Best new-to-me crime fiction authors: a meme: April to June 2012

This meme about the best new-to-you crime fiction authors (or all) you’ve read in the period of April to June 2012 is hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise.The books don’t necessarily need to be newly published.

Out of the 54 books I’ve read this year 17 are by new-to-me authors. I reported on the first 10 (2 of which were crime fiction) in April. Four of the 7 are crime fiction writers and they are:

M R Hall: I read two of his books – The Coroner, the first in the Jenny Cooper series and The Redeemed, the  third in the series.

In The Coroner, Jenny Cooper, a newly appointed Coroner, divorced, and recovering from a nervous breakdown gets involved in investigating the deaths of several teenagers at local detention centres. Has her predecessor neglected some crucial information in this area? As Jenny digs deeper, she encounters a solid wall of bureaucratic resistance. But however screwed up her own life is, Jenny is not going to give up on the uphill task she’s set herself. (Synopsis adapted from Amazon)

I liked both books by M R Hall, but I preferred The Redeemed. 

Synopsis from M R Hall’s website: Coroner Jenny Cooper doesn’t just have an accusation of murder hanging over her head’¦

The discovery of a dead man lying outside a Bristol church with a sign of the cross gouged into his flesh looks to her like another grisly, routine suicide. But the unexpected arrival of an enigmatic Jesuit priest reveals deeper levels of mystery.

Father Lucas Starr is protesting the innocence of a convicted prisoner who made a doubtful confession to the murder of Eva Donaldson, a former adult-movie actress turned world-renowned anti-pornography campaigner. Persuaded by him to look at Eva’s death afresh, Jenny uncovers a sinister series of connections between her killing and the body at the church.

As her investigation links to yet another tragic death, Jenny’s suspicions turn towards a powerful new global phenomenon: the politically ambitious and intoxicatingly charismatic Mission Church of God.

Answering to no one but the dead, Jenny’s lone quest for justice takes her to the heart of the fight between good and evil, sex and the supernatural, and on a dark inner journey to confront ghosts that have haunted her for a lifetime.

 Arthur Conan Doyle:  I’m surprised that I’m including Conan Doyle in a new-to-me authors post, but it is the first time I’ve actually read one of his books. I wrote about The Sign of Four in June.

Ngaio Marsh: another well-known author whose books I’ve not read before now. A Man Lay Dead was her first crime fiction novel featuring Inspector Alleyn, in which guests at Sir Hubert Handesley’s weekend house-party play the ‘Murder Game’, in which a guest is secretly selected to commit a ‘murder’ in the dark and everyone assembles to solve the crime. This ends in a real murder for Alleyn to work out who-did-it. I wasn’t overly excited or puzzled by the mystery.

Dana Stabenow: I read her first in the Kate Shugak series, A Cold Day for Murder. Synopsis from Amazon:

Somewhere in the hinterlands of Alaska, among the millions of sprawling acres that comprise ‘The Park,’ a young National Park Ranger has gone missing. When the detective sent after him also vanishes, the Anchorage DA’s department must turn to their reluctant former investigator, Kate Shugak. Shugak knows The Park because she’s of The Park, an Aleut who left her home village of Niniltna to pursue education, a career, and the righting of wrongs. Kate’s search for the missing men will take her from self-imposed exile back to a life she’d left behind, and face-to-face with people and problems she’d hoped never to confront again.

The other books by new-to-me authors are (with links to my reviews):

4 thoughts on “Best new-to-me crime fiction authors: a meme: April to June 2012

  1. This looks like a good meme – and thanks for sharing your thoughts – I will make my list from yours – ready to hand to the librarian tomorrow when I return my current selection – all by Ann Purser and based on a village cleaning lady’s ability to solve crimes!


  2. Margaret – I like the variety of your choices for this time round. And you’ve reminded me that I want to try some of Hall’s work.


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