Friday, January 1, 2016

best vintage crime reads of 2015

I read 36 crime novels this year. All of them would I think qualify as golden age detective fiction. Oddly enough I did not read a single hardboiled crime novel. This may reflect a gradual change in my tastes - the hardboiled style appeals to me less than it once did.

The publication dates of the books I read range from 1894 to 1958. I have tried reading modern crime fiction but mostly it just doesn’t do anything for me and these days I try to confine myself to reading stuff that I’m going to like - or at least to books that there’s a good chance I’ll like.

Picking my ten best reads of the year was tricky, as always. Here’s my list. They’re in publication date, not order of merit. I’ve included links to my reviews.

Freeman Wills Crofts, Sir John Magill’s Last Journey (1930)

J. Connington, The Two Tickets Puzzle (1930)

S. Van Dine, The Kennel Murder Case (1933)

Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Sulky Girl (1933)

Carter Dickson (John Dickson Carr), The Plague Court Murders (1934)

Ronald A. Knox, Double Cross Purposes (1937)

Rufus King, Murder Masks Miami (1939)

Clyde B. Clason, Dragon’s Cave (1940)

Christopher Bush, The Case of the Second Chance (1946)

If I had to pick one outstanding title from the list it would have to be Sir John Magill’s Last Journey.

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