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:
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.