Burke and Connelly - good news for fans of crime fiction

"What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order." P. D. James

I've always liked crime fiction. I think it dates back to my early appreciation for Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven. Once you're hooked on crime fiction there's no going back and while waiting for your favourite authors to publish a new book the search is on for new authors. Thankfully Belfast has a first-class crime fiction book store. No Alibis is a fun place to hang out and great for crime fiction as well as author readings and occasional live music events - well worth a visit if you're in Belfast.

If you have no interest in crime fiction, navigate away now.....! If you are still reading I hope you will share my excitement to learn that two legends of American crime fiction have new books due out later this year. James Lee Burke is pretty much top of my list. His latest, Swan Peak is due out in July in Nth America and September in the UK. Set in Montana it includes the usual cast of Robicheaux and family and the unforgettable Clete Purcell. James Lee Burke has form in Montana. Bitterroot, the third in his Billy Bob Holland series, was excellent. After reading it I felt like I'd spent a month in the Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana.

In other news we have Michael Connelly who produces a less literary, but no less entertaining, line in crime. Connelly's books run at an incredible pace and are impossible to put down. The Brass Verdict will be published in October (14th in Nth America and 16th in UK). Interestingly The Brass Verdict sees Connelly's most famous character, LAPD detective and all around non-conformist, Harry Bosch team up with Micky Haller of Lincoln Lawyer fame. His website boasts that it's his biggest book yet - good news for Connelly fans since The Overlook was pretty thin.

And to finish some totally useful trivia that unites these two masters of the genre! In Connelly's Blood Work the main character, former FBI agent Terry McCaleb, is working on his boat wearing a Robicheaux's Dock and Baitshop T-shirt - a reference to Dave Robicheaux, the main protagonist of most of James Lee Burke's novels. Robicheaux is a policeman and also runs a bait shop in New Iberia, Louisiana. As if that's not enough, in James Lee Burke's novel Crusader's Cross Dave Robicheaux is up late one night reading Michael Connelly's first novel The Black Echo. Love it! One final inspirational thought, James Lee Burke's novel, the wonderfully titled, The Lost Get Back Boogie, was rejected 111 times!


July 6, 2008 at 5:10:00 PM GMT+1 Anonymous said...

Now you've given me the link to your blog, i'll be around all the time! Same predicament, though my love is P.D. James; will look into these authors, for sure. Have you had a chance to read Erskine Childers, Riddle of the Sands? It's set at the turn of the 19th cent. and is a spy novel - not exactly crime, but perhaps a sophisticated cousin.

Mark McDome

July 6, 2008 at 6:32:00 PM GMT+1 Stu said...

McDome - welcome and please do return. I have almost bought Riddle of the Sands a few times. Penguin have a nice little edition of it as part of their Penguin Red Classics series - which boasts great cover art. I'll have to pick it up. You should pick up some Lee Burke while you are stateside- I found lots of second hand copies of his early stuff in Canada.