Monday, November 16, 2015

Betweeners

What are some of the books or authors that fall between cozies and dark crime fiction? I don't want to see Colonel Mustard do it with poison in the library. But I also don't want a savage killer on the loose with lots of mutilated bodies. It seems like every book I pick up falls in one category or the other.Suggestions?

18 comments:

Deb said...

There's an English writer, Jim Kelly (not to be confused with the football player), who has two series both set in the Fens (marshes) of England. Both series should be read in order, not so much for the self-enclosed mystery that gets solved by the end of each book but for character arcs and personal stories. The first series involves a journalist named Philip Dryden whose wife is in a coma; the second series involves a detective named Peter Shaw who is trying to clear his father (also a policeman) of a long-ago charge of corruption. Both of them have some gritty scenes, but they're also fair-play crime novels.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Perfect!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott.
Bill Crider's Sheriff Rhodes.

Jeff M.

Charles Gramlich said...

hum, not sure. I don't read that much in these genres.

Graham Powell said...

Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May stories generally take the tone of a cozy, but sometimes the crimes they solve can be pretty brutal. Great series. Start with the earlier ones.

Mathew Paust said...

Ed Gorman's Sam McCain and Jack Dwyer series.

Richard R. said...

Ted Wood, Jonathan Valin, Tony Hillerman. Plus I second both Maigret and the Fowler books.

George said...

Lawrence Block is my go-to author when I'm feeling like that.

Richard R. said...

I wish I could figure out what it is that makes so many people go for Block's books.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think he is a good plotter and the atmosphere is usually good too.

Mathew Paust said...

I tried a mystery or two of Block's long ago. Something about the voice that put me off. Too snarky maybe? But I like his nonfiction. Writing Lies for Fun and Profit on craft, and more recently The Crime of Our Lives, essays about his colleagues in crimewriting.

Kent Morgan said...

The late William Tapply's series featuring New England lawyer Brady Coyne would fall into that category.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Read one or two of his. Good too!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Kent's comment reminds me of an occasional collaborator of Tapply's, the late Philip R. Craig, whose J. W. Jackson series, set on Martha's Vineyard, definitely fits the bill. He and Tapply did three books together with Jackson and his "friend" Brady Coyne. Start with his first, A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO DIE.

Jeff M.

Mathew Paust said...

Josephine Tey's Alan Grant series. Lean closer to cozy but the writing is so insightful and, at times, so incisive, it reminds me that the tongue can be as deadly as the bullet or the blade.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Enjoyed this series front to back, esp. FRANCHISE AFFAIR, BRAT FARRAR and DAUGHTER OF TIME.

TracyK said...

Have you tried Mick Herron? I have only read two of his: Down Cemetery Road (Zoe Boehm series) and Slow Horse (spy thriller). They definitely are not cozy, and I don't think they are that dark.

I agree with Deb's suggestion of Jim Kelly. Again have only read one from each series.

Todd Mason said...

Marcia Muller is my first thought...much if not most of Donald Westlake is the second. Ron Goulart.