Crime Fiction Alphabet – Q

This week  it’s the letter Q in Kerrie’s Crime Fiction Alphabet.

In January I decided that for the Crime Fiction Alphabet I would read books that I already own and I made a list of possible authors/titles for each letter. It’s worked out OK – up to now. I don’t have any unread books that I could write about for the letter Q, so I looked in my local library for inspiration.

The library had a lot of books on the shelves by Quintin Jardine. I’d written about his book Fallen Gods: a Bob Skinner mystery last year in the Alphabet  series so I thought I’d try another one of his books and borrowed On Honeymoon with Death: an Oz Blackstone Mystery. At the same time I also picked up Thereby Hangs a Tail: a Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn.

I’ve read the opening chapters of each one and decided I don’t really want to read either of them right now.

The book cover tells me that On Honeymoon with Death is about Oz Blackstone and Primavera Phillips trying to rekindle their relationship by returning to L’Escala, the idyllic Spanish village where they were once so happy. But things go wrong and then a body turns up face down in the swimming pool. My problem with the opening chapter is that I didn’t take to Oz’s outsize ego.

So I turned to Thereby Hangs a Tail but the idea of a doggy narrator called on to investigate threats made against  a pretty pampered show dog named Princess didn’t thrill me.

So both books are going back to the library unread – unless anyone can tell me that these are books that I will enjoy if I read a bit further on.

So my offering for the letter Q is A Question of Blood, the 14th Inspector Rebus book by Ian Rankin, which I read and wrote about last year.

Whilst looking for Q ideas I read about The Quincunx by Charles Palliser. This sounds a most interesting book. The description on various websites leads me to think I would like it:

Description from Amazon:

The Quincunx is an epic Dickensian-like mystery novel set in 19th century England, and concerns the varying fortunes of young John Huffam and his mother. A thrilling complex plot is made more intriguing by the unreliable narrator of the book – how much can we believe of what he says? First published in 1989, The Quincunx was a surprise bestseller and began a trend for pastiche Victorian novels. It remains one of the best.
If you’ve read this can you let me know what you think of it?

4 thoughts on “Crime Fiction Alphabet – Q

  1. Margaret – A Question of Blood is a fine contribution to the meme; I’m glad you chose it :-). But of course, as you know, I like the Rebus series very much.

    I’m afraid I can’t give you any insight about The Quincunx, although I have to admit I think the title is intriguing. I’ll be interested to see whether you do decide to read it and what you think of it.

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  2. I haven’t read ‘The Quincunx’ although it is sitting on my book shelf and I really ought to. But, I can tell you that I bought it after hearing Susan Hill rave about it, if that helps.

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  3. The Quincunx sounds interesting.
    I also ran into problems last year when I followed the rules (mostly) and wrote about authors. I have found it much easier to write about crime-related themes – well, there is not point in bending the rules unless it is easier for you, I suppose 🙂

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  4. I turned to the library for my Q book too. When I didn’t find any authors who appealed I looked for titles with Q words. Your book came up, but I hadn’t read Rebus before and wasn’t sure it would be the place to start, and in any case I found that Nicholas Blake’s first book was a perfect fit.

    An unread copy of The Quincunx sits on my shelf too.Iit looks wonderful and I have heard much praise, but it is so very, very long.

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