwback to the oldstyle Chandler type protagonist. And since Scudder knows every seedy gin mill in Manhattan you often wonder when he's going to fall off the wagon , some of the AA meetings he goes to would be enough to drive me to drink and I already don't drink.

    Block is highly under-rated as a writer , his work however will withstand the test of time in much the way McDonald ( both of 'em) Hammett , Chandler ,Spillane et al bodies of work did.
     
  6. chiangmaifalcon

    chiangmaifalcon New Member

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    Funny thing about Lawrence Block and seedy bar. He used to live in building right next to mine in manhattan, on west 57th street. We used to both go to bar called Polly's Cage. At this time in life I drank a lot and also worked as detective. Years later I read book by lawrence Block called 8 million Ways to Die. The plot was very much like an actual case I worked on. I was thinking in a drunken state maybe i told this story to Lawrence Block and did not remember it. I wrote to him and asked him this but never got answer. Then one day friend of mine who owned bookstore and knew this story told me Block was coming there for booksigning. Sp I showed up and asked him did I tell him story from book. He said no it was just coincidence, and signed a book for me. As by this time I myself was in AA, he signed it with AA slogan. This book was one of my prized possessions but 2 of my ex-girlfriends got together and got angry with me(they actually had good reason for this) and made a bonfire and burned all my stuff including the book. Sorry for this long story but you reminded me of this when you mentioned seedy bars in NY.
     
  7. Tai_Mai_Shu

    Tai_Mai_Shu New Member

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    Well I started reading James Lee Burke's Neon Rain and have to say it's interesting so far. He tends to go overboard with the cuss words and in particular this one he uses the N word quite a bit. I haven't finish it yet but when I finish this one then I will give another of his book of his a try and see what I think. I'm not crazy about him using racial slur of every ethnic backgrounds. I have to say right now I think Michael Connelly is still a genius in the mystery genre.
     
  8. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    I was introduced to James Lee Burke by a former member here, I love his Dave Robicheaux series. His prose is beautifully done, painterly in places. Then the rawness comes through again, such a mix.

    Tai_Mai_Shu, I haven't read them in a couple of years, and have only read the first 9 or 10...as far as I can recall, that sort of thing eases off. I have to say Neon Rain was my least favorite of the series I've read so far.

    The Keller series by Lawrence Block is excellent.
     
  9. Tai_Mai_Shu

    Tai_Mai_Shu New Member

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    Pontalba, Which one do you recommend after Neon Light. I'm going to give James Lee Burke another try just because I've been hearing lots of good things about him and his written is easy to read and has some potential.
     
  10. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    Tai_Mai_Shu, I've read them in order. Now for some series, that isn't really necessary, but for this one, I tend to think it is best. The character development, deaths and events lead into one after the other. Heaven's Prisoners is the second one, and to me, it has one of the most beautiful, evocative opening paragraphs I've read.

    I've gotten as far as The Confederate Dead in the Electric Mist...really worth delving into. Burke is a Louisiana boy, and he has it down pat.
     
  11. chiangmaifalcon

    chiangmaifalcon New Member

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    I personally do not care so much for the Keller stories. However Bernie Rhodenbarr novels are pretty entertaining. They are funny stories about burglar who owns a bookshop and gets involved in murder mysteries.
     
  12. Bluenote

    Bluenote Member

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    If you expect authors to remain politically correct and completely refrain from profanity or adult situations , or for that matter violence then you're going to leave a lot of great writers out.

    As for Burke , he presents southern Louisiana and on over into southeast Texas quite accurately , right down to social mores and a rather intimate look at times into Coonass/Cajun/Creole culture.

    Burke is from the region he primarily writes about , born and raised and still lives there , the rich palette he utilises to portray southern Louisiana.

    And he gets it right , down to details such as red beans-n-rice on mondays and a good muffaleta. And if you're from down thataway or have ever lived there his novels something you can just sink into like a fleece blanket.

    By the way , a lot of people skip Burke's early work , take a gander at it , you'll find a whole family of Hollands running through it , thus setting the stage for Billy Bob Holland , Burke's other protagonist , set in Texas and in Montana. Well worth a read.
     
  13. Bluenote

    Bluenote Member

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    Burke manages quite nicely to bring highly evocative prose that's also at times quite visceral , hard , salty , gritty........he's not just a writer , he's a WordSmith.
     
  14. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    I have a stack of the Rhodenbarr and Matt Scudder, just haven't gotten to them yet, I agree, they look good.
    I also bought his Tanner series when it came out a couple of years ago, reprint courtesy of Harper/Harper Collins. I've only scanned them so far, but they seem to be vintage Block.
     
  15. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    So true! He hits the right notes.

    Have you read his White Doves at Morning? I'd started it, lost the darned book, so finally after searching high and low, ordered another copy, promptly found the original copy and put it [temporarily] aside.
     
  16. Tai_Mai_Shu

    Tai_Mai_Shu New Member

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    I don't have a problem with the profanity but to me it seems like Mr. Burke is using the profanity in this book as a pissing contest to see whose's insults are better. Like I mention earlier I don't have a problem with it but when every characters is shouting profanity to see who is the bigger man it's just turns into a pissing war and it's pointless. That is what I like about Michael Connelly is that he uses it the right moment and not four or five guys taking turns. Like I said I'm going to read several more to see if he's gotten better and like I mention earlier, I'm not a big fan of him using racial slurs especially the N word in this particular novel. I'll read several more books and see if the radical slurs is a one time deal or does he just love throwing it out there.
     
  17. chiangmaifalcon

    chiangmaifalcon New Member

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    I sometimes think that there is too much profanity in crime and police novels. However it is sort of realistic. In law enforcement in US, at least anyplace I have ever worked, they do use a lot, I mean really a lot, of profanity. And to be honest racial slurs are not uncommon at all. And this is in NYC, so I imagine it is much more common down south.
    For some reason Thai cops use much less profanity than in US. On the other hand, they are also much more corrupt. But then they also get paid much less, so it is no surprise.
     
  18. Bluenote

    Bluenote Member

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    It seems that you *do* have a problem with the profanity , along with regional colloquialisms and terms that are heard *every* day , *all* day in many locales. And lest you decide you're about to rag on the south in your climb up on your socio-political soapbox I'll point out that I've hear the racist word you refer to far more often in the northeast and places like Detroit and Chicago.

    And likewise spare me the " I'll see if he's gotten better." , now how pompous is that on your part , get used to something , authors aren't going to write according to some template that you provide.

    Furthermore , specious claims of 'racism' much like those utilised for effect by certain current politicos and pundits , and YES they ARE specious as regards Burke really have zero place in a discussion of literature.....

    ANd lets shortcut your inevitable accusation ( always delivered AS an accusation and something folks of your bent ALWAYS get to) of my being a 'white racist' , since of course I am of mixed race , and I am from the South , specifically the region under discussion i.e. Acadiana.

    So save the judgemental semi-lectures for someone else , find an individual that you can snow into thinking you actually know something of whereof you speak.
     
  19. Bluenote

    Bluenote Member

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    In actuality the epithets you refer to are encountered more frequently in the northeast and the large northern cities than in the deep south.

    The South still has an expectation of the individual behavings with some modicum of manners and often you'll find someon being called on their lack of manners long before it would happen in NYC.

    And unlike the 'civilised northeast' , in the South if you persist in delivering such epithets on a repeated basis you'll find yourself picking yourself up and dusting off your britches.

    And that's across the board from the word under discussion to calling the wrong person a cracker , coonass , shirt-tail cajun , redbone etc.etc.

    I'm personally rather sick unto death of demands that everything in the world ( including reading material) be politically correct and touchy feely.

    Don't like what a given author utilises as far as the lingua franca in their books?

    The don't read said author , simple as that.
     
  20. Tai_Mai_Shu

    Tai_Mai_Shu New Member

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    Mr. Burke is that you? I'm sorry if your butt hurt and can't take criticism.
     
    Rosemarie likes this.

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