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Messages - KiwiCraig

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16
What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: February 14, 2020, 03:51:43 pm »
Recently finished EIGHT PERFECT MURDERS by Peter Swanson, out next month. Really enjoyed it - lots for mystery lovers to enjoy as it revolves around a bookseller of a mystery store who gets caught up in a case that has echoes of classic mystery novels. Swanson is a superb writer - I've enjoyed several of his previous books, and this one is another cracker.

17
Welcome and General Discussion / Best Mystery/Crime Novel of the Decade
« on: February 04, 2020, 09:07:25 am »
This week the nominations for the 2020 Barry Awards were released. The winners will be announced at Bouchercon later in the year.

Along with the usual 'Best Mystery/Crime', 'Best First Mystery/Crime', 'Best Paperback Original' and 'Best Thriller' categories, the Barry Awards are giving out a special award this year, the Best Mystery/Crime Novel of the Decade. The nominees are:

  • GONE GIRL, Gillian Flynn (Crown)
    NOVEMBER ROAD, Lou Berney (William Morrow)
    SUSPECT, Robert Crais (Putnam)
    THE DRY,  Jane Harper (Flatiron)
    THE BLACK HOUSE, Peter May (Quercus)
    THE CARTEL, Don Winslow (Knopf)

What do you think of those six books representing the best mystery and crime writing of the 2010s?

I've been very involved in mystery/crime fiction all decade, as a reviewer for magazines and newspapers in several countries, awards judge in several countries, panel chair and festival organiser across three continents, etc. So I've read A LOT of mysteries (more than 1,000 novels that decade).

I'd struggle to pick six books to represent the decade - and there are always the 'favourites' vs 'best/greatest' kind of internal debates too. Having said that, I've read all six of those authors, and most but not all of those specific books. They are all very good/excellent.

I'd probably have a different list though - some of those and a few different choices. I'd find a way to have BLUEBIRD, BLUEBIRD by Attica Locke on there, for one example. Would mull on some others.

Curious as to what others here would have on their best of the decade...

Here's another list from Crime Reads (with a Top 10 selection, then a long long list of notable selections) to jog your memory as to some major crime novels of the past ten years: https://crimereads.com/the-10-best-crime-novels-of-the-last-decade/

18
What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: August 29, 2019, 10:00:25 am »
Currently reading I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS by William Deverell, a doyen of Canadian crime fiction. Not a new book for a review or anything, but just one I'd been looking forward to getting off my shelf. Fascinating thusfar as it takes his longstanding legal eagle hero Arthur Beauchamp reminiscing back to a case early in his career where an indigenous man was at risk of the noose. Deverell is a very fine writer.

19
What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: July 25, 2019, 04:48:48 am »
Just finished a Roald Dahl book of short stories, some of which were crime-y, all of which were a bit twisted and sinister. Very good.

Now onto I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS by William Deverell, a recent book in the Canadian crime doyen's Arthur Beauchamp series.

20
Welcome and General Discussion / Re: Say Hi and Introduce Yourself
« on: July 25, 2019, 04:46:13 am »
Hi, I'm Meredith Phillips, editor/publisher of Perseverance Press, along w/ my partners John & Susan Daniel. We've been publishing traditional mysteries by established authors for 20 years now.

I began mystery reading, thanks to Mom, in the '60s w/ Agatha C and Daphne D. In the '70s PBS Mystery! inspired me to read everything by Dorothy L. My tastes continually broadened till I was reading every subgenre but hard-boiled. I wrote a mystery myself in the '80s, Death Spiral, but decided I preferred telling others how to write instead, and edited/published 9 more mysteries as a one-woman publishing house. My old writing friends the Daniels wanted a mystery imprint, so we joined forces in 1999.

My current favorites are Kate Atkinson, Peter Lovesey, Laura Lippman, Donna Leon, Sue Grafton & Ruth Rendell (RIP both), Patricia Highsmith, Laurie King--I could go on and on!

Kia ora (hi) Meredith. Great stuff on the mystery publishing, that's terrific!

21
Welcome and General Discussion / Re: POLL: Favorite Kid Detective
« on: July 05, 2019, 10:27:36 am »

It's interesting how world geography affects these things. I grew up in New Zealand, and we got plenty of media (film, TV, books) from both UK and USA, as well as our own local NZ/Australia stuff. As I've gotten older I realised that was unusual - eg chatting to a UK friend recently of a similar age who'd never seen or heard of the show "Married With Children", which to me was one of those incredibly well-known shows that even if people hadn't watched, they would have still heard of, eg The Simpsons, Friends, Seinfeld, MacGyver, Magnum PI etc. But she was British and never recalled seeing it on British TV growing up. Similarly Enid Blyton is one of the most popular children's authors of all time - she's sold more than 600 million books. She's still 'pop culture' in UK and I imagine Commonwealth countries even for those who haven't read her, but perhaps didn't penetrate as much in USA because you had other alternatives - eg the Stratemeyer Syndicate (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew etc) put out many kids adventure/mystery series that were hugely popular in US and historically, but only Nancy/Hardy Boys really went huge internationally and for decades of longevity. Interesting how that works sometimes.

Yes, it does tend to intrigue when I hear about something previously unknown to me only to learn that it is a massive success elsewhere. Sadly, since it is kid fiction, I can't say that I really have much of an interest in going back to check out what I missed. I've just got too many other things to read these days.

Absolutely. I'm in the same boat with the likes of Trixie Belden, who an author described to me as a much more tomboyish and badass Nancy Drew. I may have loved those books if I read them as an adolescent, but harder to go back now as an adult. Different experience too. Especially with so much else to read.

22
Welcome and General Discussion / Re: Say Hi and Introduce Yourself
« on: July 05, 2019, 10:25:10 am »
Hi, I'm José Ignacio, a reader of crime fiction. My book notes are available at my blog A Crime is Afoot (https://jiescribano.wordpress.com/). My tastes are quite eclectic. Actually I'm quite interested in Golden Age Detective Fiction. And without hesitation, Georges Simenon is one of my favourite authors.

Kia ora Jose. Great to see you, Rob, and Mack all here.

23
Welcome and General Discussion / Re: Say Hi and Introduce Yourself
« on: July 04, 2019, 01:38:48 pm »
Hello, Mack here, retired librarian, and reader of crime fiction.

The first mysteries I read were the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton.

My favorite crime fiction subgenre is noir and I adhere to the Otto Penzler definition of noir.

After noir, hardboiled is my next favorite subgenre but, really, I read pretty much anything except cozies.

Kia ora Mack, great to see you on here mate. And nice to have another person mention Enid Blyton - a keen US crime reader on another thread hadn't heard of her. It's fascinating to see how different authors penetrate different geographies and time periods, favourites of some are completely unknown by others.

24
Welcome and General Discussion / Re: Say Hi and Introduce Yourself
« on: July 04, 2019, 01:36:12 pm »
Hi, I'm Rob from Ireland. I'm a keen reader of crime fiction since my early 20s. Before that I had a thing for cold war spy novels. I mostly read noir, hardboiled, historical (esp set between 1930 and 1960), police procedurals and comic crime capers, not so much thrillers, psychologicals or cozies. I like to read crime fiction set in different countries and I'm slowly working my way round the world.

I post all my reviews on my blog 'The View From the Blue House' (https://theviewfromthebluehouse.blogspot.com/) and Goodreads and I've just passed the 1000 reviews mark. My on-going issue is wanting to keep up with the work of favourite authors and series while discovering new authors.

I look forward to the chat and also discovering new authors and books.

Kia ora Rob, great to see you here on these forums.

25
Favorites / Re: LGBTQ Mysteries & Thrillers
« on: July 04, 2019, 11:07:03 am »
I've enjoyed Val McDermid and Neil Plakcy from Oline's list.

Other LGBTQ crime novels I've read and would recommend:

THE HIDDEN ROOM by Stella Duffy: after more than a decade of writing terrific literary and historical novels, Duffy (a bit of an LGBTQ icon) returned to the mystery field with this psychological thriller about a lesbian couple whose past comes back to haunt them, and the lengths you'd go to protect family.

NB: Duffy was among the authors at the forefront of expanding the inclusion of LGBTQ heroes in crime fiction 20+ years ago, alongside the likes of McDermid and others. Check out her edgy Saz Martin series, starring a lesbian private eye. Duffy won two CWA Daggers in the UK back in the day, and her recent return to crime fiction has seen her shortlisted for major prizes in multiple countries.

THE NANCYS by RWR McDonald: an adolescent girl in small-town New Zealand joins up with her visiting uncle from Sydney and his new boyfriend to form a mystery-solving club inspired by their love of Nancy Drew, and solve the case of her murdered schoolteacher. Charming, delightful tale that combines small-town mystery with great characters, riotous events, humour and LGBTQ and other social issues. (note: not out in USA yet)

THE QUAKER by Liam McIlvanney: an atmospheric tale set in late 1960s Glasgow, inspired by the real-life, unsolved 'Bible John' killings. A detective who's an outsider in more ways than one (and dangerously so for the times) must try to find a killer terrorising the city.

Kristen Lepionka's series starring bisexual private eye Roxanne Weary

Norwegian author Anne Holt's series starring lesbian detective Hanne Wilhelmsen




26
What I'm Writing / Re: Southern Cross Crime
« on: July 04, 2019, 10:44:46 am »
I'm by no means all that familiar with Australian and New Zealand crime fiction but I did recently read the Chris Hammer thriller "Scrublands" and found that to be a fantastic book.

Yes, SCRUBLANDS is terrific, eh. One of my fave reads of 2018 (it came out in NZ/Oz then - even though I'm in London I get sent books for review by NZ/Oz publishers/multinational offices). I thought it was a fantastic tale - will get compared to Jane Harper's THE DRY, which was so huge a couple of years ago, but despite both having the dusty smalltown Outback setting (in different states of Australia), quite different books. Very fine tales in different ways.

27
Welcome and General Discussion / Re: POLL: Favorite Kid Detective
« on: July 04, 2019, 10:41:06 am »

Also popular for us (being a British Commonwealth country) where the Secret Seven and Famous Five by Enid Blyton. Not sure if they were as big in North America.

You've got me stumped. I've never heard about either of these series before.

It's interesting how world geography affects these things. I grew up in New Zealand, and we got plenty of media (film, TV, books) from both UK and USA, as well as our own local NZ/Australia stuff. As I've gotten older I realised that was unusual - eg chatting to a UK friend recently of a similar age who'd never seen or heard of the show "Married With Children", which to me was one of those incredibly well-known shows that even if people hadn't watched, they would have still heard of, eg The Simpsons, Friends, Seinfeld, MacGyver, Magnum PI etc. But she was British and never recalled seeing it on British TV growing up. Similarly Enid Blyton is one of the most popular children's authors of all time - she's sold more than 600 million books. She's still 'pop culture' in UK and I imagine Commonwealth countries even for those who haven't read her, but perhaps didn't penetrate as much in USA because you had other alternatives - eg the Stratemeyer Syndicate (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew etc) put out many kids adventure/mystery series that were hugely popular in US and historically, but only Nancy/Hardy Boys really went huge internationally and for decades of longevity. Interesting how that works sometimes.

28
What I'm Writing / Southern Cross Crime
« on: July 04, 2019, 04:52:41 am »
So I've written a lot (hundreds/thousands) of features and reviews about mystery fiction in the last 11 years.

I am now writing my first book about the genre (with another couple potentially in the pipeline too).

I'm writing a pocket essential guide to Australian and New Zealand crime writing for a London publisher.

This will slot in with leading UK critic Barry Forshaw's series of readers guides (Brit Noir, Scandi Noir, American Noir, Historical Noir, etc) - so it's not an academic treatise but an introduction for booklovers, with 250+ entries about particular authors, and some interviews and other commentary. Written in an accessible, magazine style rather than an academic one.

So a bit of a 'Lonely Planet' or 'Rough Guide' for a particular segment of the mystery genre.

It's focused on the modern era of Australian and New Zealand crime writing (1995-2020), though will include historic mysteries written during that period but set in decades/centuries past. It will also include some film/television etc.

I hope that this will be useful and of interest to readers around the world. All going to plan, it will be out Spring 2020 or so.


29
Mystery Scene Magazine Issues / Re: Summer 2019 - Lori Roy #160
« on: July 04, 2019, 04:21:13 am »
I met Lori Roy at Bouchercon in Toronto in 2017, and she's a fantastic writer who I need to go back and read her entire backlist. Looking forward to reading Oline's feature, among what looks like a lot of other great pieces.

30
What I'm Reading / Re: My latest read is...
« on: July 04, 2019, 04:09:43 am »
I just finished The Chain by Adrian McKinty.

I really liked his first few books, featuring Sean Duffy as a police officer in Northern Ireland in the 80's. Excellent in every way.

The Chain is his "American thriller" -- his description. It's got an interesting concept -- Rachel's daughter is kidnapped, and to get her back she has to kidnap someone else's child -- but I found many sections implausible.

So this isn't a Sean Duffy book? I really liked Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly Duffy novel (reviewed for MS!).

No, it's not a Duffy. I talked to him a couple of weeks ago and it sounded like he's put Duffy behind him.


Update for you Brian. I just interviewed Adrian last week for a New Zealand newspaper - he was done with Duffy before writing THE CHAIN (done with writing, in fact), but is now thinking of writing another Duffy novel or two. Watch this space.

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