Bookshelf Travelling

Judith at Reader in the Wilderness hosts this meme – Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times.  I’m still enjoying looking round my actual bookshelves and re-discovering books I’ve read or am looking forward to reading. The idea is to share your bookshelves with other bloggers. Any aspect you like:

1. Home.
2. Books in the home.
3. Touring books in the home.
4. Books organized or not organized on shelves, in bookcases, in stacks, or heaped in a helter-skelter fashion on any surface, including the floor, the top of the piano, etc.
5. Talking about books and reading experiences from the past, present, or future.


I’ve brought this pile of books together from different bookcases. They’re about crime fiction and crime fiction writers.

The book at the bottom of the pile is Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection by Chris Steinbrunner and Otto Penzler, published in 1976. It contains details not only of mystery and crime fiction authors but also ‘biographies’ of fictional detectives, including Sherlock Holmes, Perry Mason, Hercule Poirot and Margaret to name but a few. It also includes details of films, plays, radio and TV series. And there are lots of photos.

Following the Detectives Real Locations in Crime Fiction edited by Maxim Jakubowski is another fascinating book giving details of 20 crime fiction detectives in the cities and countries in which they live and work. So, there are maps featuring real locations, such as the Oxford Bar in Edinburgh where Inspector Rebus and his creator, Ian Rankin drink. It’s a beautiful book both to look at and to read, with colour photos, details of film/theatre/TV dramatisations and clear maps showing the locations, plus links to useful websites. 

The World of Inspector Morse by Christopher Bird with a Foreword by Colin Dexter is next. This is an A-Z reference detailing Morse’s and Lewis’s activities on Colin Dexter’s books and on TV and illustrated with stills from the TV series. Looking through it this morning I came across a section called ‘Literature’ – Dexter described Morse as a ‘dipper-in’ rather than a ‘systematic reader’. He loves poetry, the works of A E Houseman, his favourite author is Dickens, his second favourite Thomas Hardy. I should ‘dip-in’ to this book more often.

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards. If you enjoy the detective stories written between the two World Wars then this is the book for you. It tells the story of how the writers such as Agatha Christie and her colleagues in the Detection Club transformed crime fiction. They were interested in and influenced by a number of real crimes, both current at the time and crimes from the past, such as Dr Crippen’s poisoning of his wife. This book is crammed full of fascinating information about the period and the authors.

And finally, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction by Barry Forshaw, another indispensable book for crime fiction lovers. This covers a variety of sub-genres from the origins of crime fiction in the 19th century with the Gothic writers to the novels of Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle to the classic mysteries of the  Golden Age and onwards into the 20th century. There are sections on spies, private detectives, professionals and amateurs, serial killers, historical crime and so on.

15 thoughts on “Bookshelf Travelling

  1. I have two of your books. The Golden Age of Murder and The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction. I must get around to the former as this is just the period of crime fiction I like.

    How is your hand/wrist, Margaret?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for asking, Cath, my hand/wrist is improving very slowly, mainly as I’m using David’s laptop sitting in an easy chair resting my arm on a cushion, rather than at the desk on my PC, sitting on a dining chair. But I spoke to the doctor again and he decided to refer me to the Orthopedic Dept at the hospital. Whenever that will be – I’m hoping it will be better before then.


  2. Thanks for asking, Liz. As I said to Cath it is improving slowly – I’m having to learn how to use a laptop – and now WordPress is changing the editor and so I’ll have to learn the Block Editor – not easy for me. I’m getting a laptop as David wants his back! 🙂


  3. I like your selection, Margaret. I’m especially hoping you’ll enjoy The Golden Age of Murder. I think Martin Edwards is very talented, and he is a treasure trove of information about Golden Age crime writers and crime novels.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My US Harcourt Brace Jovanovich paperback edition of the Steinbrenner & Penzler book looks much thinner than your hardback (British, I presume) RKP edition, especially when benchmarked against the book by Martin Edwards. I checked the page count: 436 pp. That’s far from flimsy, and lowers my concern that my edition is somehow an abbreviated version. Does your hardback edition have the same page count?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Margaret. That puts my mind at ease. I otherwise would have been eying my copy with some suspicion every time I saw it on my book shelf.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Margaret,
    I simply thrive on reference books that relate to FUN reading, like crime and mysteries. I’ve been searching for some of these. I do have a Forshaw title, Nordic Noir, which is very good, though written a good bit ago. I’d love to have the book that shows the haunts of our favorite crime writers. Sounds wonderful. I’m adding the titles to my list, to see if my library carries one of them, or more to the point, will be carrying them again some day in the distant future. Whither libraries??? Oh, gosh.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love those types of reference books too, Judith.🙂 I have another Forshaw, Rough Guide to Historic Noir – I love those little books! And I do miss my library.


    1. Rough Guide to Historic Noir. Will look this one up online right now. I think I need that. Well, needs vs. wants–right now wants have been equalling needs for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love mystery reference books. My copy of The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction is falling apart. I have read most of The Golden Age of Murder but have not quite finished it. I wish I had the Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection by Chris Steinbrunner and Otto Penzler, I have another one by them titled Detectionary.


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