It was an evening of crime fiction examination for Mayfair Reading Group this month.
We compared and contrasted books by Agatha Christie, Colin Bateman and PD James and considered all the many sub divisions there are of detective fiction writing. These included ‘cozy’ mysteries (no sex and violence) , American ‘hard-boiled’ (Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler), the ‘caper story’ as well as whodunnit, inverted detective, police procedural, spy etc…. the list goes on.
The group was quite divided on the authors. Some loved revisiting Christie for her fast paced no nonsense plots of a bygone era and were pleased to be introduced to Bateman and enjoyed his humour and originality, while others found Christie dated, Bateman repetitive and irritating and PD James longwinded and no match for Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Georges Simeon’s Maigret or Wilkie Collins’ The woman in white.
We are trying fantasy next month with a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel.