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Anyone read/used to read crime fiction?

(43 Posts)
DeviTheGaelet Sun 13-Nov-16 14:13:46

I stopped for a while because of this board and how most thrillers feature inordinate violence to women by men.
I am just reading a series by Robert Bryndza and the "Night Stalker" is amazing at overturning a lot of those clichés about crime novels. I'm really loving it. Great range of characters and very fresh to read.
Anyone else read it? I hope more people do because it's great
Also are there any other more feminist crime novels?

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 13-Nov-16 14:37:55

I find most crime fiction troubling other than the sort of "murder in the vicarage"/ Midsomer Murders variety as most of it seems to involve gloating on truly awful things being done to people who have done nothing to deserve it and/or cruelty to animals.

I haven't read it but a friend told me Val McDermid's The Mermaids Singing was revolting.

I like Catriona MacPherson's Dandy Gilver series which feature a semi-professional upper class lady detective starting in 1918 and moving forward chronologically. They are less cosy than the Midsomer type of murder but without graphic scenes. I also find them interesting for personal cultural and demographic reasons.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 13-Nov-16 14:49:25

There's always Barbara Vine of course- thrillers with a low body count which usually happens through circumstances beyond control of the protagonists than deliberate malicious intent.

SenecaFalls Sun 13-Nov-16 15:03:25

I read a lot of crime fiction; and as my favorite sub-genre is the police procedural, I have to admit that quite a bit is male-centered, although not necessarily featuring gratuitous violence against women.

My favorite crime writer is PD James, who died not too long ago. She has some earlier works featuring a female sleuth, Cordelia Gray, and her Adam Dalgliesh novels are very balanced in their treatment of women characters.

I am very fond of "tartan noir" some of which can be a bit problematical where women are concerned. I love Ian Rankin and his Rebus series (set in Edinburgh), so much so that I have ordered the latest book from the UK because I don't want to wait until January when it comes out in the US. As Rebus has aged and retired from the force, his former number 2 person, a women, has been promoted and featured more prominently in the books.

I like the puzzle aspect of the police procedual. Another favorite is Denise Mina, whose books are set in Glasgow.

Sadik Sun 13-Nov-16 15:18:46

I used to read a lot of crime fiction - Sara Paretsky, Marcia Muller, Sue Grafton in particular, plus Val McDermid's earlier books. All feminist friendly, though I don't know how dated some of them would be these days.
Sara Paretsky's books are definitely as good as ever, I read a couple not long back and VI is definitely still on form if a bit creaky round the edges (much like me).

Sadik Sun 13-Nov-16 15:22:33

One thing I like about Sara Paretsky's VI Warshawski books is that the crimes she's investigating are not always violent, it's often corporate crime, covering up large scale industrial malpractice, that sort of thing.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 13-Nov-16 15:22:58

Seneca, Catriona MacPherson is Scottish and set in Scotland (as you might expect from the name !)but is not tartan noir. It's interesting from a female perspective as Dandy is from the moneyed and landed class- she is very strong and assertive and steps well of line from what might be expected of her. She has the occasional glimmer of awareness that her ability to do is greatly bolstered by her wealth and class.

Have you read any of Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie books? Brodie is a very likeable and occasionally inept private detective often outwitted by women, including a female police officer.

Not crime but Atkinson's ^Emotionally Weird" has the best ever university tutorial scene ever written.

BestMammyEver Sun 13-Nov-16 15:23:20

Last book I read was Martina Cole - Betrayal. I read it very quick as it was hard to put down. I am going to look up some of these authors as they weren't books I would normally read.

DeviTheGaelet Sun 13-Nov-16 15:35:27

I'm not sure about reading Jackson Brodie after coming to the uncomfortable realisation I had a crush on a 50 year old while watching the TV series shock. Still not recovered....

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 13-Nov-16 15:39:20

Jackson Brodie is lovely (and younger than me)

DeviTheGaelet Sun 13-Nov-16 15:51:11

Haha lass I was about 35 at the time!!

DeviTheGaelet Sun 13-Nov-16 15:52:10

I might try them though as life after life/god in ruins by Kate atkinson were both great

SenecaFalls Sun 13-Nov-16 16:00:50

Thanks, Lass, I will definitely check out Catriona MacPherson. Also, I have not read any Kate Atkinson books, so she is on my list too. I did see the Jackson Brodie TV series; and yes, he was quite appealing.

Switching gears, big time, but there is a series by American author Margaret Maron, set in North Carolina, which features a woman judge who seems to find dead bodies and other crimes everywhere she goes. It is very well written, with quite a bit of humor, and has lots of strong female characters in it (as any novel set in the South should, of course. smile). The series is long and should probably be read in order. The first is Bootlegger's Daughter.

YonicProbe Sun 13-Nov-16 17:43:09

Thanks, Devi. I have bought his first one, 99p on Kindle!

Lass, The Mermaids Singing is gruesome. It's unusual in that men are being killed in sexually motivated murders rather than women.

Her DC Karen Pirie books are less gruesome!

DeviTheGaelet Sun 13-Nov-16 18:55:47

Hope you like it!

ISaySteadyOn Sun 13-Nov-16 18:59:43

Many may disagree, but I love Sophie Hannah's Culver Valley series.

YonicProbe Sun 13-Nov-16 19:04:22

To all who value your sanity: do not pick up a ludicrous but strangely addictive Sophie Hannah book. This is a public service announcement.


LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 13-Nov-16 19:33:06

Oh lord, seconded re Sophie Hannah. You get sacked in by the plot summary on the back and they are dreadful. And despite the absurdities of the plot, oddly forgettable (having bought Little Face twice)

Xenophile Sun 13-Nov-16 21:48:51

Did anyone see the TV adaptation of The Mermaids Singing? That was grim enough, there's no way I'd want to read the bits I fast forwarded over.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sun 13-Nov-16 22:33:52

The first is Bootlegger's Daughter

I am irrationally attracted to books called "The Something/ Someone's Something/Someone" and put off books called "The Something of Something"

For exaample Barbara Vine's The Chimney Sweeper's Boy -( very good) Stef Penny's The Tenderness of Wolves (terrible)

LastGirlOnTheLeft Sun 13-Nov-16 23:00:43

No, I only read true crime by Ann Rule really. She is extremely victim-conscious.....she treats the perp like a pile of shit and really delves into the history and humanity of the victim.

Miffer Mon 14-Nov-16 02:40:30

Sophie Hannah is bloody awful, that Culver Valley series is like a literary version of the "White People Problems" Meme.

I used to like 'throwaway' crime fic but got sick of the seeming unending escalation of gratuitous violence inflicted on women in the books. I have read books were women have had ribs removed and... actually the worst example of this I don't want to repeat here.

That said I really enjoy the Charlie Parker books, they are a bit odd as they have heavy themes of the supernatural/mystical in them but tend to have a straight up mystery at the centre. They are very violent though.

Miffer Mon 14-Nov-16 02:41:27

I am irrationally attracted to books called "The Something/ Someone's Something/Someone" and put off books called "The Something of Something"

So weird I am the opposite, daughter/son/boy/wife at the end of anything puts me straight off.

DeviTheGaelet Mon 14-Nov-16 07:47:16

miffer you might like these, they are throwaway but there is more diversity in all the characters including victims!

PinkSwimGoggles Mon 14-Nov-16 07:53:41

isn't barbara vine ruth rendel's pen name?

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