Friday, September 28, 2018

Taking in the Sites

Just over a year ago, I posted on this page a list of what I thought were the best English-language crime-fiction blogs and Web sites. I did this in response to a bogus assessment along the same lines, perpetrated by a newsfeed aggregator site that had been asking writers to purchase subscriptions to its services in exchange for their sites being listed among its “top 50” blogs for readers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction. I thought people interested in this genre deserved a more honest rundown of what was found online.

The response to my efforts was overwhelmingly favorable. And it started me thinking that perhaps an annual, or not quite so regular, appraisal of the “best” crime fiction-oriented blogs and Web sites was needed. While there are abundant awards given out every year to novels, short stories, and non-fiction books springing from this genre, only during occasional Bouchercons is there a prize presented for quality in online content—and then, the judging falls to readers with generally narrow scopes of experience in this field, rather than to professional critics evaluating a broader range of sites.

My judgment in this matter is obviously biased. I’ve been writing The Rap Sheet now for more than a dozen years, and I know what I like and don’t like in this arena. I also understand how difficult it is to develop and maintain an active, thoughtful crime-fiction blog, so I look at other such projects through the lens of someone with high expectations as well as a hard-earned knowledge of what can be accomplished when blogging is an unpaid sideline, rather than a full-time occupation.

The Rap Sheet’s 2017 catalogue of the best crime-fiction blogs and Web sites featured 66 electronic publications. This year’s inventory runs to 95 sites. (New entries have been marked with asterisks.) The greater number isn’t because I’ve loosened my standards; it’s simply that I have decided more of these Web projects deserve recognition, and readers of this genre deserve as much help in finding information online as they can get. A few of the blogs I included among last year’s listings have since shut down or gone dormant, including Past Offences, Tipping My Fedora, and of course, Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine, which became inactive shortly before Crider passed away in February 2018. However, I have added a wide variety of sites both large (such as CrimeReads) and small, covering new as well as classic books.

What I emphasized last year still applies: These are my personal choices. I wouldn’t be surprised if other writers and reviewers differ slightly in their opinions of the “best” crime-fiction blogs and Web sites. If I have failed to note any Web resources that you think are also deserving of mention, please feel free to tell everyone about them in the Comments section at the end of this post.

Euro Crime Blog (and its parent site, Euro Crime)
Pattinase (home of “Friday’s Forgotten Books”)
Shotsmag Confidential (and its parent site, Shots)


Tom Leins said...

Many thanks for including Dirty Books on your list. Lots of top blogs listed, so I am in great company!

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Thank you for including my humble blog. Very surprised and very grateful.

Steven Powell said...

Jeff, thanks so much for including Venetian Vase. And thanks for all the work you do for the genre through blogging and reporting. My blog, and many others, would have died years ago if it wasn't for the support of The Rap Sheet.

Kate said...

Thanks for including me in the list. Many familiar names but lots of new blogs for me to try as well.

TracyK said...

Thanks for this list. A lot of the blogs are familiar to me, but there are quite a few I won't to check out, or return to.

BVLawson said...

Thanks for including In Reference to Murder, Jeff! Honored to be in such great company.

jvdsteen said...

Thanks for having my Sons of Spade on the list!

Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Thank you very much for including A Crime is Afoot on your list.

Peter DiChellis said...

[My apologies if this is a duplicate. I tried to post over the weekend, but perhaps only “previewed” by mistake.]

Thank you for including my blog about short mystery and crime fiction (A Short Walk Down a Dark Street).

For readers who are interested in mystery and crime shorts, I’d also recommend The Short Mystery Fiction Society blog, which posts news, updates, and free stories from SMFS members. And for writers of short mystery and crime fiction, Sandra Seamans’ blog My Little Corner is an invaluable resource.

I’m also a fan of several other mystery/crime blogs, but I see they are listed on your extensive blog-roll (down the right-hand side of the screen), so won’t repeat them here.

Best wishes,
Peter DiChellis

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks very much for including Do You Write Under Your Own Name? on this list.

Kristopher said...

Thank you for including BOLO Books on your list, Jeff.