Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Ten top introductions to crime fiction

At Kirkus Reviews, J. Kingston Pierce recommended ten top novels for readers looking for an introduction to the glories of crime fiction, including:
The Maltese Falcon (1930), by Dashiell Hammett

This is the only novel featuring self-protective, wise-cracking San Francisco private investigator Sam Spade (though he did star in four later short stories). The 1941 Humphrey Bogart film version of Falcon is fabulous, but nothing beats reading Hammett's original yarn about Spade’s involvement with deceivers and killers on the quest for a jewel-studded statuette.
Read about another book on Pierce's list, and follow his insights into crime fiction at The Rap Sheet.

The Maltese Falcon appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best fat men in literature and ten of the best femmes fatales in literature, and among Armistead Maupin's five best San Francisco novels and Janet Rudolph's ten favorite San Francisco-backdropped crime novels.

--Marshal Zeringue