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Started by angelico on Jan 1, 2021 5:49:28 PM
Hardboiled, soft-centred, slick and sardonic. Your favourite detective novels

We are both locked away with corona (not the pop) and going back over old favourites to keep sane.

Who are your favourite detectives and what are your favourite novels?

angelico - 01 Jan 2021 17:52:55 (#1 of 155)

Just finished the latest Elvis Cole/Joe Pike book, A Dangerous Man. Entirely predictable and it didn't matter a bit. Very exciting and satisfyingly retributive for the villains of L.A.

And what makes L.A. the top setting for so many, ever since Chandler.

dreams99 - 01 Jan 2021 17:58:26 (#2 of 155)

Have read most of Simenon's maigret novels (retranslated and published by penguin) They're good, but become a bit formulaic later on, they were all dashed off in a matter of days.

His non-Maigret books are better in general, many of which are seen from the perspective of the criminal.

Chandler, of course, who dominated the genre, but reading him is about the journey rather than the destination. His plotting is often tortuous, but that doesn't matter.

Have picked up a few collections of English crime stories - Allingham, Sayers, Peters, etc - to see what the golden age is about. Funnier than I expected, in general.

lammaMia - 01 Jan 2021 18:00:48 (#3 of 155)

The glass key by Hammett fulfills all your criteria.

angelico - 01 Jan 2021 18:02:46 (#4 of 155)

I enjoyed Allingham too. Have you read The Tiger in the Smoke? It's the most amazing, atmospheric detective set in foggy London just post-war, and is quite fascinating in the character of the villain and his pursuit of evil.

Sayers I find very good, even after many readings (though her identification with Harriet Vane is a bit annoying).

Post by deleted user
angelico - 01 Jan 2021 18:07:17 (#6 of 155)

On your recommendation, Dreams, as a matter of fact, I read a few Maigret books and enjoyed them. I remember my mum bringing the yellow-jacketed Gollancz books home from the local library in the 50s.

I'm surprised you didn't mention your other low taste - Ed McBain. I read all the 87th this year after you mentioning them. About 60 of them, and still not enough.

angelico - 01 Jan 2021 18:08:18 (#7 of 155)

Traney - a recommendation for starting Ross McD? Where?

dottie30 - 01 Jan 2021 18:08:39 (#8 of 155)

The Big Sleep.

And for a laugh - Pulp by Charles Bukowski - a total pisstake of the hard boiled genre.

solomongursky - 01 Jan 2021 18:10:40 (#9 of 155)

His plotting is often tortuous

And incomplete, you never do find out who killed the Sternwood's chauffeur in The Big Sleep.

dreams99 - 01 Jan 2021 18:11:05 (#10 of 155)

I've only read a dozen mcbains. The 50s ones are very good, on a literary level.

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angelico - 01 Jan 2021 18:14:31 (#12 of 155)

Elmore Leonard, anyone?

Character-driven plots, in the sense that he conceived the characters, apparently, then placed them in situations and imagined their behaviour, rather than plotting it completely in advance. His dialogue so natural that when they film the books, it's essntially unchanged. Out of Sight is a great example.

lammaMia - 01 Jan 2021 18:14:52 (#13 of 155)

Ross McDonald's Archer turned up on screen as Harper, starring Paul Newman, in a movie version of The moving target, Archer #1.

dreams99 - 01 Jan 2021 18:22:27 (#14 of 155)

Ive just picked up Devil in a Blue Dress. Anyone read any Mosley?

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JennyRad - 01 Jan 2021 18:25:53 (#16 of 155)

I don't go for the hard-boiled; Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh are probably my favourites; more recent writers with the same sort of "feel" are Hazel Holt and Jill Paton-Walsh.

Tadagee - 01 Jan 2021 18:26:39 (#17 of 155)

I like Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther, who gives some excellent jaded cynic PI with the added bonus of Nazi Germany.

angelico - 01 Jan 2021 18:30:34 (#18 of 155)

Current writer named Eva Dolan has written some excellent and thoughtful police procedurals set in the East of England. Very politically aware, since they work in a Hate Crimes division.

I just read re-read Watch Her Disappear aboiut the murder of a cross-dresser, which was very interesting. I must mention that on our trans thread here, actually.

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airynothing - 01 Jan 2021 18:38:29 (#20 of 155)

the murder of a cross-dresser, which was very interesting. I must mention that on our trans thread here, actually.

The trans thread is about transsexuals, surely? Transvestism is usually quite different (but I haven’t read the book, so there may be a link that isn’t obvious).

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