Sunday Salon: Norman’s icy challenge

TSSbadge3 Norman at Crime Scraps wrote a post asking what books in the crime-fiction genre you would recommend to someone who has never read any before. Not so much "desert island books" as "snowed-in on Dartmoor books", he writes. Norman's challenge is to recommend one book from each of twelve sub-genres recommended by BookMarcs online blog (see discussion on Friend Feed - I think the link to BookMarcs was first posted by Mack, but I can't now find the evidence). Of course, one could argue late into the night about these sub-genres (see here for Dorte's preference), but for the purposes of this exercise,  I am going to take them as read and try to recommend one book from each. Any readers who wish to take up the challenge are very welcome to do so, and to drop a line in the comments so I can read your choices!


Last Seen Wearing by Hillary Waugh

Locked room mystery:

The Locked Room by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

Golden Age mystery:

Have His Carcase by Dorothy L Sayers

Historical fiction:

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

Crime fiction:

Little Criminals by Gene Kerrigan

Detective fiction:

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

Hardboiled detective fiction:

Flood by Andrew Vachss

Inverted detective fiction:

Sleeping Beauty by Philip Margolin

Thriller fiction:

Where are the Children? by Mary Higgins Clark

Spy and espionage fiction

In the Evil Day by Peter Temple

Caper fiction:

The Herring Seller's Apprentice by L C Tyler

Psychological suspense fiction:

Losing You by Nicci French

And to make the dozen a baker's dozen,

Journalism crime fiction:

Paradise by Lisa Marklund

I could get into this – if you are interested in science-in-crime fiction:

Total Eclipse by Liz Rigbey

And chess-in-crime fiction:

The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis.

OK, I'll stop there. I realise that I could repeat this process a dozen more times, listing a different set of recommendations in each list.

Here are Dorte's dozen recommendations. I haven't come across anyone else who has yet completed the Crime Scraps challenge.

9 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Norman’s icy challenge

  1. This is a great list! I’m just really starting to read crime fiction outside the espionage genre, and for that right now I’d have to say my favorite is anything by Vince Flynn. I just finished my first foray into hard-boiled detective stories with Bonnie Kozek’s Threshold ( ). Honey McGuiness is a character I can’t wait to see more of, and the whole story just kept me on edge right through to the end.

  2. Er, thanks “Ruth” – interesting that your name “Ruth” links to this Bonnie Kozek website. Not one, therefore, that I’ll be checking out as I am not fond of spam.
    Incidentally, I was convinced I put Dashiell Hammett’s The Dain Curse in the list, but I see it is not there. How could I have missed that one out? There are several categories I could have put it in.

  3. Thanks for another interesting post, Maxine.
    To be quite honest, my list contains 10 books which I have read and enjoyed, + three I had to google to fulfil the requirements šŸ™‚
    The ones I have NOT read are written by: Caroline Graham, Anne Holt and Leif Davidsen. I have read other books written by them which I can recommend, however.

  4. Mack has kindly reminded me where he posted the link to BookMarcs which stimulated Norman’s “dozen” post, so here it is: . Thanks, Mack.
    Dorte – well, I have read all the books on my list and enjoyed them tremendously at the time, but some of them (eg the Sayers and the Waugh) I read so long ago that I can barely remember anything except the bare bones and the “enjoyment factor” – I do not know if I’d like them now if I read them again. Hope so, as they are part of my “memory mosaic” (such as it is).

  5. I am sorry to have set such a difficult challenge ;o) but you and Dorte seem to have come up with some very interesting and stimulating choices. I am finishing off a review for Karen but I will return to this next week.
    Have you just changed your template or have I been half asleep for the last few weeks? I like it.

  6. Interesting list. I’ve only read a few of your picks. I nearly read Total Eclipse, but managed to leave it in a cafe minutes after buying it and never got round to a second purchase!

  7. Total Eclipse is a fascinating book. Not only for the unusual (for crime fiction) science theme (astronomy, which is perhaps obvious from the title) but for its subtle feminist agenda. Apart from the main character, everyone who figures is a woman. I have read Liz Rigbey’s second novel, which I enjoyed but not as much as this one. She does not seem to write much. Total Eclipse is slightly let down by the solution, but it is a tremendous book and I am sure any reader would be swept along by it.
    Yes, Norman, I changed the template today —- I am so fickle!

  8. What a good list Maxine. I think I would just snatch up a handful of the multiple books around th ehouse and give them those!

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