Friday, August 16, 2013
Friday's Forgotten Books, Friday, August 16, 2013
I often find it interesting to see which writers shows up on here often and who doesn't. I fully expected to see Nicholas Freeling, Sjowal and Wahloo, Sayers, Marsh, Tey, Ross Macdonald, Colin Dexter, P.D. James, Peter Dickinson, Tony Hillerman, Ruth Rendell, Sara Paretsky, Margaret Maron, Michael Connelly, etc. to turn up here week after week, and yet they are rarely represented. Perhaps they are not forgotten enough. Or mostly read by women when most of the reviewers here are men. I am not sure.
But if I had to list my top ten crime fiction writers, Nicholas Freeling would be on the list. And one of my favorite of his novels was GUN BEFORE BUTTER.
GUN BEFORE BUTTER concerns the fabulous Lucienne Englebert who plagues, delights, and captures Van Der Valk's attention over the years. Gun Before Butter, Freeling’s third novel, centers around dual identity and commodity smuggling in the European market. It is almost as much a romance as a crime fiction story.
Its heroine, Lucienne, is a free spirit, similar in many ways to Van der Valk, who finds the straitlaced Dutch inhibiting. She is put away by him for a minor crime and when released goes on a spending spree across Europe. There is a recurring motif from Shakespeare, a lot of drinking and the high life, and a May-December romance with a tragic outcome, as well as an overview of 1960s Amsterdam and the people who inhabited it.
I am less fond of the Henri Castang novels set in Paris than these earlier (11) Van der Valk ones. But to me he is an essential crime fiction writer. Much heralded in his lifetime, I wonder if he is mostly forgotten now, ten years after his death.
Sergio Angelini, SHOTGUN, Ed McBain
Joe Barone, NOW MAY YOU WEEP, Deborah Crombie
Brian Busby, TORCH OF VIOLENCE, Gerald Laing
Bill Crider, STRANGER AT HOME, George Sanders (Leigh Brackett)
Scott Cupp, STALKING THE ZOMBIE, Mike Resnick
Martin Edwards, KEEP IT QUIET, Richard Hull
Jerry House, THE KILLER, Chris North (Ed Gorman)
Randy Johnson, THE SPUR: Loki's Rock Mark Ellis
Nick Jones, GOLD COAST, Elmore Leonard
George Kelley, THE LEGION OF SPACE, Jack Williamson
B.V. Lawson, THE PLOT THICKENS, Mary Higgins Clark
Evan Lewis, DAN TURNER: HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE in Veiled Lady
Steve Lewis, COUNTRY AND FATAL, George Bagby
Todd Mason, LAUGHING MATTERS, Gene Shalit
J.F. Norris, THE EIGHTH SQUARE, Herbert Lieberman
Juri Nummelin, THE VAMPIRE AFFAIR, Livia Reasoner
James Reasoner, SPY KILLER, L. Ron Hubbard
Kelly Robinson, IRONSIDE, Jim Thompson
Richard Robinson, BLOODHOUNDS, Peter Lovesey
Gerard Saylor, ODD AND THE FROST GIANTS, Neil Gaiman
Ron Scheer, SNAKE EYES, Jory Sherman
Michael Slind, REBECCA'S PRIDE, Donald McNutt Douglass
Kevin Tipple, THE GREAL MERLINI, Clayton Rawson
TomCat, THE CAVALIER'S CUP, Carter Dickson (John Dickson Carr)