Crime fiction to give for Christmas

Give books for Christmas, writes Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise, and who am I to disagree? Giving crime fiction for Christmas, though, seems slightly counter-seasonal. I am never quite sure how the generalist recipient (as opposed to a dyed-in-the-wool addict) really feels when presented with a dark tome.

Nevertheless, Kerrie has urged bloggers to make their recommendations for Christmas gifts from the titles they have read this year, so I’ll give it a go. I’ve divided my selections into two:

Presents for crime-fiction addicts:

ShadowPlay by Karen Campbell (Glasgow, Scotland)

Kind of Blue by Miles Corwin (Los Angeles, USA)

The Last Fix by K O Dahl, translated by Don Bartlett (Oslo, Norway)

The Build Up by Philip Gwynne (Darwin, Australia)

Rupture by Simon Lelic (London, England)

Needle in a Haystack by Ernesto Mallo, translated by Jethro Soutar (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Water Blue Eyes by Domingo Villar, translated by Martin Schifino (Vigo, Spain)

I chose the above titles because they are not by standard, well-known authors in the genre, but are distinctive (and not nth in a series).

Presents for “generalists” or those new to the genre:

Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai (Julundur, India)

Winterland by Alan Glynn (Dublin, Ireland)

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (Norfolk, England)

B-Very Flat by Margot Kinberg (“Tilton”, USA)

Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer, translated by K L Seegers (Cape Town, South Africa)

Thursday Night Widows by Claudia Pinerio, translated by Miranda France (near Buenos Aires, Argentina)

The Lying Tongue by Andrew Wilson (Venice, Italy, and England)

I chose these titles because they all tell a very good story, as well as involving a “crime”. Some of them might not strictly be considered as “crime fiction” but I think any of them would encourage a novice to try a few more in the genre!

Do you have recommendations for Christmas presents? Visit Mysteries in Paradise to add your post of choices.

2 thoughts on “Crime fiction to give for Christmas

  1. Margot Kinberg said…
    Maxine – Oh, how very kind of you to include my title *blush*. Wow!

    I also have to say I agree 100% with your choices for the serious crime fiction fan. Far, far too often, people are inundated with titles from a few famous “juggernaut” authors. One of the things I like the best about your excellent blog is that you share books by authors who may not be as well-known, but whose stories are beautifully done and compelling. The fact that you’ve made my TBR list long enough to send environmentalists into apoplexy if I ever printed it is another matter ;-).

    Reply 18 November 2010 at 18:43

    Bernadette said…
    Most people I know wouldn’t dare buy me a book these days but I like your list for fans – there are only 2 that I haven’t read or already bought for myself so perhaps I could round out the collection and give those 2 to myself for a present 🙂

    Of the books I’ve read I agree with your other list too.

    Reply 18 November 2010 at 19:43 said…
    These are great. However, for mystery addicts for Xmas/Chanukkah/Winter Solstice gifts, the first person I’ll start with is myself. This is a great list for me to ponder for book purchases, books which I’ll then loan out, so all of us benefit. Books for those new to the genre, I would add in Malla Nunn’s books, those by Arnaldur Indridason (“Silence of the Grave,” “Arctic Chill,” and “Hypothermia”), Elly Griffiths second book a;so, “The Janus Stone,” any book by Yrsa Sigurdadottir, or Sue Grafton or Sara Paretsky, or “The Lincoln Lawyer,” by Michael Connelly, or some of Linwood Barclay’s books. Or any books by Sjowall/Wahloo, perhaps “Roseanne,” to get readers started. Or books by Donna Leon. Anyway, there are so many choices. Another list to print out and add to the TBR pile or TB purchased pile. Thanks a lot.

    Reply 19 November 2010 at 01:15 said…
    I should add “Gunshot Road,” by Adrian Hyland to this list of would-be gifts.

    Reply 19 November 2010 at 04:23

    Maxine said…
    Thanks, All – buying oneself books for christmas is a good practice, I agree!

    Good list, Kathy – I agree with many. It is hard to select a few – and this particular list is limited to books read within the year so some of your selections might well have been included if I’d read them this year.

    I didn’t include Gunshot Road, not because it isn’t brilliant, but because I think it is best appreciated if you’ve read the first book…..for this list I wanted to recommend books that could be read as one-offs. (Truth by Peter Temple did not make it for similar reasons – although it is not strictly a sequel to The Broken Shore I think it is better to have read that one first.)

    Reply 19 November 2010 at 11:22

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