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I need help finding some novels. (Mystery novels)

LackadaisicalLackadaisical Registered User
edited April 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm looking to increase the genre's that I read. I'm looking toward mystery novels, but passed that I'm lost.
I don't know what to read and what not to read, was hoping to enlist the help of my fellow PAers to that end.

I was hoping to find something slightly more up-to-date than Sherlock Holmes, but I may try picking up a few of these.

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Posts

  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited March 2009
    Well, the Sherlock Holmes stories are always a great place to start. They're fun, atmospheric, and short. Some other good mystery classics are Agatha Christie's Poirot stories (I have read and can recommend Murder on the Orient Express and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd) or Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, like Gaudy Night.

    But you asked for more modern stuff, so here is a hugely incomplete list to get you started. All of this stuff is in print and readily available. Since most mysteries are parts of a series, I'll just rattle off the names of the authors.

    Ross Macdonald - his Travis McGee novels, about a private eye who lives on a houseboat in the Florida swamps, are classics of the genre and really highly regarded. They're a bit older (he wrote them from 1964 to 1984) but they've held up pretty well.

    Robert B. Parker - his Spenser (who you might remember from the TV show Spenser For Hire) is a modern PI in the tough-guy mold and the series has been chugging away nonstop for nearly 40 years now. I wouldn't call them classics but they're good solid reads.

    George P. Pelecanos - I'm a big fan of his three Nick Stefanos books (A Firing Offense, Nick's Trip, and Down By the River Where the Dead Men Go), which are about an electronics salesman at a big chain - basically your average Best Buy blueshirt - who through a series of circumstances becomes a private investigator in the Washington DC area. The stories are really understated, comparatively realistic and low-key, and full of local flavor. Pelecanos has since written some other, more major books but I haven't read them, although they have a good reputation.

    James Ellroy - Ellroy is the unchallenged king of modern noir writers. His books are epic in length and incredibly bleak but also some of the best, most rewarding reads in the genre or in recent fiction in general. LA Confidential and American Tabloid are probably his two best.

    Greg Rucka - his Atticus Kodiak books, about a tough professional bodyguard who gets mixed up in mysteries, are fast, fun reads, and a bit more action-packed than most.

    Richard Price - he hasn't written very many novels, but his Clockers is a fabulous, intensely realistic story about a murder in a modern urban ghetto; the movie is also excellent.

    Jacobkosh on
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  • FandyienFandyien But Otto, what about us? Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Start with The Long Goodbye by Chandler.

    Fandyien on
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  • jhunter46jhunter46 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    They're cheese, but awesome cheese.

    The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher.

    jhunter46 on
  • KidDynamiteKidDynamite Registered User
    edited March 2009
    I think he only has a couple of novels, but Caleb Carr is one of the better ones I would recommend.

    the two for sure, are The Alienist, and The Angel of Darkness. Both very good.

    He also has a Sherlock Holmes novel titled, the Italian Secretary, I started it, but put it down for whatever reason.

    Cannot go wrong with Harlan (Harlen?) Coben, the Myron Bolitar series are worth a read. Cheesy sometimes, and probably won't be on Oprah's book club, but I've read every one.

    KidDynamite on
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    If you have any interest in forensics with your mystery (and who doesn't??) then I'd recommend the Lincoln Rhyme novels by Jeffrey Deaver. They start with the Bone Collector, and there's about 8 or 9 so far.

    Some might accuse Deaver of being a hack author, and I couldn't really disagree. But they are pretty entertaining.

    Sentry on
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    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking of Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I think Walter Mosley is the best detective novelist alive.
    Check out Devil in a Blue Dress.

    Hachface on
  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler is surprisingly trashy (or maybe it was just the edition I read, which had these weird photo illustrations) but still quite good.

    Mike Danger on
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  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I just want to add a lot of James Ellroy's books are mysteryeque...

    LA Confidential, The Black Daliah, White Jazz... all good stuff.

    Sentry on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Was LA Confidential the book as good as LA Confidential the movie?

    Because if it is I'm buying it. Like, today.

    Duffel on
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I enjoyed Ngaio Marsh's books.

    LadyM on
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    Was LA Confidential the book as good as LA Confidential the movie?

    Because if it is I'm buying it. Like, today.

    Better. Don't get me wrong, I fucking LOVED the movie.

    But the book has a lot more mystery to it. If I'm not mistaken, the movie takes place over a week, while the book takes place over a year or two.

    Sentry on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • SygnonSygnon Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    any of the Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout, longtime favorite for me

    Sygnon on
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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Ellis Peters is pretty sweet. The Brother Cadfael Mysteries are like the complete opposite of modern, but they are modern in the sense that they were written in the 20th century and are episodic like a lot of other mystery series. They also have the benefit of lacking a lot of the cheese like the obligatory sex scenes that other modern mystery writers use.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

    Honest, great pulp novella

    Elin on
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  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Dennis Lehane. He of "Gone Baby Gone" and "Mystic River" and great Boston atmosphere.

    GoodOmens on
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  • LackadaisicalLackadaisical Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Thanks for your suggestions, I'll be hitting the library soon.

    Thanks again.

    Lackadaisical on
    It's a warm feeling when you realize that people share your views...
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray raped food.
  • Cyd CycloneCyd Cyclone Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Harry Stephen Keeler. Best Pulp author ever.

    Cyd Cyclone on
  • Prester JohnPrester John Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Gorky Park, Polar Star, Red Square, Havana Bay, Wolves Eat Dogs, and Stalin's Ghost, all by Martin Cruz Smith. Read them in that order.

    They'll change your life.

    garden-state2-copy.jpg

    No, not really, but they're excellent books.

    Prester John on
  • LeptonLepton Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Have you read any Agatha Christie? They're kind of old, but good.

    Lepton on
  • LackadaisicalLackadaisical Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Lepton wrote: »
    Have you read any Agatha Christie? They're kind of old, but good.

    The extent of my previous mystery endeavors can be summed up with two books: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-time of the Soul. Just trying to find a new genre.

    Lackadaisical on
    It's a warm feeling when you realize that people share your views...
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray raped food.
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Ian Rankin's Rebus books are entertaining.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
  • RazielRaziel Registered User
    edited April 2009
    I'm gonna second Raymond Chandler. He writes hard-boiled detective fiction.

    Raziel on
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  • ruzkinruzkin Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Gorky Park, Polar Star, Red Square, Havana Bay, Wolves Eat Dogs, and Stalin's Ghost, all by Martin Cruz Smith. Read them in that order.

    They'll change your life.

    garden-state2-copy.jpg

    No, not really, but they're excellent books.

    Seconded and thirded. Best crime fic I've ever read.

    ruzkin on
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