I am very excited by this Top Ten Tuesday because although I am not sure there are many people out there who haven’t ever read crime fiction. But I know there are people who are not that into it. So, these ten books are IT. They are the best crime fiction, the most representative, the ones with the best characters. And above all, the ones that will get you hooked on the genre.
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
1. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.- This was the book that got me hooked on crime fiction when I was 12 and I have been trying to solve murders ever since. I think it is, along with Scandhal in Bohemia where Ms. Adler gives a masterful performance, the best Sherlock Holmes. You an now read it for free here.
2. When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson.- This is the third on the Jackson Brodie series, but don’t mind the order. One of the main characters in this novel makes for the most inspiring women in crime fiction I have ever read. Maybe what you’re going through in your life is not as bad as a crime, but there is some wisdom here.
3. Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell.- This is the first in the Kay Scarpetta series and was published back in 1990. If you have ever watched CSI, this novel will surprise you: no DNA, no mobile phones, no technology. Crime solving in the early 90’s was neither as easy nor as fashionable as it is said to be now.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.- The first one in the Millenium series, I almost didn’t read it because all the hype surrounding the books. How silly! It is one great example of Scandinavian crime fiction.
5. Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly.– Daly’s second novel was published this year and it clearly shows the author’s talent at including crime-solving in the domestic, middle-class English life. No interrogation rooms, no footprints. This is a mom and a wife fighting for everything she cares for.
6. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.- No one ever doubted J.K. Rowling’s writing talent, but her incursion in crime fiction shows that she is a wizzard of words in her own right.
7. Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives by various authors. Ed. by Sarah Weinman.- Weinman has collected the best crime fiction short stories from the 1960’s to the 1970’s and has put them together. I had no idea there had been so many women writing crime short stories, but they were all amazing. It was one of the best books I read last year.
8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.- This is an obvious choice as well, but Flynn’s novel only has die-hard fans or die-hard haters. I am one of the fans and I think she wrote a very different, very interesting crime novel from two different perspectives.
9. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.- Could you imagine a crime fiction sequel to Pride and Prejudice? Me neither, but P.D James has made a masterpiece of it. Same was with Gone Girl, this novel will force you take sides.
10. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.- When teenager Grace is accused of killing her employer and two fellow co-workers, she finds herself caught in the 19th century Canadian legal system where you’d rather be crazy than guilty. Or both? Or none? Read this masterpiece and see if you can find out the truth about Grace.
Bonus! 11. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.– Morton’s novels have a gothic, 19th century feel to them even though they are set in the present. Usually, a family mystery or a crime needs to be solved by a non-professional young woman investigator.