Wednesday 17 April 2024

Golden Age of Crime TBR

As you guys know, I love my fantasy and crime reading. These (YA, middle-grade, adult, New Adult, etc) is my bread and butter when it comes to reading. But with the role of being a book blogger, you feel guilty if you’re not reading the newest or newer releases compared to books that were written and published decades go. Yes, I feel this guilt all the time and, remember, when I first started blogging 14-odd years ago, I focus SOLELY on YA fiction whereas now, I am a magpie and love to take risks with my reading/reviewing (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t). 

And because I go flit about with my reading and my podcast listening when it comes to fiction, I wanted to make a small(ish) post about some crime titles I have on my “I Will Read You One Day” list that fit in the “Golden Age of Detective Fiction” (for those of you curious, the years most people class as this Golden Age is 1920s and 1930s). 

Now, I am not going to reference EVERY book that fits this term that’s on my To Be Read List as we will be here all day, but I wanted to pick a few out as, I am hoping that if I do, it will make me more likely to read them this year. Now, before I go any further, I have a good mix of books that I have bought, am borrowing from my library and titles that were gifted to be by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, so I will make this a short (for me) post and I will let you know if the title I am chatting about is a gifted book for review as I will put a * by the title. Plus, I will put links to, which will be affiliate. 

Now, get your Jessica Fletcher on and let’s begin!

When you chat about “Golden Age of Crime”, you hear “The Queens of Crime”. Now, most people would call Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayer, Ngaio Marsh and Margery Allingham this, but others include Josephine Tey, ECR Lorac and Christianna Brand under this term as well. Now, I do have quite a few titles from these author on my TBR and I am going to slow work my way through. 

Now, out of the Big Four (see what I did there, Agatha Christie fans?), I don’t have any titles by Ngaio Marsh or Margery Allingham on my TBR (not yet), but I do have quite a few by Dorothy L Sayer, including the one everyone seems to love: Gaudy Night. Now, Now, I am trying very hard not to know much about this book as feels best to go into this knowing as little as possible, but I do know it is set in Oxford at a girls school. I, also, have Whose Body?, the first in the Lord Peter Wimsby series so hopefully, I shall try and read one of these later this year. 

Another book on my Golden Age TBR list is Speedy Death by Gladys Mitchell. This is the first book in the Mrs Bradley Mysteries (that name might ring a bell as the BBC adapted some of these into a Sunday evening drama, starring Diana Rigg in 1998), which compromises of 66 novels, all published from 1922 to 1975. Again, I don’t really know much about this book, but I am aware that Mrs Bradley is sometimes described as the Anti-Marple as Mrs Bradley is described as quite spiky, looking like an alligator and have a characteristic cackle, whereas Marple looks more grandmother-like and hides in plain sight. Now, I don’t know much but the story starts at a country estate (of course) and we have a murder of a famous explorer who dies while taking a bath… This feels quite up my street as I do like reading about a detective who doesn’t fit the norms of crime fiction.

I am going to include this one in this list as, while not crime, I do think this author does fit Golden Age of Crime quite nicely: Daphne du Maurier. I mean, she does write suspense so I am getting away with use this loosely while explaining the book on my radar is a collection of short stories: The Birds and Other Stories*. We all know The Birds as Alfred Hitchcock used this short to inspire the movie, but the rest in this collection is 

Now, I have a ton of British Library Crime Classics (seven physical copies that were lovingly gifted to me by the publisher and two/three ebooks which I purchased myself). Now, there is one or two that are quite high on my list with these and, while I am going to tell you one of the titles (you can probably guess which from the photo above), once you hear what it’s about, you will understand why. It’s The Division Bell Mystery by Ellen Wilkinson*. First published in 1932, this follows an amateur investigation of a murder that takes place in the Houses of Commons. As you can get, am saving this for when we, in the UK, finally get told when our next General Election is going to take place… 

And, of course, I have Agatha Christie on my list. I have several Agatha Christie titles I want to either read for the first time or want to reread so I won’t do say a title here but yes, Poirot is on this list, don’t you worry. 

I will leave my Golden Age of Crime TBR list here for the time being. If you are a crime reader, are there any books (Golden Age or modern) that I should have on my radar? 

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