Friday, July 10, 2015

True Crime and Historical Crime Fiction. Top 10 Lists from McCreet, Graeber and Peace.

Today, some forays into historical and true crime writing courtesy The Guardian. By following the links you can read extended descriptions of their books advocating for its place on the list. For copyright reasons, I shortened these to thumbnails.

James McCreet: Victorian Crime 

McCreet writes well-researched historical mystery fiction set in the Victorian era. How can you ask for anything better? Here are his Top 10 Victorian Detective Stories (and resources).

1. On Murder by Thomas de Quincey
Detective fiction that predates Poe.
2. The Mystery of Marie Roget by Edgar Allan Poe
Billed as the sequel to the Murders in Rue Morgue, Poe tackles a real-life crime.
3. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
In one of his several nods to the genre of mystery, Dickens introduces Inspector Bucket.
4. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale
Another Victorian author tackles a true crime. 
5. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Helped establish the mystery novel genre.
6. Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner by Henry Goddard
True Victorian crime by a real Victorian detective.
7. London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew
Interviews with Victorian criminals.
8. Fingerprints by Douglas G Browne
An early forensic text.
9. A Dictionary of Victorian London by Lee Jackson
and 10. Victorian London by Liza Picard
Two guides to understanding Victorian London.

Charles Graeber: True Crime.

The New York Times Book Review compared Graeber's The Good Nurse (favorably) to In Cold Blood. Here is a list of his top ten true crime books.

1. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, by Jon Krakauer
2. All the President's Men, by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
3. Columbine, by Dave Cullen
4. Blood and Money, by Thomas Thompson
5. The Executioner's Song, by Norman Mailer
6. The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy, the Shocking Inside Story, by Anne Rule
7. Homicide: a year on the Killing Streets, by David Simon
8. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders, by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry
9. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
10. People Who Eat Darkness: the Fate of Lucie Blackman, by Richard Lloyd Parry

David Peace: British True Crime.

David Peace is described in the Guardian article as a writer of "ultra-noir." An apt description, his works pack the punch of a sledgehammer. His top 10 true crime books.

1. Beyond Belief by Emlyn Williams
An account of the Moors Murders case.
2. Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son by Gordon Burn
"Gordon Burn is the best British writer there is."
3. Killing for Company by Brian Masters
The Dennis Nilsen case.
4. The Streetcleaner by Nicole Ward Jouve
The Yorkshire Ripper.
5. Error of Judgement by Chris Mullin
Exposing the true story of the Birmingham Bombings.
6. State of Siege by Jim Coulter, Susan Miller and Martin Walker.
The miners' strike of 1984-85.
7. Who Framed Colin Wallace? by Paul Foot
The author tackles a wrongful conviction.
8. Smear! by Stephen Dorril and Robin Ramsay
The behind the scenes story of the secret destruction of Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
9. The Terrorism Trilogy by Martin Dillon
The Shankill Butchers, God and the Gun, and The Dirty War.
10. Bloody Valentine by John Williams
The death of a Cardiff prostitute.


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