Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mystery Writers Choose Their Favorite Mysteries, Chapter Eight

This series of posts is beginning to wind down. I will have several more writers tomorrow. Today, I'd like to present a few miscellaneous lists.

Agatha Christie - personal favorites

Lady Agatha Christie is the queen of the British mystery. Her novel, And Then There Were None, is the best-selling mystery of all time, having sold 100 million copies. She was asked to choose the ten favorite among her own works. Presented with her comments. From

And Then There Were None. A difficult technique which was a challenge and so I enjoyed it, and I think dealt with it satisfactorily.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. A general favourite and [spoiler] also the first time where the narrator has managed to be the villain.

A Murder is Announced. I thought all the characters interesting to write about and felt I knew them quite well by the time the book was finished.

Murder on the Orient Express. Again because it was a new idea for a plot.

The Thirteen Problems. A good series of stories.

Towards Zero. I found it interesting to work on the idea of people from different places coming towards a murder, instead of starting with the murder and working from that.

Endless Night. My own favourite at present.

Crooked House. I found a study of a certain family interesting to explore.

Ordeal by Innocence. An idea I had had for some time before starting to work upon it.

The Moving Finger. Which I have re-read lately and enjoyed reading it again, very much.

Julia Buckley

Buckley is and English teacher and the author of eight mysteries. Her latest, The Big Chili, will be available October 2015 from Berkeley Prime Crime. 

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. (1866)
Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers. (1932)
They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie. (1951)
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. (1953)
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart, (1964)
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P.D. James. (1972)
The Blue Hammer by Ross MacDonald. (1976)
F is or Fugitive by Sue Grafton. (1990)
A Shred of Evidence by Jill McGown (1995)
The Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson. (2005-2007)
Playing for the Ashes by Elizabeth George. (2008)

Annotations to this list can be found at her website.

Forgotten Treasures List, Los Angeles Times, 1999.

In December 1999 the Los Angeles Times polled authors as to their favorite lost treasures among books, that is, those that have unjustly slipped into obscurity. Some of the responses came from mystery writers including Le Carré and Elmore Leonard. The entire set of lists from 38 authors (including many that are non-mysteries) is presented below. From: L.A. Times, December 26, 1999 and the Los Angeles Times blog.

André Aciman. "Count d'Orgel's Ball" by Raymond Radiguet.

Mindy Aloff. "The Reader Over Your Shoulder: A Handbook for Writers of English Prose," by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge and "Ballet, 104 photographs by Alexey Brodovitch, with an introductory essay by Edwin Denby."

Noel Annan. "A Passage To India" by E.M. Forster.

Margaret Atwood. "Doctor Glas" by Hjalmar Söderberg.

Anthony Bailey. Two by Marc Bloch: "Strange Defeat" and "Souvenirs de Guerre 1914-15."

John Banville. "By Love Possessed" by James Gould Cozzens.

Jacques Barzun. "Practical Agitation" by John Jay Chapman.

Alain de Botton. "The Unquiet Grave" by Cyril Connolly.

Robert Conquest. "The Pursuit of the Millennium" by Norman Cohn.

G. Cabrera Infante. "Morel's Invention" by Adolfo Bioy Casares and "Valentin" by Juan Gil-Albert.

Thomas Flanagan. "Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the Civil War" by Edmund Wilson.

Carlos Fuentes. "Paradiso" by Jose Lezama Lima; "Grande Sertão, Veredas" by João Guimarães Rosa and "The Flowering of New England" by Van Wyck Brooks.

Robert Giroux. "The Enormous Room" by E.E. Cummings.

Nadine Gordimer. "Turbott Wolfe" by William Plomer.

Juan Goytisolo. "Petersburg" by Andrei Bely.

Thom Gunn. Two by Arnold Bennett: "The Old Wives' Tale" and "Riceyman Steps."

Michael Henry Heim. "House on the Embankment" by Yuri Trifonov and "Faithful Russian" by Georgi Vladimov.

Dave Hickey. "The Man Who Loved Children" by Christina Stead.

Gary Indiana. "Beware of Pity" by Stefan Zweig and "Ferdydurke" by Witold Gombrowicz.

Pico Iyer. "The Road to Xanadu" by John Livingston Lowes.

Milan Kundera.  "The Man Without Qualities" by Robert Musil.

John Le Carré. "The Good Soldier" by Ford Madox Ford and "Rogue Male" by Geoffrey Household.

Elmore Leonard. Two by Richard Bissell: "High Water" and "A Stretch on the River."

Wendy Lesser. "Riceyman Steps" by Arnold Bennett. (Note: the only work to appear on two lists.)

Julius Lester. "Mojo Hand" by Jane Phillips and "Joseph and His Brothers" by Thomas Mann.

Simon Leys."The Man Who Was Thursday" by G.K. Chesterton and "Kokoro" by Natsume Soseki (E. McClellan's translation.)

John Luckas. Two by Jean Dutourd: "The Horrors of Love" and "Best Butter."

J.D. McClatchy. "Collected Works" by H.W. Longfellow.

Frederic Morton. "Lieutnant Gustl" [also published as "None but the Brave"] by Arthur Schnitzler and "Origins of the Sacred" by Dudley Young.

Paul Muldoon. "Irish Journal" by Heinrich Boll.

Cynthia Ozick. Seven by Rudyard Kipling: "The Wish House," "Dayspring Mishandled," "Mary Postgate," "The Gardener," "The Eye of Allah," "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and "Mrs. Bathurst."

Noel Perrin. "Far Rainbow" by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky and "The Walls Came Tumbling Down" by Henriette Roosenburg.

Gregory Rabassa. "Internal War" by Volodia Teitelboim, "My World Is Not of This Kingdom" by João de Melo and "The Return of the Caravels" by Antonio Lobo Antunes.

Benjamin Schwarz. "Sword of Honour" by Evelyn Waugh.

Ben Sonnenberg. "The Selected Works of Cesare Pavese" by Cesare Pavese.

Susan Sontag. "And Then" by Natsume Soseki, "Jennie Gerhardt" by Theodore Dreiser, "Fateless" by Imre Kertész.

Marina Warner. "Anthologie des mythes, legendes, et conles populaires d'Amerique" ("Anthology of Myths, Legends, and Popular Tales of America") by Benjamin Peret.

 Eugen Weber. "Jean Barois" by Roger Martin du Gard.

Previous posts of mystery writers choosing their favorite mysteries.
The first post: P.D. James  Andrew Klavan  Thomas H. Cook John Dickson Carr  Arthur Conan Doyle
The second post: Isaac Asimov Robert Barnard George Baxt James Ellroy Michael Gilbert Sue Grafton Reginald Hill Tony Hillerman HRF Keating Peter Lovesey Charlotte MacLeod Sara Paretsky Julian Symons Martin Hill Ortiz
The third post: Robert B. Parker Elizabeth Peters Peter Straub  Donald E. Westlake Phyllis A. Whitney
The fourth post: Aaron Elkins John Gardner  Michael Malone Marcia Muller
The fifth post: Robert Barnard (best recent) Jacques Barzun Rex Stout  Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 1950.
The sixth post: Jeannette de Beauvoir Mary Reed John Dufresne

The seventh post:
Angela Zeman
Carolyn Wheat
Ann Rule
John Lutz
Dick Lochte
Laurie R. King
Tony Hillerman
Jeremiah Healy
Linda Fairstein
Jan Burke

Martin Hill Ortiz, also writing under the name, Martin Hill, is the author of A Predatory Mind. His mystery, Never Kill A Friend, will be available June 27th from Ransom Note Press. His epic poem, Two Mistakes, recently won second place in the Margaret Reid/Tom Howard Poetry Competition.


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