A lot of crime stories feature on Clothes in Books (reflecting the reading habits of the proprietor), and it is traditional to produce a Best-of list at the end of the year. (At Mysteries in Paradise, plenty of crime bloggers have linked in to their lists, so you can find dozens of recommendations.)
So – we’ve picked some random categories:
Best New Crime Books this year (ie published in 2012): A tie between Catriona McPherson’s Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses - latest in this wonderful historical series - and Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette? – a hilarious and accurate look at life in Seattle as a Yummy Mummy (failed) goes missing.
Books that everyone else read ages ago, but it took us a while:SJ Watson Before I go to Sleep
Denis Lehane: Gone Baby Gone
and Moonlight Mile by the same author
Simon Lelic's Rupture
--- all of them highly recommended as thrillers.
The Book that was better than a much more famous one:
The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen by Lindsay Ashford (pub 2011) – a fascinating murder story and about a million times better than the best-selling Death at Pemberley (a book that surely was only published because of the name of the author). This entry has a picture that might be of JA herself:
---and there’s a hilarious bit about wearing purple in this one.
Great re-reads from classic eras:
Peter Dickinson Death of a Unicorn (1984) - posh girls, pencil skirts and the male voice
Margery Allingham’s Tiger in the Smoke – so good we had to feature it twice.
Josephine Tey’s Brat Farrar (1949) – doubles, impostors and horses, and you can read it over and over.
Also Miss Pym Disposes.
John & Emery Bonett’s No grave for a lady (1959) – forgotten authors now, but a great ensemble murder investigation, set in a holiday hotel, and with important details on stockings.
New discovery: Christobel Kent. We featured A Party in San Niccolo on the blog, and recommended A Time of Mourning as being even better – part of a new series with her Italian detective Sandro Cellini, a Florentine private eye.
Pretty good book, but also enabled us to use a fabulous picture on the blog - the one at the top of this column. The book also gave us the wonderful phrase 'One block west of the light' - Terence Faherty’s Live to Regret from 1995
Re-read and hugely enjoyed: some Agatha Christie, some Gladys Mitchell, an old Sue Grafton, Raymond Chandler, and Daphne du Maurier,
We rang in the New Year with Dorothy L Sayers’ The Nine Tailors - after starting the blog with Have His Carcase and revisiting it for the 300th entry.
In total, 63 crime stories featured on the blog this year – you can see a list of all of them by clicking on the Crime Fiction tab above.
More Best Of 2012 later in the week. For picture credits follow links to the original entries.