The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group discussion

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Book Hunting / Recommendations > Looking for good contemporary British crime

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Kyne | 3 comments I've let my reading slack of recently and I'm keen to rectify that. I find myself wanting to read some crime ficion, a genre that I haven't really read before.

I've been enjoying a lot of television dramas and am after something in a similar vein. Something like Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie books recently televised (although, having just watched them, I'm not quite ready to read her novels).

So, I'm looking for recommendations. Something British and contemporary with not too much sex, gore or horror. I'm after ebooks for my Kindle which are under a fiver (but I don't expect recommenders to actually go out and check availability / price).

So, what would seasoned readers suggest? (And, no, you can't recommend your own book!)

Elizabeth


message 2: by Donna, Co-Moderator (last edited Nov 16, 2011 12:53PM) (new)

Donna | 2178 comments Mod
Hi again Elizabeth. Following on to my recommendations in the other thread I would recommend books by Peter Lovesey, P.D. James, and Elizabeth George.


message 3: by Diane S ☔ (new)

Diane S ☔ Reading Dead Man's Grip right now and his Roy Grace series is very good.


message 4: by Paul (last edited Nov 16, 2011 10:40PM) (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 232 comments Hi Elizabeth, I'd recommend Val McDermid, either her stand alone's like A Place of Execution, The Distant Echo, The Grave Tattoo or her Kate Branigan books should suit.

{author:Mark Billingham] is definitely worth a look, as are Sarah Dunant's Hannah Wolfe novels she wrote before turning to historical fiction.

Hope you find something to your liking!


message 5: by Ruth (last edited Nov 16, 2011 10:43PM) (new)

Ruth Donald (redonald) | 64 comments Just how contemporary? There's always Dick Francis but he died in 2010. I've read many of his over the years, most recently To the Hilt. His novels usually involve jockeys and/or horse racing to some degree.


message 6: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Reginald Hill's Pascoe and Dalziel series.

I second the recommendations of P.D. James and Elizabeth George (though early James will seem very dated). I'm also a fan of Colin Dexter.


message 7: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Donald (redonald) | 64 comments Does Scotland qualify? Try Ian Rankin. He has some great mysteries.


message 8: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 232 comments R.E. wrote: "Does Scotland qualify? Try Ian Rankin. He has some great mysteries."

It's still part of Britain, unless the SNP get their way ;D


message 9: by Dorie (new)

Dorie (dorieann) | 464 comments Another vote here for Mark Billingham. I just love his books, even though we've not received them in a timely manner here in the U.S.


message 10: by Jane (new)

Jane (flopsybunny) | 159 comments Have you tried Peter Robinson, his books are excellent.


message 11: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Kyne | 3 comments Thanks everyone for your wonderful suggestions. I will go looking up some of them now.


message 12: by Marena (new)

Marena | 35 comments Ever read any Phil Rickman? His "Merrily Watkins" books are a mixed bag really, with investigative elements in them and great storylines all set on the border of England and Wales. As one of the reviewers said, "....like the Vicar of Dibley meets Cracker". Quite different and certainly not classic crime stuff, but really interesting and engaging with fantastic characters. Stuart MacBride is also fantastic, but may be a bit gore-heavy. Not really for the faint hearted. For all that though, he also has brilliant characters and bits of the books are laugh out loud funny.


message 13: by John (new)

John Gaynard (johnjgaynard) Jane wrote: "Have you tried Peter Robinson, his books are excellent."

I too recommend Peter Robinson. Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse novels are also good if you're looking for a lack of much sex, gore and horror.


message 14: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Donald (redonald) | 64 comments Yes, I like Peter Robinson, too. He lives in Canada, although his website says he divides his time between Canada and Yorkshire, so I expect he can afford two homes now! I haven't read one of his for years, but read his first Inspector Banks novels early on.


message 15: by Fiona (new)

Fiona | 8 comments Would also recommend Peter Robinson, Val McDermid Ian Rankin and Quintin Jardine. The latter has his Bob Skinner series set in Edinburgh


message 16: by Kenneth P. (new)

Kenneth P. (kennethp) John Harvey writes very good Brit police procedurals. His Charley Resnik books work for me.


message 17: by Cheryl A (new)

Cheryl A | 16 comments Susan Hill's series - The Various Haunts of Men being the first - is quite good. Dark, not to gory, little sex (at least in the first two that I've read).


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 232 comments Nobody mention Stephen Booth yet? (I've not read him although the first of his series Black Dog is very near the top of my to read pile. Wondering if this is because there aren't any fans here, or if they don't fit Elizabeth's criteria (ie, too gory)?

Just curious. Not an issue for me as one of my favourite writers is Christopher Brookmyre whose books are sometimes rather on violent side.


message 19: by Fiona (new)

Fiona | 8 comments read most of Stephen Booth books -not gory more of a slow burn...but would recommend them


message 20: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 232 comments Fiona wrote: "read most of Stephen Booth books -not gory more of a slow burn...but would recommend them"

Ta. I keep putting Black Dog through for the group read, but may just have to go ahead and read it regardless.


message 21: by Alex (new)

Alex (alexe11) | 74 comments I find Simon Kernick books are always worth a read. Mainly set in London and do tend to be a bit on the violent side. A thumping good read!


message 22: by John (new)

John Gaynard (johnjgaynard) Ruth Rendell and P.D. James are always good bets for classic British crime fiction.


message 23: by Jane (new)

Jane (flopsybunny) | 159 comments Paul 'Pezter' wrote: "Fiona wrote: "read most of Stephen Booth books -not gory more of a slow burn...but would recommend them"

Ta. I keep putting Black Dog through for the group read, but may just have to go ahead and ..."


Black Dog is briiliant. Don't wait.


message 24: by Paul (new)

Paul  Perry (pezski) | 232 comments Jane wrote: "Black Dog is briiliant. Don't wait. "

Thanks. It is on my Book Addicts group "12 to read in 2012", an effort to chip away at Mount TBR, and I think will be amongst the first on the list.


message 25: by Deanne (new)

Deanne | 94 comments Paul
Up to Lost River by Stephen Booth, and I live not far from the peak district, Sandiacre to be precise. Stephen Booth is also on goodreads, put that book at the top of your TBR list and then add the rest.


Charlotte (Buried in Books) | 407 comments I have to agree with the recommendations for Mark Billingham, Tom Thorne is a great creation.

There's always Colin Dexter, I was surprised how easy Morse is to read. Lets face it - Inspector Morse is a institution when it comes to crime writing.

I'm planning on setting myself a challenge for next year to catch up on my crime reading - from classic, to true crime. Spent too much time on Vampires over the last couple of years.


message 27: by Marja (new)

Marja McGraw (marja1) | 107 comments I've started reading Jack Everett and David Coles (they write as a team). I read The Tourist and thought it was great. The Tourist by David Coles


message 28: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Elizabeth George, definitely! Start with her first book in the Inspector Linley series and add each in turn. This allows the secrets of the main characters to evolve. She's actually not British herself but, as one who live in London for 3 years, I'm just amazed that she's not. Really clever stories...


message 29: by John (new)

John Gaynard (johnjgaynard) Suzanne,

Thank you for reminding me about Elizabeth George. I often read a couple of books by an author, find them good, and then move on, although I always have the hankering to go back to writers like her. There is so much good stuff that is being written, and so little time. About the only writer whose books I have all read is Peter Robinson


message 30: by M.A. (new)

M.A. Comley (melcom) | 52 comments Yeah, Mark Billingham is my favourite at the moment too.


message 31: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Sample (goodreadscomcindysample) | 2 comments I also enjoy Reginald Hill's series. I don't think Deborah Crombie's series about Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his Sgt. turned love interest, Gemma James, has been mentioned. It's excellent.


message 32: by Lydia (new)

Lydia (mommy4boys) | 1 comments I like Sophie Hannah - very twisty


message 33: by DJ =^^= (new)

DJ =^^= (debzee) I love Elizabeth George, Deborah Crombie and Sophie Hannah! I also have a huge interest in Irish mysteries & crime.


message 34: by Nigel (new)

Nigel Bird (nigelbird) | 59 comments There's a book just out by Ian Ayris called Abide With Me.

It's Ian's first novel, but I know that he's among the finest noir, short-story writers around, with an almost poetic darkness to his work.

I've not read it yet (just bought), but I'm expecting it to be amazing.

Worth checking out at the very least.


message 35: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Herbert (ellenkherbert) | 23 comments I read British crime almost exclusively. Just finished another Susan Hill's character driven crime novels. Her detective Simon Serrialer is so dense he makes this reader feel bright. I started reading Hill because my beloved Ruth Rendell blurbed her.

The Brit mystery writers who can't write fast enough for me: Tana French, Sophie Hannah, and Denise Mina.
I've read all of them. Also like Ian Rankin and Reginald Hill.


message 36: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Herbert (ellenkherbert) | 23 comments FYI Nigel. I cannot find Ian Ayris' book on Amazon. Maybe it hasn't reached our shores yet?


message 37: by Keri (new)

Keri (keri_45) | 95 comments I second the Stephen Booth recommend, love Cooper and love to hate Fry, but they work as a good team. Also putting out a recommend of Colin Cotterill or Nigel McCrery, both awesome writes. Colin's setting though is 1970's Laos, a difficult time in history, but Colin really brings it alive with Dr. Siri and his crew. McCreary's character Mark Lapsli, is DCI, but he has a extreme condition, synasethsia,(he taste what he hears)that makes it very hard to do an already tough job.


message 38: by Jean (new)

Jean Shriver | 16 comments Nobody's mentioned Deborah Crombie. She lives in Texas (!) but I love her stories of Gemma and Duncan,,,,you should read them in order to follow their love life.


message 39: by Autumn (new)

Autumn (autumnmemory80) | 374 comments I second Val McDermid. I started off with the first The Mermaids Singing and it was excellent! I have several more by her, but have not had a chance to read them yet.


message 40: by Billys (new)

Billys Boots | 23 comments Reginald Hill
Peter Robinson
Peter James


message 41: by Sandfordross (new)

Sandfordross | 2 comments I would also suggest Martha Grimes, born in UK but currently living in the states. Another Cdn. writer that is fun (writes about a UK vicar name Christmas), is C.C. Benison with three novels that I know about so far. I would agree with early Val McDermid but her super lesbian characters are wearing thin for me. Reginald Hill is probably the wittiest writer going although Fred Vargas is also extremely entertaining.

Michael Dibden or Sarah Caudwell would also be good bets.


message 42: by Jan C (new)

Jan C (woeisme) | 35291 comments Sandfordross wrote: "I would also suggest Martha Grimes, born in UK but currently living in the states. Another Cdn. writer that is fun (writes about a UK vicar name Christmas), is C.C. Benison with three novels that..."

I don't believe that Grimes is British. Wikipedia says she was born in Pittsburgh and has done most of her writing from Maryland and New Mexico.


message 43: by Sandfordross (new)

Sandfordross | 2 comments Jan C wrote: "Sandfordross wrote: "I would also suggest Martha Grimes, born in UK but currently living in the states. Another Cdn. writer that is fun (writes about a UK vicar name Christmas), is C.C. Benison w..."
My apologies, you are absolutely correct, I am not sure whom I confused her with but her Richard Jury series is a "true" British read. Thanks for correcting me.


message 44: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8550 comments Mod
Sandfordross wrote: "I would also suggest Martha Grimes, born in UK but currently living in the states. Another Cdn. writer that is fun (writes about a UK vicar name Christmas), is C.C. Benison with three novels that..."

Hi -- just an FYI: Fred Vargas is from France!


message 45: by Janis (new)

Janis Bolster | 30 comments More suggestions from a lover of British mysteries: Michael Kenyon, Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, Peter Lovesey, Jacqueline Winspear, Jo Bannister, Michael Gilbert, Jill McGown, Susannah Stacey, Kate Charles, Ellis Peters.


message 46: by Sue (new)

Sue Russell (suerussell) Tough, dialect-laden book I loved, London Boulevard by Ken Bruen. (He is great though I wouldn't read two of his books in a row. Once Were Cops is great.)

I wholeheartedly agree on Ian Rankin, Peter Robinson.

Huge Graham Hurley fan - Blood and Honey quite brilliant, IMHO.

Came looking for suggestions as have read all by Rankin and Hurley now. After loving Blood and Honey, I got the rest of the "Faraday and Winter" series in order and not essential, but enriched the experience. Winter is one of the best fictional cops created, I believe - his moral battles, ever fascinating.


message 47: by El (new)

El In terms of Scottish-Brit writers, I would recommend:

Denise Mina - well written, beautifully plotted and intense - plus her books really suck you into a milieu

Stuart MacBride - Interesting mysteries, likeable po!ice detective done up with humour

Quintin Jardine - If you like Ian Rankin, you will appreciate his books. Intrigue internally amongst the police as well as in the cases.


>Elizabeth wrote: "I've let my reading slack of recently and I'm keen to rectify that. I find myself wanting to read some crime ficion, a genre that I haven't really read before.

I've been enjoying a lot of televisi..."


message 48: by El (new)

El Ruth Dudley Edwards writes satirical mysteries (different locations throughout the UK).

You may also like Brian McGilloway's mystery novels. They are set in N. Ireland (part of Britain) with police detective protagonists.

Colin Bateman's mystery novels are also set in N. Ireland, this time in Belfast.


message 49: by Sue (new)

Sue Russell (suerussell) Good thought. I really enjoyed McGilloway's The Troubles trilogy. Excellent.

El wrote:
You may also like Brian McGilloway's mystery novels. They are set in N. Ireland (part of Britain) with polic..."



message 50: by Garden (last edited Jan 03, 2016 08:02PM) (new)

Garden Girl | 0 comments I like two Scottish mystery writers not yet mentioned: Perter May, especially his Lewis Trilogy, The Blackhouse, The Lewisman and The Chessmen.The Lewis Trilogy: The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man, The Chessmen ; then also Ann Cleeves who has a female detective living on a sheep farm. Interesting characters and great storytelling.


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