Sunday, July 27, 2008

Around the world (but without Raymond Chandler this time)

A hat tip to In Reference to Murder, who let me know about an article from the Independent called "Crime fiction: Around the world in 80 sleuths."

This guide to crime fiction set in eighty locations around the world is more intelligently written than most newspaper articles on the subject, and it includes at least one comic gem, for its selection set in Glasgow: "If you find Ian Rankin's books a little Miss Marple, try Denise Mina."

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

Labels: ,

21 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter, thats Glasgow and Edinburgh all over. LOL as the kids say. About the worst thing that could happen to you in Edinburgh is that the raspberry jam for your cream scone isn't as tart as you would like. I cant think of a PA example the best I can do is Maryland. It'd be the difference between a mystery set in East Baltimore and one taking place in College Park.

July 27, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

A Pennsylvania example might be the difference between a gritty murder set in Grays Ferry or Kensington or North Philly, and one set on the Main Line.

I enjoyed the line in the Independent because Rankin's books are said to take reader to the ugly world that lurks behind the raspberry jam and cream scones.

July 27, 2008  
Blogger petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Hello Peter! This is off point. You directed me to signs. "Kosher and Gentile Killing." A gem! From the looks of the sign, it has seen better times. Are they still around?

July 27, 2008  
Blogger Declan Burke said...

One of the Irish offerings is about a private investigator sheep, written by a German lady. Now I need a new computer monitor, and three new knuckles. Cheers, Dec

July 27, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Petra, that sign is still there, or at least it was a month or so ago when I took the picture. The business that accompanied the sign is long gone, I think.

That was the sign that got me taking photos of signs. Must be a sign.

July 27, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Geez, Declan, I'm sorry. I hadn't seen that entry.

If it makes you feel any better, I ate lamb for dinner last night. Think of it as my revenge on the protagonist.

July 27, 2008  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

There's not a New Jersey/PA divide thing in and around Philly? I just assumed there would be.

I take your point though, when I went up to Oxford Inspector Morse was on the telly, getting an average of 3 or 4 murders per case per week (higher in the episodes directed by Danny Boyle)when in reality there hadnt been a murder in Oxford for 10 years.

July 27, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

There is no real divide, and Philadelphians don't sneer at South Jersey the way New Yorkers proverbially do at North Jersey. Parts of South Jersey are virtually a continuum with South Philadelphia, and countless thousands of New Jerseyans (and folks from Delaware, too) work in Pennsylvania.

July 27, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Unless, Declan, the target of your wrath was Germans rather than sheep.

July 27, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

I too served lamb last night. Eight fat chops for two people.

For Seattle I might have suggested J.A. Jance's J.P. Beaumont series. For Philly I'd go with Jane Haddam's Gregor Demarkian books.

July 28, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

No chops for me. I just zapped some ground lamb in a microwave.

I may try Jane Haddam the next time I take a busman's holiday from international crime fiction and read something set closer to home. Do her characters sneer at South Jerseyans?

July 28, 2008  
OpenID krimileser said...

No, Peter I don't think that the Germans are the primary target of Declan's wrath.

In a metaphorical sense it seems easy to guess which culture on which side of the guns in 1916 is represented by Gibbs text.

That is, the idea is nice, the execution mostly good, some authors mentioned show a very good knowledge but the text is utterly and solely British. Christie in Egypt, no Japanese author (but D. Peace) and so forth.

In Germany we liked it a lot (at least some of us) that it did not mention Donna Leon.

July 28, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Bernd, my guess is that Declan, an energetic promoter of Irish crime fiction and the people who write it, was angry that so many excellent Irish writers missed the list, and an story with a sheep detective made it. I read a mention of the book some time ago, and I recoiled at the idea of an animal as star of the show. Of course, that was before I read and enjoyed E.F. Englert's A Dog Among Diplomats.

What's the deal with German readers and Donna Leon?

July 28, 2008  
OpenID krimileser said...

Peter,

Yes sure, that want I meant.

The sheep book divides the readership (or: readersheep), let's say it is a shame that such a book represents German crime fiction internationally, but if you like it, no harm done.

Donne Leon is for a certain group of readers and critics one of the most overrated writers (because her books contain more Venice than crime fiction let's call them Venetian blinds). A while ago the publisher of Magdalena Nabb promoted her as if she was a secondary to Leon (sic !).

July 28, 2008  
Blogger Lauren said...

Two comments in one:

Well, I'm only a bit German, but I'll confess to preferring Donna Leon to Magdalena Nabb. But I do agree Leon's reputation is rather over-the-top in Germany - I'm very fond of Brunetti as a character, but the series is pretty repetetive, especially of late. (And the German tv versions of the books have me in one heck of a linguistic muddle! Series written in English, set in Italy and filmed in German????)

As a resident of Edinburgh, I also found the Rankin comment very funny. (I admit he's not really a favourite author.) Mind you, it's not as if Edinburgh is at all crime-free - it's just that most of it occurs outside the scones-with-jam central parts of the city. Most of the deprived areas are further out. Not that this is the sort of area in which Rebus regularly investigates, which may nicely extend the Morse point made earlier. A murder in the cathedral (or Greyfriars, I suppose) is in reality a lot less common than a bad pub fight in Gorgie, but the public seems to prefer the former...and then it comes to represent the genre status quo for the city.

Which reminds me, I really should read more Scottish fiction while I'm living here. It's a depressing fact that the local bookshops don't stock as much as they should, but it can only get worse elsewhere!

July 28, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, I suppose this reveals the peril of lists -- a given book or author comes to represent a country.

I haven't read Donna Leon, but I must say I have heard more good than bad about her.

July 28, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lauren: I had no idea Donna Leon was so wildly popular in Germany.

In re Edinburgh, perhaps some of Rankin's effect is lost in me because I don't know much about the city. The stunning revelations of the seamy side of the genteel, picturesque town was lost on me, in other words, because I had no mental picture of how genteel and picturesque it is. (I've never been to the city, of course.)

July 28, 2008  
Anonymous Scott Parker said...

What I lamented--and said so in this blog entry (http://scottdparker.blogspot.com/2008/07/wheres-houston-and-rest-of-texas.html)--was the lack of Houston, Dallas, or any other Texas city. I'm from Texas and I'd like to think that there's a lot say about my state. Guess we'll see.

July 28, 2008  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Peter, if you have the opportunity, go to Edinburgh. I've never made it to Ireland and I've not seen much of Scotland besides the city, but I loved it in 1987 when I was there. If one possesses any imagination at all, walking the Royal Mile is fodder for all manner of ruminations about the thousands of others who've done so in the past.

'Course, the same could be said for Tower Hill in London, but you knew that. ;)

July 28, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Scott, the peril of lists strikes again. Where there's money, there's crime and, in a state along a border, there's even more opportunity. Yeah, I'm surprised Texas doesn't turn up, and I will consult your blog post for more specifics. There are so many good crime-fiction settings in the U.S., though, that those list-compilers had to leave out some.

July 28, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Linkmeister: I think Ian Rankin has made the seediers side of Edinburgh areas of tourist interest. I have not strolled Tower Hill, but I have visited the Tower of London, two of whose prisoners inspired at least one 20th-century classic of crime fiction.

July 28, 2008  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home