The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction by Barry Forshaw

cover image

cover image

This excellent book is a must-read for all serious fans of crime fiction.

Charting the history of the genre, it’s both highly educational and hugely entertaining.

With a foreword by Ian Rankin, each chapter goes on to chronicle a different sub-genre from classic mysteries, through noir and pulp, and visiting with cops, PIs, amateurs and serial killers along the way. It delves into psychological thrillers and criminal protagonists, and takes a peek at organized crime, espionage, and the worlds of historical and translated books.

Highly recommended.

Events Alert: Murder in the (British) Library

Pulp Fiction - BW

Pulp Fiction – BW (Photo credit: Mark Coggins)

If you’re a crime fiction enthusiast like me then you might want to check out the ‘Murder in the Library: An A-Z of Crime Fiction’.

Installed at the British Library, London, this free exhibition is sponsored by The Folio Society.

It showcases the genre’s development from the early 19th century up to the present day, and will be open up to 12th May 2013.

For more information check out the British Library website at:

Maybe I’ll see you there …

What book are you reading this week?





My ‘to be read’ book stack seems to grow higher each day. In fact, it’s so tall that it’s become two reading stacks!


Right now, I’ve just finished reading A Wanted Man by Lee Child (review to be posted soon).


I’ve started reading The Obsession by T.V. Locicero.


After that, the next book on my pile is Ghostman by Roger Hobbs.


What book are you reading this week?


Daily Ponder: Book spotting on the Train


Kindle (Photo credit: Simply Bike)

In just a few hours I’ll be heading up to London for the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) hosted panel discussion “Is crime the new literary fiction?” that’s being held at Kings Place.

One of the things I always like to do on the train ride to London and back (and on the tube) is to check out the books my fellow travelers are reading. Are they crime thrillers, romance, science fiction, fantasy, historical or something else? And, more importantly, have I read them, and do they look like the type of thing I’d like to read.

I’ve even had quite a few bookish conversations with fellow commuters, and got some excellent recommendations from them. But, it’s not quite as easy as it used to be. That’s because of eReaders. I just can’t (or not as secretly) take a sneaky peep at the cover of the book being read. Although, that said, if I’m standing on the train, and someone sitting nearby is reading on an eReader (especially if the font size is set to large) it is possible.

But, not to be deterred (and, of course, being of a rather nosy disposition!) I’ll be book spotting on the train as I travel.

I wonder what crime thriller books I’ll glimpse today …

World Book Night: Attention Wannabe Book Givers – applications are open

2013 World Book Night logo

2013 World Book Night logo

That’s right, applications have opened for applying to become a ‘book giver’ for World Book Night 2013.

If you’ve not heard about World Book Night before, it’s a huge celebration of reading which aims to reach out to the millions of people in the UK who have yet to discover the joys of reading.

Every year, the team behind World Book Night recruit 20,000 ‘book givers’ – people passionate about reading who are given 20 copies of their favorite book from the chosen World Book Night books to gift to people within their community who, for a variety of reasons, wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to read.

Next year, World Book Night will be 23rd April.

The books for 2013 have just been announced, and there are some fabulous picks, with several from the crime thriller genre including The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by  Alexander McCall Smith and Little Face by Sophie Hannah.

To see the full set of books chosen for World Book Night 2013 and to find out more about the event and how to become a book giver visit

My Reading List

Piles of books

Piles of books (Photo credit: ollily)

So many crime fiction books, not enough time!

I’ve always been a real hoarder of books, but recently my ‘To Read’ pile seems to have grown far more than usual.

On my list at the moment I’ve got:

  • BAPTISM by Max Kinnings
  • Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne
  • Snakes & Ladders by Sean Slater
  • Dark Eyes by William Richter
  • Sleep Walkers by Tom Grieves
  • The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
  • 11.22.63 by Stephen King
  • A Wanted Man by Lee Child
  • Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz

And with the darker nights drawing in, it’s the perfect time to curl up by the fire and read my way through them.

What’s on your ‘to read’ list at the moment?