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  • Monthly Recommendations
    American,  Crime fiction,  Monthly Recommendations

    September Recommendations: Southern Crime Fiction

    Bodies in the Library’s recommendations come out the last day of each month and they aim to bring together great crime fiction reads for fans of the genre. The lists are eclectic and diverse, and they celebrate contemporary crime fiction writers and classics alike. Southern culture is a big thing for me. My Mum brought me up listening to Johnny Cash and I carried on the family obsession by becoming June Carter Cash’s biggest fan as soon as I had access to the Internet. I love a good pair of cowboy boots, and my English-speaking friends think it’s funny I “y’all” people around even though I have a British accent.…

  • Crime fiction,  TV/Movies

    Not Forgiven But Forgotten: Top of the Lake (Season 2) – China Girl

    The future is female, and so is crime television. 2017 became a game-changer with a previously unseen revolution of powerful and strong women fighting for their rights and openly denouncing the inequality and the violence – many times silenced – that has been historically embedded and tolerated in everyday life. Time’s Person of the Year for 2017 was a celebration of all the women who have spoken against this violence and who have taken the necessary steps to assure they get the justice they deserve. The Time’s Up initiative was made public days before the Golden Globes, where a relentless Natalie Portman openly denounced Hollywood’s inequality causing a stir and…

  • Book Releases,  Features

    5 Crime Fiction Releases for Spring 2018

    Happy first day of Spring! To celebrate that many of us are getting more daylight and warmer temperatures and we can finally read outside I’ve decided to share some of my favourite crime fiction releases with you today. I can’t wait to take these beauties out with me to read int he sun! Sunburn by Laura Lippman UK: 1st March Faber & Faber US: 20th February William & Morrow OK, so not *technically* Spring, but still very close. Lippman’s latest novel has been praised all over the Internet by Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn and fellow crime fiction fans. I have only read one of Lippman’s books until now, but I am…

  • American,  Crime fiction,  Essays,  Random

    The Future and the Truth are Female: The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

      Crime fiction is one of the most political forms of popular literature, and American women authors are killing it (no pun intended) with the likes of Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott, Laura Lippman being responsible for a new golden age. The reasons for the success of female-authored crime fiction novels are many, but considering the current political climate, it is just natural to see how these narratives about social injustice and trauma as the perfect breeding ground for those stories that women have been keeping silent for years or even decades. Megan Miranda’s latest novel The Perfect Stranger (2017) perfectly exemplifies this new era and the role women are proactively…

  • Essays,  Random

    More for the University of Birmingham: Beyond the Best-Selling Label. Patricia Cornwell and Kay Scarpetta

    I mentioned last week I have written some articles for the University of Birmingham’s new and super cool blog on Popular Culture and the second one is already out! This time I talk about one of my favourite writers, Patricia Cornwell and her Kay Scarpetta series. More here  https://blog.bham.ac.uk/poplit/beyond-the-best-selling-label-patricia-cornwell-and-kay-scarpetta-by-elena-avanzas-alvarez/

  • American,  Crime fiction

    Tales of Survival: Teenagers, Trauma and Resilience in Crime Fiction

    After the events of last week, I really hoped I was not writing this post. But I am, and before you continue reading, I would like you to know this post is about gun violence, mass shootings, trauma, and the tales of those who survive. The attack on a Florida high school last week is the 8th to happen in the USA in 2018. That is, in less than two months. But this time things have changed: Students who survived the shooting are using their social media profiles as platforms to denounce the need for a change in the US constitutions about the right to bear arms. More importantly, they…

  • Essays,  Random

    New Article for the University of Birmingham: Why we Like Our Crime Fiction Feminist (But We May Have a Hard Time Admitting it)’

    As many of you know, apart from working at Bodies in the Library I write for other outlets as well. I was recently invited to do a series of posts on crime fiction for the University of Birmingham’s new and super cool blog on popular culture and the first of them just came out this week. This project has been in the works for quite some time now and I couldn’t wait to share it with you all. The blog also features posts on other popular literature genres, such as romance so I highly recommend some browsing. As it could not be otherwise I chose to write about crime fiction…

  • Crime fiction,  Short stories

    Bodies in the Library Recommends: Crime Fiction Short Stories

    Short stories have been experiencing a comeback for some time now, but it was at the end of last year when The New Yorker‘s “Cat Person” became one of the most read literary texts on the Internet that we all had to agree: Short stories are genius. As a reader of crime fiction, criminal short stories represent one of the most successful times in the history of literature for the genre, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes short stories leading the way, and closely followed by Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. So, as I read all the blurb about “Cat Person” and the outpour of love for short stories that…

  • Features,  She Writes

    She Writes: Lilja Sigurdardottir

    I did not want the She Writes series to come to an end not featuring a Nordic Noir author. Even though my professional area of expertise is American (and sometimes British) crime fiction, I love reading Nordic crime fiction novels because of the setting. I am a sucker for winter and snow, and I love the way in which gritty crimes disturb the social haven of Nordic societies. Nordic crime fiction is also a subgenre in which I read women authors and male authors equally, and I think that vouches for the responsible representation of women that comes these societies – though truth be told there is still work to…