Monday, April 19, 2010

Crime Fiction Alphabet: The Wrap-Up

Well, after more than six months of near-weekly alphabet-inspired blog posting, it's time to look back on the fantastic Crime Fiction Alphabet series began by fellow Anzac book blogger Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, way back in the week starting 5 October 2009.

For those who've just stumbled on our little series which has collectively included more than 200 crime, mystery and thriller fiction posts on a amazingly diverse array of authors, books, and topics, the Crime Fiction Alphabet involved bloggers from around the world writing about a notable crime fiction novel or author (first name or surname) starting with a particular letter of the alphabet, each week.

My personal journey (which started a week late) has seen me go, in 27 posts (I did two for 'D'), from A MAN LAY DYING by crime queen Dame Ngaio Marsh, to Mark Zuehlke's HANDS LIKE CLOUDS. As promised, I mixed up the international and New Zealand authors and books over the weeks and months - and hopefully you've enjoyed some of the things I've covered. It's been a great series to be a part of, and I've enjoyed reading many of my fellow bloggers' posts, and discovering new books and authors myself.

The Crime Watch Crime Fiction Alphabet line-up was as follows:

B is for Burke, James Lee
C is for Connelly, Michael
D is for Dorothy Fowler
D is (also) for Deverell, William
E is for Ellery Queen
G is for Green, Michael
H is for Harlan Coben
I is for Ian Sutherland
J is for Joan Druett
K is for Kelly, Lindy
L is for Linwood Barclay's FEAR THE WORST
M is for Marsh, Dame Ngaio
N is for Neil Cross
O is for OR SHE DIES
P is for Peter Robinson and THE PRICE OF LOVE
Q is for Qiu Xiaolong
U is for Unger, Lisa
V is for Vanda Symon
X is for Xiaolong's THE MAO CASE
Y is for Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Z is for Zuehlke, Mark

At a quick glance, my 27 posts divided into 11 New Zealand-related posts, and 16 international ones. In fact, I covered authors from New Zealand, China, Canada, Iceland, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia in total - so that's not too bad. I'm a little surprised in hindsight that I didn't cover any of the Swedes, but I think that may have been because many other people were (eg I didn't want to use Larsson for 'L' week), and I just had other authors in mind for some letters of the alphabet (eg Marsh rather than Mankell for 'M' week).

Sixteen of my posts leaned more towards author profile, while the other 11 leaned more towards review or featuring a particular book (although there were a few that kind of combined both or fell somewhere in between).

The cool thing about crime fiction is that even with such a diverse array of posts, I could probably do it over again and again and again using none of these people and books, and coming up with an equally intriguing list - we are very fortunate that there are so many cool books and authors in crime, mystery and thriller fiction. It is a very vibrant part of the literary spectrum.

Thanks again to Kerrie, and to everyone who participated. It was a lot of fun, and inspiring (in fact, I'm just now mulling over whether I could have done the whole thing with NZ references - X might have been a bit hard... but let me think on it)...

What did you think of the Crime Fiction Alphabet? Which of my posts did you particularly like (if any)? Thoughts and comments welcome.


  1. Craig - Thanks for this post. I had a great time doing the meme, myself, and I know I learned a lot from reading yours. I have to say that one of my favorites was your profile of Dorothy Fowler. I wasn't familiar with her or her writing, and it was interesting to "meet" her. What Remains Behind sounds like a very good book, too.

  2. You make a good point that we are lucky to have such variety in our favourite genre Craig. I too could do it all again without using the same authors or titles as I used this time around.

    I've made good use of your posts - I've already read the Lindy Kelly book and I have my name down at the library for the Dorothy Fowler one. I've also got the William Deverell book April Fool lined up to read soon for the global reading challenge (representing a Canadian new-to-me author).

  3. Perhaps we'll have to think about running it again sometime - not just now though. Or a variant :-)