Where is everybody?

TalkBritish & Irish Crime Fiction

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Where is everybody?

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Apr 20, 2011, 7:55am

This group, with 338 members, seems to have died in January 2011 which is a great pity.

Most of the great crime writers were English - Wilkie Collins is credited with the very first whodunnit, The Moonstone.

At the moment I am alternating between re-reading the Sherlock Holmes books and devouring the books by Charles Todd a new author to me but one who has his books in electronic form so I am gradually loading them onto my e-reader.

Apr 22, 2011, 5:20pm

I've read several of the Charles Todd books and they are very good, but so depressing with their shell-shocked WW I vet. I've just been given An Impartial Witness, the first in a new series. Perhaps it will be less depressing.

Edited: Apr 22, 2011, 7:03pm

Thanks for resurrecting (and a happy Easter to you all) the group pinkozcat, although I think there have been a few posts over on the 'Must reads of the genre' thread.

I don't think there's a British & Irish Crime Fiction 'What are you reading now' thread, or am I not seeing it? Perhaps we should have one. What do you think?

Edited to add that I've just noticed the only post on the 'Must reads.....' thread since January is yours, pinkozcat!

Apr 22, 2011, 6:42pm

We probably should :)

(I am lurking around although I am reading a bit more American ones just now)

Edited: Apr 22, 2011, 7:18pm

I've taken the liberty of beginning a 'What are you reading now?' thread:

(Edited to add that my attempt to add a link here didn't work.)

Apr 22, 2011, 7:36pm

Apr 22, 2011, 8:59pm

Thanks AnnieMod.

May 25, 2011, 6:51pm

Has anyone read the Carolyn Graham books? Murder in an English village. I also love Martha Grimes' stuff--good mystery with a bit of humor and eccentric English characters.

May 25, 2011, 7:58pm

Michael Innes is another writer who seems to specialise in eccentric English Characters. For anyone who hasn't come across him I would recommend his books.

May 26, 2011, 2:29pm

#8 donnao
I enjoy Martha Grimes 'Richard Jury mysteries, too,...have read all of them, am waiting for the next title to be published.
I also love Deborah Crombie's and Elizabeth George's English mystery series.

May 28, 2011, 1:36am

This group is for British and Irish crime writers. Carolyn Graham, Martha Grimes, Deborah Crombie and Elizabeth George are all American writers. I believe American crime novels set in Britain should be regarded a genre of its own.

May 28, 2011, 4:36pm

let's be inclusive

May 28, 2011, 5:41pm

I agree with "quartzit'.

Deborah Crombie visits Britain frequently as she writes her mystery novels, so she captures the "feel" of Britain. Martha Grimes features the names of English pubs as titles for and part of the story. Elizabeth George also captures the Briish atmosphere in her mysteries.

May 29, 2011, 4:31am

The name of this group is "British & Irish Crime Fiction"
so it doesn't specify whether we are discussing the books or the authors. I agree that we should be inclusive

May 29, 2011, 4:55am


The main thing is how well do the non-British Isles authors capture the feel of Britain and Ireland well? After all I don't think anyone wants to throw out Ngaio Marsh.

Often that 'true feel' isn't something that US readers can easily pick up on. The same is true in reverse. There often seems to be something 'not quite right' nagging away at your hind-brain.

Whilst even the ones that don't get it right probably do belong in here, after all it is hardly bursting at the seams with the volume of messages, I probably wouldn't recommend or discuss them.

May 30, 2011, 3:06am

#15 You're right, I would hate to exclude Ngaio Marsh.

But yes, it's when something isn't quite right that it knocks the entire book off track. I'm more careful now than I used to be, when I'd rush off to the library to borrow a title someone recommended. And yes, it works both ways. I recently read a mystery by English writer Peter Turnbull who made an absolute hash of a section of the book set in Canada. (I've lived in the U.K., Ireland, and Canada.)

andyl, you said it better, however, my excuse is that I was in the throes of a serious bout of flu when I wrote my first message (on the road to recovery now). Apologies to all for my bluntness.

May 30, 2011, 2:12pm

In the case of Deborah Crombie's mystery series, she actually moves to the UK, to/near the location she's chosen for the book, while writing each novel to better capture the local atmosphere.

The "not quite right" feel also applies to British TV series that are adapted (by US directors/producers) US television. British humor often does not translate well.

May 30, 2011, 2:32pm

The big exception was All in the Family, an adaption of an English series Till Death Us Do Part. The American version was superior in every way.

Jul 11, 2011, 1:28pm

Are most people interested in books being written now? I continue to love Dorothy Sayers, and read one new book by someone trying to continue the series. I wasn't thrilled by the result. Also Ngaio Marsh, the series with Jury as the protagonist. I am new to this site, please excuse my confusion. I would really enjoy a discussion about these author's works. Live in the US now, have lived in Cambridge, England and Canada.

Jul 11, 2011, 1:37pm

:) It's just what we happen to read just now - that's all.

I have Sayers lined up for re-reading later this year (I've probably read half of her books through the years so about time to get her read in order). I almost never touch a continuation of a series by another author... except when there is a very good reason for that (or if it is a Sherlock Holmes book... sometimes).

I am going through Mark Billingham series (up to #5 at the moment) -- one more of those "Get the series in order and read it like that" type of things.

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