John Connolly

Books To Die For

" of the wonderful books you can flick through and begin to read where the book falls open."


These two authors have collaborated to bring you a host of crime fiction writers extolling their favourite crime writer and crime novel. With explanations as to why the author has chosen their particular chosen book this is an extensive book that is a dictionary highlighting many authors who are unknown and out of print today. Authors like Val McDermid, Kathy Reichs, Ian Rankin and Linwood Barclay plus many more extol the virtues of Agatha Christie, Conan Doyle, Josephine Tey, Ruth Rendell, P.D. James, Margaret Millar, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler plus many, many more.

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Books To Die For' is one of the wonderful books you can flick through and begin to read where the book falls open. Connolly and Burke have gathered a plethora of crime writers from across the globe and asked them a simple question: 'What is your favourite crime novel of all time?' As readers we all have our particular favourite(s). There is always a book that resonates down the years. Some are re-read and others not although we feed on the nostalgia of reading a certain book at a certain time of life. I have re-read many books since the first reading, some I don't want to read in fear of not emulating those same emotions I felt all those years ago. In 'Books To Die For' a number of crime writers have put forth their favourites. Some you will know and some you won't. That is the good thing about books like these, they are a treasure trove where you can find new discoveries and treasures. On Laura Wilson's recommendation alone, (her choice was Patrick Hamilton's 'Hangover Square' which I had heard about but never read) that I now have my own copy and looking forward to reading it. It is surprising that you think you know everything about crime authors and then you find more that have slipped under the radar. Wonderful, but also a tad frustrating that I have more books to buy and read! I am pleased that my favourite, Margaret Millar is also mentioned with her 1960 novel, 'A Stranger In My Grave'. This isn't my personal favourite of hers, I'd recommend 'Taste of Fears' or 'How Like An Angel', but that is the great thing about these kind of books. They are open to debate. Some authors I like have been missed and some who are mentioned I am not sure if the book chosen is in fact, to my mind at least, their strongest offering. It is all down to personal taste and you can't have everything. 'Books To Die For' is a marvellous tome that will have many crime aficionados salivating and many more reaching for the Internet to find a few out of print gems.

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