Friday, June 26, 2015

Pelecanos, Higgins Clark, Charlaine Harris: A Tenth Installment of Mystery Writers Choosing Their Favorite Mysteries

Today the ebook version of my latest novel, Never Kill A Friend, becomes available. More about that here

Below is a continuation of the favorite books of mystery writers. While today's lists are from various sites, I  have started compiling the Barnes and Noble interviews which include twenty-three contemporary mystery-thriller authors and their selections will keep me busy for several more posts. (Note: access to the B & N interviews seem to have disappeared: the links, non-functional.)

Up to bat: George Pelecanos, Mary Higgins Clark and Charlaine Harris.

George Pelecanos

George Pelecanos writes with an incisive disciplined prose. His favorite setting is the underside of the nation's capitol. Along with almost twenty novels, he has written for the television shows, Treme and The Wire. From his Barnes and Noble interview.

Unknown Man #89 by Elmore Leonard
...this is as notable for its crime fiction elements as it is for its love story and realistic depiction of alcoholism. 

Swag by Elmore Leonard
The first chapter alone is worth the price of the ticket.

Black Cherry Blues (Dave Robicheaux Series #3) by James Lee Burke
James Lee Burke is the best pure writer among us. ... Violent and poetic.

Gone, Baby, Gone (Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro Series #4) by Dennis Lehane
This one has it all: jaw-dropping action sequences, a realistic and surprising mystery solution, scope, character, and narrative drive.

The Last Coyote (Harry Bosch Series #4) by Michael Connelly
Once started, the Harry Bosch books cannot be put down or out of mind.

Clockers by Richard Price

[It's] my generation's The Grapes of Wrath.

The Deep Blue Good-By (Travis McGee Series #1) by John D. MacDonald, Lee Child
The first crime novel I ever read is also the first Travis McGee novel ... A remarkable series.

The Galton Case (Lew Archer Series #8) by Ross Macdonald
... what a book. 

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
Hands down, Raymond Chandler's masterpiece.

The Last Good Kiss (C.W. Sughrue Series #1) by James Crumley
If I had to name one book that most made me want to become a crime fiction novelist, this is it. 

Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter. Introduction by George P. Pelecanos.

A great American novel written with fierce conviction and ambition.

Mary Higgins Clark’s Favorite Chilling Thrillers

From her first mystery, Where Are the Children? in 1977 to this day, Mary Higgins Clark has enthralled her readers delivering the most pleasurable of chills. From a 2013 interview with The Daily Beast.

Payment Deferred by C.S. Forester
One of the best suspense stories ever written. 

Fallen by Karin Slaughter
Karin Slaughter always grabs you on the first line and never lets go.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Engrossing from page one. Layer upon layer of suspense. 

Green Darkness by Anya Seton
I've always loved the idea of people living out the unfinished tragedy of other people in another lifetime. 

As Husbands Go by Susan Isaacs
One of the top suspense writers of our time...

Charlaine Harris

Harris is the bestselling and prolific author of several mystery series, her most popular being the Southern Vampire Mysteries, the basis for the HBO Series, True Blood. This list remarkably comes from the Ann Arbor, Michigan District Library's Police Department History's webpage. (God bless Google)

1  Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
2  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. 
3  Passage by Connie Willis.
4  Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
5  Lullaby Town by Robert Crais.
6  The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
7  One for the Money by Janet Evanovich. 
8  The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. 
9  We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. 
10  The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.
 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
 The eighth post: Agatha Christie (favorites among her own works), Julia Buckley, and 38 renowned authors choose their favorite forgotten books, including John Le Carré and Elmore Leonard.
 The ninth post: Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly, Don Winslow,Polly Whitney, E.E. Kennedy.

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


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