Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Crime & Mystery: The 100 Best Books: Mini-Review

H. R. F. Keating's Crime & Mystery: The One Hunderd Best Books (1987) gives mystery readers his highly authoritative list of the best in crime and mystery fiction to that date.  Is it a subjective list--of course.  Any list of the best of anything is going to be subjective.  But Keating is a well-respected mystery author in his own right as well as a critic for The Times and has a pretty fair knowledge of the genre.  We may quibble over the lack of one of our favorites or the submission of a novel of which we just can't quite see the value, but over-all mystery fans should be pleased with Keating's offerings.  The most useful part of this collection goes beyond the list itself.  Keating gives each selection a two-page synopsis--making the case for its place on the list as well as whetting the appetites of those who have not yet read these books.  I was pleased to see how many of these novels I have already read and how many I would probably include on my own "Best of" list.  A reference book that every mystery lover should want on their shelves.  Four stars.

1 comment:

John said...

I found Keating's list a few years ago right after he died. Among the "usual suspects" he has some very unusual picks, mostly in the later, more contemporary portion of the list. I have Keating to thank for discovering POST MORTEM by Guy Cullingford and PARTY AT No. 5 by Shelley Smith, both reviewed on my blog. He also got me to try Joan Fleming.