B is for Burglar – Sue Grafton

Another of my pre-Christmas haul of reading from Barbican Library, and still in the crime genre – not my usual fayre, but I like to dip into it every now and again.

I’ve read a few Kinsey Millhones before, and thought I’d best start from the beginning, and B was as close as I could get. I do have C and D on the bookshelves to speed on through though.

A Californian ex cop and feisty female private eye, Kinsey Millhone makes a good heroine, and Sue Grafton’s plots are convoluted enough to keep you turning the pages, while not having too many nightmare inducing moments.

Buy it: Amazon link

Blow Fly – Patricia Cornwell

Quite the scariest crime novel I’ve read in a while, so no surprises that I had nightmares last night, even if all the twists and turns take place in the USA. Unlike the other books covering other parts of Kay Scarpetta’s life, she isn’t a central character in this one, which focuses more on the people close to her and her chillingly evil arch enemies.

I’ve missed out on a lot of background developments by skipping straight from Cruel and Unusual to Blow Fly, but that’s because the Barbican library didn’t have any of the ones in between, and I’m not enough of a crime fan to actually buy the books. As and when I see any, either in the library or second hand, I’d definitely pick them up – Patricia Cornwell writes good crime!

Amazon.co.uk link: Blow Fly – Patricia Cornwell
Amazon.co.uk list: Kay Scarpetta Collection (in order)

Cruel and Unusual – Patricia Cornwell

I’ve not read any crime for ages, and picked this up second hand in Hereford over the summer. A good choice for a return to the genre, with a macabre story played out by a range of interesting characters. It reminds me of CSI: american-set, coroner/pathologist-investigated crime. If you enjoy that, you’ll enjoy this.

Amazon.co.uk link: Cruel and Unusual – Patricia Cornwell
Amazon.co.uk list: Kay Scarpetta Collection (in order)

The Little Friend – Donna Tartt

Set in the Deep South of the U S of A, this reads like a modern day take on To Kill A Mockingbird, with a cast of likeable and unlikeable characters meeting out justice, southern style.

I was interested enough in the two main protagonists, 11 year old Harriet (good) and 20-something Danny (bad), and their related kith and kin, to read on to the end – but I certainly didn’t race there.

Buy it: Amazon link

Ratking – Michael Dibdin

20th century sleuthing, Italian style, and an enjoyable pot luck read from the Gyford family caravan to tide an ill-me through the Easter Bank holiday weekend.

It feels as though the novel is written with a solid grounding in Italy’s unusual crime-fighting scene, but I was very conscious that many of the asides left me high and dry, due to my limited knowledge of Italian history and politics, ancient and modern. Still, this is an easy way to improve that!!

Buy it: Amazon link