Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Alphabet in Crime Fiction: Letter B

Kerrie over at Mysteries in Paradise is sponsoring The Alphabet in Crime Fiction community meme. For full details on how to participate, hop over using the link and visit Kerrie's site.

This week we are featuring the letter B and I am throwing the spotlight on Robert Barnard.

Robert Barnard is a British detective novelist, critic and lecturer. His is a name I haven't seen mentioned much out here in the blogosphere, but maybe I'm not looking in the right places. He has written more than 40 books and numerous short stories. His first mystery story was A Little Local Murder, published in 1976.

I enjoy Barnard because he is always good for a satiric skewering of various stereotypes. The most recent mystery I've read by him is Death and the Princess. In that one, Barnard dishes on royalty, reporters, parliament members, actors...I don't think he leaves out anyone who might associate with a minor princess. It's a clever little mystery executed by one of the best in more modern* British mysteries. I thoroughly enoyed his characters. There may be stereotypes here and there, but they're always fleshed-out sterotypes and not cardboard characters.

Other favorite Barnard books include Death of an Old Goat, Blood Brotherhood, The Skeleton in the Grass, and The [Case of the] Missing Bronte. The first and the last have a focus on academics and I am always a sucker for a good academic mystery. I work in the university world and his academic characters run true to type (unfortunately, in some cases).

Robert Barnard comes highly recommended by this mystery lover.

*Modern is a relative term. My main mystery focus is on vintage mysteries. Modern for me means anything post-1960.


Kerrie said...

I too enjoy Robert Barnard books, Thanks for this contribution to CFA Bev.

Anonymous said...

Bev - What a fine choice! I like Barnard's writing, myself. One that stands out in my mind is A Murder in Mayfair. If you've not read it, I recommend it...

Anonymous said...

I am always up for a satiric skewering (great phrase, by the way)! I'll have to pick up a Barnard!

gautami tripathy said...

New to me Author. I gotta pick him up!

Here is my Crime Fiction Alphabet: B post!