As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
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Brit Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film and TV of the British Isles by Barry Forshaw.
by Pocket Essentials, 21 April 2016. ISBN: 978-1-84344-640-8
Forshaw has followed his previous
Nordic Noir and Euro Noir with this similar format volume on British crime. This
handy book is subtitled “A definitive investigation of the contemporary crime
field”, and that’s a well-earned description. In his introduction, Forshaw
speaks of a ‘new Golden Age’ of crime, and the variety of genres, detectives,
themes and authors he then gives details of certainly bear that out. He’s
interpreted ‘noir’ loosely to include contemporary writers he feels meet his
criteria of the key four elements: strong plotting, literate, adroit writing,
complex characterisation and vividly evoked locales. This means non-noir
writers like McCall Smith and other ‘cosies’ are included, so it is a real
snapshot of crime writing in Britain today. The only crime genre not included
is historical crime, although a number of writers who are usually historical are
included for their contemporary novels.
guide is roughly organised by region, so if you enjoy researching your favoured
holiday spot with a look at their crime scene, you can do that. However, as
Forshaw points out, writers like McDermid and Cleeves are known for several
locations, so the easiest way to find a particular author is through the index.
All our favourites are here, along with many less well-known (I’m honoured to
be included). Each author is then given a paragraph describing the work, the
series detective, locale, writing strengths, and a recommendation of a
representative book. These paragraphs are descriptions, rather than reviews, as
Forshaw points out in his introduction, but he can’t help his enthusiasm
breaking through when he talks of his particular favourites. England is divided
into regions, with Wales and the Borders part of this section, and Scotland and
Ireland each have a section of their own. The Irish section includes the whole
of Ireland, because, as Forshaw says, he wanted to celebrate as many
interesting and talented writers as he could. This is followedby ‘A World Elsewhere’, with British writers
who set their novels abroad. Finally, there’s a list of films and TV series,
with a paragraph of description of each.
must-have for crime fans: for reminding yourself about old favourites, for
finding new authors, and for that ‘What shall we watch?’ moment as you
contemplate settling down on the sofa for an exciting evening of TV. Highly
Barry Forshaw'slatest books are
Crime Film and Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction.
Other work includes British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction
and Guns for Hire: The Modern Adventure Thriller, along with books on
Italian cinema and the first biography of Stieg Larsson. His next books are British
Gothic Cinema and a study of Thomas Harris and The Silence of the Lambs.
He writes for various newspapers, edits Crime Time, and broadcasts for ITV and
BBC TV documentaries. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers' Association.
Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a
newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's
scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a
qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published
plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage
in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht,
and an active member of her local drama group.Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People