Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The year's best crime-fiction reading

Here's my year's best in crime reading, a mix of new, old, and newly translated books, a stew of novels and short stories, rediscovered pulp classics, literary masterpieces, books and e-books from Ireland, Canada, Italy, Japan, South Africa, North Dakota, New Orleans, the American West and elsewhere, and one book that is only tangentially crime. But tough noogies; it's my list.

It's early for a year's-best post, but this way you'll have plenty of time to stock up on holiday gifts, and I get to make a best-of-December post in a few weeks.
  • Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles and Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles, Vol. II by Edward A. Grainger (David Cramner)
  • Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
  • The Walkaway by Scott Phillips
  • Tumblin’ Dice by John McFetridge
  • 4 Funny Detective Stories — Starring Maynard Soloman by Benjamin Sobieck
  • Cruel Poetry by Vicki Hendricks
  • The Blood of an Englishman by James McClure
  • Johnny Porno, Shakedown, and Rough Riders by Charlie Stella
  • A Private Venus by Giorgio Scerbenenco
  • Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
  • The Name of the Game Is Death, One Endless Hour, and Vengeance Man by Dan J. Marlowe
  • Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
  • Pronto by Elmore Leonard
  • Slaughter’s Hound by Declan Burke
© Peter Rozovsky 2012


Blogger Declan Burke said...

Much obliged, Peter. Deeply honoured to be included in such a list of fine writers. Apart from McKinty, obviously. Cheers, Dec

November 29, 2012  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am always a sucker for reading lists. They show me how much I have missed but must now consider reading. Shall I assume the list is not a ranked list? Could I then put you on the spot by inviting you to list the top five?

November 29, 2012  
Blogger Kelly Robinson said...

I'll be moving some of these higher up my want list. (I have Sara Gran's Closer, but I haven't read it yet.)

November 29, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Declan: My pleasure, and may you have a good and productive year. And everybody who reads this should read Slaughter's Hound and Absolute Zero Cool.

November 29, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T.: You're right. It's not a ranked list, and I'm going to keep it that way. I simply listed the books approximately in the order I'd read them (either in chronological or reverse chronological order. I forget which.)

I will say that three of the entries are events (Scerbanenco, McClure, Marlowe) because they make available books that had been unjustly neglected, long unavailable in English, or never before translated into English.

Among the list's living authors, Elmore Leonard is the only megastar. If there were justice in this world, the rest would join him.

November 29, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kelly, I bought Come Closer after I read Claire DeWitt..., but I haven't read it yet.

I like the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys echo in the title Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead. I have read that the author plans another Claire DeWitt (and how's that for a suitable detective name: light and wit?) book. It will interesting to see what she does after such a distinctive first book.

November 29, 2012  
Blogger Kelly Robinson said...

Oops, I called it the wrong thing, didn't I? I was probably thinking about Joy Division.

November 29, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Or maybe you were thinking about relief pitchers when you called the book Closer. That's OK; I've referred to it as Get Closer.

November 29, 2012  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...


Thanks for that! Glad you squeezed Burke in at the end there. His ego would have been crushed. Or he just would have had spent the night hugging all his prizes for AZC.

November 29, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Not at the end, mate. He's an equal among equals. I have removed the numbers from the list to make this clear.

The event of the year on that list has to be A Private Venus, first English translation ever of this novel by the father of Italian noir, only the second book of his ever translated into English.

November 30, 2012  

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