Monday, 7 January 2013

Best of 2012: Crime and Clothes







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.





(Another great Dandy Gilver book gave us an excuse to look at gloves, a topic we do enjoy.)


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







For Diamond Jubilee reasons, we read a whole load of books first published in 1952, and this thriller was one of the very best, and the best at creating that post-war atmosphere.

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 GraftonRaymond 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.


4 comments:

  1. I think you and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to re-reads Moira. Interesting you liked Simon Lelic's Rupture. I listened to it as an audio book and I found it unusual and very compelling.

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  2. I was enthralled by Rupture while reading it. Afterwards I had a few 'hang on a a minute...' afterthoughts - but I think any book that becomes unputdownable is well worthwhile, even if it isn't perfect in retrospect.

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  3. I enjoyed this list tremendously. Reminds me I need to go back to the Myst in Paradise post and check out more that I missed.

    I want to read the Dandy Gilver books. But my favorites on this list are Peter Dickinson and the other classic mysteries. Dickinson is an all time favorite of mine, but I haven't read The Death of a Unicorn (and I just recently got a copy at a book sale).

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  4. Thank you for an interesting list of books. Your categories are intriguing.

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