Whenever a new volume comes out from one of my favourite crime fiction writers I have to go and buy it immediately.
I’ve been addicted to crime fiction since reading Agatha Christie as a child. Nowadays my favourite authors are Ian Rankin, Minette Walters and more recently PD James. I’m also loving Kate Atkinson’s new crime series. I was already a huge fan having read my way though her novels after first reading Behind the scenes at the museum, but I particularly like her quirky take on the genre. I am also, along with most of the country it seems, newly addicted to Scandinavian crime fiction. I’ve read my way through all of the Harry Hole books by Jo Nesbo and was completely addicted to the Girl with the dragon tattoo trilogy by Stieg Larsson.
There’s just something about the formula of gritty realism, trying to unpick the mystery, and a deeply psychologically flawed yet attractive detective that works for me. It’s pure escapism and a chance to be so engrossed in a book that you look up to realise you’ve completely missed your stop on the tube. It’s also the perfect holiday reading and the best way for me to wile away a long flight. I also love rummaging through book exchanges when on holiday and get as much pleasure from leaving a brand new airport paperback of the latest juicy murder for someone else to enjoy, as I do from finding a new crime author in the dog-eared pile.
This happened in Cuba when I came across C J Samson’s Shardlake series. I’ve had to ration myself on reading the back catalogue of these so I actually manage to read some books for work and don’t disappear down a crime rabbit hole for a few months. They had the same appeal for me as reading a chunk of the Cadfael series by Ellis Peters a few years ago. Not sure why it’s very calming to read about the solving of murders several hundred years ago, but it is.
There are no new offerings from my favourite crime writers coming up at the moment, which, given the length of my reading list at the moment, is probably just as well.