Monday, December 28, 2015

Setting

I loved Peter May's THE BLACK HOUSE and a lot of the reason  was the setting. It was set on the Isle of Lewis, a harsh bit of Scotland. May used it to great effect. The cliffs especially played a bit part in the story.


What novel's setting elevated the story for you?

26 comments:

Richard R. said...

William Kent Krueger's books use setting to great advantage, as do many of John D. MacDonald's.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And certainly Tony Hillerman and Craig Johnson.

neer said...

WUTHERING HEIGHTS wouldn't have been the same without those wild, desolate moors. Nor would the killings occur in THE GREAT GATSBY without the Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg staring at you.

Deb said...

Christie's AND THEN THERE WERE NONE and EVIL UNDER THE SUN. Both set in old houses/hotels on islands where access to the mainland is limited. P.D. James locates several of her mysteries near bluffs or cliffs--and you know the steep drop is going to play a part! And, although I'm not a big Stephen King fan, the Colorado hotel in THE SHINING becomes a character itself in the book.

pattinase (abbott) said...

YES!

pattinase (abbott) said...

That hotel haunts me today. And the house in PSYCHO as well as the Bates Motel.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

A lot of good choices here, including the Christies, the Hillermans and the Craig Johnsons, and the SHINING house. The Edinburgh of Ian Rankin's Rebus books is another. Also, Maigret's Paris. And Andrea Camilleri's Sicily.

Jerry House said...

Ireland in Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor stories where the setting actually becomes part of Taylor's character.

Charles Gramlich said...

Setting is tremendously important to me.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Yes, the Galway of Ken Bruen's books.

Mathew Paust said...

Hillerman's Four Corners country, James Lee Burke's Louisiana, and small-town Midwest of James Jones.

Gerard Saylor said...

Daniel Woodrell's Ozarks.
Crider's Blacklin County.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Ross Macdonald's California. Also Chandler's.

George said...

I always like the Detroit in Loren Estleman's Amos Walker mysteries.

Chris said...

I just read Shann Ray's American Copper and setting was critical, and handled masterfully.

Tim said...

There are so many great examples, but if I must choose one, I offer Arnaldur Indridason's Icelandic mysteries featuring the weary detective, Erlandur. The Icelandic settings as rendered by Indridason are perfectly integrated into the plotting and characterization. If you haven't experienced Iceland via Indridason's Erlandur, you are missing out on a great reading adventure. (Of course, I could be a bit biased since I lived in Iceland for nearly 2 years.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Love the books. My husband yearns to go to Iceland.

Tim said...

Go in winter! It's worth the challenges.

TracyK said...

The Indigo Necklace by Frances Crane. Set in New Orleans right after WWII. Even though the books was written in the 1940s and my husband and I visited (before we were married) in the late 1970s, the description of the French Quarter in the book sounded just like the place we had stayed and the places we visited. The mystery plot was not that great, but I loved the setting.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I remember visiting Frances Parkinson Keys house and thinking yes, this is what she wrote about in New Orleans.

Mathew Paust said...

Oh, mercy, thanks Tracy and Patti for N'awlins. John Kennedy Toole.

Richard R. said...

Anyone who has been in Southern California when the Santa Ana winds were blowing can understand the setting for Chandler's story "Red Wind".

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Someone reminded me of one I'd forgotten that could be at the top of the list:

Martin Limon's excellent Sueno & Bascom series set in South Korea. It is a real eye opener.

TracyK said...

I agree, the Sueno & Bascom series is great. I have only read the first two, and hope to get to Buddha's Money early in 2016.

Margot Kinberg said...

I really like Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series, for the setting as much as anything else.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Patti, you might try NIGHTMARE RANGE, the collection of Sueno & Bascom short stories by Martin Limon.