Jump to content

Recommended Posts

How about The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins? It probably would be described as a Victorian crime novel rather than a gothic novel but it is about so much more than the actual crime. It is only as the Book unfolds that we begin to understand who the Woman in White is and how sad her story. The book is in many ways about the characters involved and the strength of their relationships rather than the crime. The crime itself is very much a crime of the time and slowly unfolds rather than the novel opening with a crime, very different to modern crime fiction. This would certainly be in any top ten of mine!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't believe the one they chose for Arthur Conan Doyle. Certainly hard to choose from so many of his stories, possibly for me The Hound of The Baskervilles, but The Red headed League seems a strange choice and only a short story.

Glad to second your choice, cherrypie, The Woman in White should be on the list.

 

I would add Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers. Lord Peter Wimsey is at his best playing the mysterious Harlequin among the giddy fast crowd at night and pretending to learn the advertising trade by day in order to solve a crime in a respectable established agency. This would be a good example of the Golden Age Detectives, mostly written in the 1920's and 1930's. The plots often got strangely complicated, with well known London or country house settings, bright-young-things, Jazz and actual records and phonographs, and naturally many possible suspects. The detectives were all educated Eton/Balliol and could throw out Greek, Latin and classical quotations all over the place which can be annoying unless you have footnotes, as we no longer have the expected classical education, but not overwhelmingly so. They may be considered frivolous, but I like them and find them amusing and entertaining, but also a little sad as they were being written not long after WW1, and later as WW2 was looming and that sort of lifestyle was a little desperate, grasping at what pleasure and light heartedness they could whilst it was still possible. I believe these popular detective stories were part of the pleasure they found to enjoy after the grim times before and to help escape reality in the hard times that came again so soon.

Edited by grasshopper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The good thing about this list, I think, is that it demonstrates just how diverse the crime genre is.

 

I'd nominate Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. This is a novel that has everything a good one needs: morality, an interesting, well rounded investigator, a chilling criminal, great prose. 

 

Here's the Wikipedia plot summary:

 

While out hunting, Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck full of dead (and one nearly dead) men. A load of heroin is in one of the trucks and he finds two million dollars, which he takes home with him, nearby. He returns later that night to bring water to the one man that was still alive, is seen by the man whose money he took and sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law—in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell—can contain. As Moss tries to evade his pursuers, in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives, McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning's headlines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really must invest in at least one of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels by Dorothy sayers. Although I have heard of the series I have not yet got around to reading any but as Grasshopper has mentioned them a couple of times and as they sound right up my street I will add them to my wish list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really must invest in at least one of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels by Dorothy sayers. Although I have heard of the series I have not yet got around to reading any but as Grasshopper has mentioned them a couple of times and as they sound right up my street I will add them to my wish list.

 

Cherrypie, I think you would enjoy this series, but maybe Google Lord Peter Wimsey to find out about him first and see what you think.. That gives you an in depth overview of Lord Peter, his family and background as he is a complex character and his family and friends feature in all the stories. The article in Google also shows where the different stories crop up, as it is usually good to read in chronological order, but it does not spoil them. Murder Must Advertise is fairly stand alone so you could still try that one first as it is typical and I believe one of the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cherrypie, I think you would enjoy this series, but maybe Google Lord Peter Wimsey to find out about him first and see what you think.. That gives you an in depth overview of Lord Peter, his family and background as he is a complex character and his family and friends feature in all the stories. The article in Google also shows where the different stories crop up, as it is usually good to read in chronological order, but it does not spoil them. Murder Must Advertise is fairly stand alone so you could still try that one first as it is typical and I believe one of the best.

Thanks Grasshopper, I Googled Lord Peter Wimsey as you suggested to find the first of the stories as yes I will want to read them in order. RG, being the kind, loving husband that he is (well so he tells me!) has ordered me the first in the series "whose Body" from Play (much cheaper than Amazon I am afraid) as I really do think that this could be a series that I would enjoy. I read a few of the novels by Evelyn Waugh which seem to be about a similar group of people and set in a similar time and really loved them so I am really looking forward to this one. Thanks for the advice Grasshopper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×