Monday, September 13, 2010

When Autumn Reads Start to Call, 2010

I spent the better part of last week going through boxes (though, fortunately, not this many) filled with new crime novels accumulated over the last few months. I was trying to determine which of those I can reasonably expect to read soon, and which deserve to be released into the world so that others might enjoy them instead. Much to my wife’s regret, such purging is not a regular practice of mine, but it has recently become necessary, as my bookcases already grown from overstuffing and the final 2010 genre releases speed their way to my narrow mailslot.

This has been a fairly outstanding year for crime fiction, I think. And there are many more works yet to hit bookstores, some by prominent wordsmiths such as Dennis Lehane, Elmore Leonard, Laura Wilson, Philip Kerr, and the late Robert B. Parker. Others are by folks whose stars are still on the rise, including Leighton Gage, R.J. Ellory, and Hilary Davidson. As autumn strengthens its grip on the Northern Hemisphere, whipping leaves from the trees and driving down temperatures, it’s time to start thinking seriously about which books to have at hand as we retreat indoors, bound for the homely comforts of blankets, warm drinks, and snapping fireplace blazes.

I have my list of the crime-fiction-related works I most want to tackle between now and the end of 2010. How about you?

As I conceded the last time I put together one of these seasonal reading selections, my choices are not intended to please everyone. They’re highly influenced by personal tastes. I don’t read “cozies,” for the most part, nor do I read especially violent thrillers. On the other hand, I do like historical crime stories, and I tend to read series works more often than standalones. Additionally, I make it a practice not just to tackle the output of familiar authors, but to pepper in novels by writers who are new to me, if not new to all readers.

The likelihood of my being able to get through all of the more than 60 books listed below is probably slim. I do have to sleep and engage in a social life, after all. But nobody can say that I don’t set my goals high. Maybe some of the titles I have arranged below should be on your near-future reading list as well. Or at least on your Christmas gift list.

SEPTEMBER (U.S. releases):
Toby Ball, The Vaults (St. Martin’s Press)
James R. Benn, Rag and Bone (Soho Crime)
Hilary Davidson, The Damage Done (Forge)
Gerald Elias, Danse Macabre (Minotaur)
Loren D. Estleman, Amos Walker: The Complete Short Story
William Gibson, Zero History (Putnam)
Michael Gregorio, Unholy Awakening (Minotaur)
Arnaldur Indridason, Hypothermia (Minotaur)
D.E. Johnson, The Detroit Electric Scheme (Minotaur)
Daniel Judson, Voyeur (Minotaur)
William Kent Krueger, Vermilion Drift (Atria)
Brian McGilloway, Bleed a River Deep (Minotaur)
Deon Meyer, Thirteen Hours (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Otto Penzler, editor, The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories (Vintage)
Gary Phillips, The Underbelly (PM Press)
S.J. Rozan, On the Line (Minotaur)
Scott Spencer, Man in the Woods (Ecco)

SEPTEMBER (UK releases):
Boris Akunin, He Lover of Death (Weidenfield & Nicolson)
R.J. Ellory, Saints of New York (Orion)
Maxim Jakubowski, editor, Following the Detectives: Crime Fiction’s Greatest Investigators and the Real Cities They Inhabit (New Holland Publishers)
Adrian Magson, Death on the Marais (Allison & Busby)
Anne Perry, Betrayal at Lisson Grove (Headline)
Jed Rubenfeld, The Death Instinct (Headline)
Andrew Taylor, The Anatomy of Ghosts (Michael Joseph)
Laura Wilson, A Capital Crime (Quercus)

OCTOBER (U.S. releases):
Michael Ayoob, In Search of Mercy (Minotaur)
Reed Farrel Coleman, Innocent Monster (Tyrus)
Michael Connelly, The Reversal (Little, Brown)
James Ellroy and Otto Penzler, editors, The Best American Noir of the Century (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Tom Franklin, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (Morrow)
Ed Gorman, Stranglehold (Minotaur)
Robert Greer, First of State (North Atlantic Books)
William Heffernan, The Dead Detective (Akashic Books)
John Lawton, A Lily of the Field (Atlantic Monthly Press)
John le Carré, Our Kind of Traitor (Viking)
Elmore Leonard, Djibouti (Morrow)
Reggie Nadelson, Blood Count (Walker & Company)
Stuart Neville, Collusion (Soho Crime)
Robert B. Parker, Painted Ladies (Putnam)
Jeri Westerson, The Demon’s Parchment (Minotaur)

OCTOBER (UK releases):
Colin Bateman, Dr. Yes (Headline)
Gyles Brandreth, Oscar Wilde and the Nest of Vipers (John Murray)
Arnaldur Indridason, Operation Napoleon (Harvill Secker)
Philip Kerr, Field Grey (Quercus)

NOVEMBER (U.S. releases):
Henry Chang, Red Jade (Soho Crime)
Charles Finch, A Stranger in Mayfair (Minotaur)
Dennis Lehane, Moonlight Mile (Morrow)
Michael Pearce, A Dead Man in Malta
(Soho Constable)

NOVEMBER (UK releases):
Graham Hurley, Borrowed Light (Orion)
Maxim Jakubowski, I Was Waiting for You (Accent Press)
Eoin McNamee, Orchid Blue (Faber and Faber)

DECEMBER (U.S. releases):
Loren D. Estleman, The Left-Handed Dollar (Forge)
Leighton Gage, Every Bitter Thing (Soho Crime)
Stephen Hunter, Dead Zero (Simon & Schuster)
Graham Moore, The Sherlockian (Twelve)
Robert J. Randisi, I’m a Fool to Kill You (Severn House)
Laura Joh Rowland, The Cloud Pavilion (Minotaur)
Bernhard Schlink, The Gordian Knot (Vintage)
Charles Todd, A Lonely Death (Morrow)
Ian Vasquez, Mr. Hooligan (Minotaur)

DECEMBER (UK releases):
Bill James, I Am Gold (Constable Crime)
Patrick Lennon, Fixer (Hodder & Stoughton)

Chew on this: Are there other crime novels worthy of notice, and scheduled for publication during these coming fall and winter months, that I’ve neglected to mention? If so, please let all Rap Sheet readers know about them in the Comments section of this post.


Mark Coggins said...

Seth Harwood's YOUNG JUNIUS in October, published by Tyrus!

Naomi Johnson said...

The pressure to read so many, so soon, well -- it's a great problem to have.

Yvette said...

BRYANT AND MAY OFF THE RAILS by Christopher Fowler.
TO FETCH A THIEF by Spencer Quinn
RED HERRING by Archer Mayor
ONE WAS A SOLDIER by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Richard Heft said...

C.J. Sansom's HEARTSTONE was published in Great Britain on September 3.

Al Leverone said...

My debut thriller, FINAL VECTOR, will be released in February by Medallion know, since you asked and all...

Adrian M said...

Thank you very much for mentioning my French cop series first 'Death on the Marais' - much appreciated. I also had the first in a spy series - 'Red Station' (Severn House) released Aug 26 (Nov in the US).