The world’s most beloved mystery writers celebrate their favorite mystery novels in this gorgeously wrought collection, featuring essays by Michael Connelly, Kathy Reichs, Ian Rankin, and more.
In the most ambitious anthology of its kind, the world’s leading mystery writers come together to champion the greatest mystery novels ever written. In a series of personal essays that reveal as much about the authors and their own work as they do about the books that they love, over a hundred authors from twenty countries have created a guide that will be indispensable for generations of readers and writers. From Agatha Christie to Lee Child, from Edgar Allan Poe to P. D. James, from Sherlock Holmes to Hannibal Lecter and Philip Marlowe to Lord Peter Wimsey, Books to Die For brings together the best of the mystery world for a feast of reading pleasure, a treasure trove for those new to the genre and for those who believe that there is nothing new left to discover. This is the one essential book for every reader who has ever finished a mystery novel and thought…I want more!
Ignore the subtitle's hype. It's not important whether readers agree that the more than 120 contributors all deserve the label "greatest." All of them, ranging from the extremely well known (Lee Child, Rita Mae Brown, Elmore Leonard, Joseph Wambaugh) to the more obscure (South African crime expert Mike Nicol), weigh in with short essays that succinctly lay out the crime fiction that impacted them the most. Almost all the entries are original, and convincingly advocate for authors who also span the spectrum in terms of name awareness. The volume works both as a source of analysis as to why Agatha Christie is underrated and as to why writers even many cognoscenti won't be familiar with (such as Jean-Patrick Manchette and Kenneth Orvis) are worth a read. The editors' thoughtful introduction preempts any complaints about authors or books that the volume doesn't cover, and intriguingly notes that Josephine Tey was "the writer who had the greatest number of advocates."