Aurelio Zen on ABC TV (Jan-Feb 2012)-how much we have enjoyed watching this handsome, stylish Italian detective after the boring, Kenneth Branagh interpretation of Wallander. I just wanted the British Wallander to have a shave, a bath and sleep in a bed instead of falling into a drunken stupor in his car, at his desk etc. Zen was cool and suave and the stories interesting with the added bonus of a beautiful Roman background. Apparently the executives said there were already too many detectives on TV, and cancelled the Zen series. I hope that someone else has the good taste to take them on because it is great viewing, and we don't have to put up with all the angst and classical music which is becoming all too prevalent in detective fiction.
The Bill: sadly missed on Saturday nights.
PBS TV: featuring many British mystery series.
American detectives and private investigators in TV and movies.
American Crime shows on TV.
Wikipedia links to world crime shows.
Australian TV Cop shows.
The Thrilling Detective Website. A huge list of TV detectives including
the first private eye show on TV that I remember, 77 Sunset Strip, 1958-1964..
DETECTIVE AND MYSTERY FILMS
Garfield in Babes and Bullets, featuring Garfield as tough detective, Sam Spayed, Chandler style.
Private eye movies.
NOVELISTSRaymond Chandler; Chandler links.
Hard boiled Chandler slang. Hamlet can be done in Chandler style.
Tracer Bullet detective Calvin with his side kick Hobbes. Hard to find cartoons of Calvin as a detective-this is a great version.
Harlan Coben: exciting thrillers with medical connections.
Michael Connelly's crime novels are well written and exciting.
Dashiell Hammett: the detective writer who turned a pulp genre into literature.
Sue Grafton: author of the Kinsey Millhone alphabet series; I've still got the one I borrowed gratefully from our hotel in St Petersburg in 2005-left 2 replacement novels and a pair of shoes. They are set in Santa Barbara (not officially) which we visited in 2010. It is a sensational place with a glorious beachfront and jetty and an unimaginably long and glamorous shopping street.
Reginald Hill: novels featuring popular Dalziel and Pascoe - the basis for the TV series.
Jonathan Kellerman: psychological crime investigation. His wife, Faye Kellerman, also writes thrillers but the unrelenting emphasis on Jewishness is wearing-a little more subtelty required.
Philip Kerr's A Quiet Flame set in Nazi Germany and Argentina after the war is absorbing (16/9/2016). Although I am not a fan of flashbacks, the historical context is very interesting.
Michael Palmer: stomach-clenching medical thrillers. Sadly, Michael Palmer died in 2013 but his son, Daniel, seems to be keeping the brand going.
Sara Paretsky's homepage. Author of VI Warshawski.
Louise Penny Dead Cold, read Sept, 2013. Set in a small Canadian village near Quebec-painfully folksy.
Ian Rankin's Standing in Another Man's Grave (12/5/2013). I loved Rebus on TV but some of the more recent novels were too miserable. This one is about serial murder but without excessive murderous detail. The prose is crisp and fresh and Rebus is more under control. I couldn't put it down. Even if you have to create tension, however, I could do without the endless smoking and particularly without the flicking of cigarette butts everywhere. And why is every UK fictional detective obsessed by some kind of music, be it classical, jazz or whatever?
On our day from hell in Edinburgh, we happened to be there quite by chance when the Festival, Fringe, Writers' Week and the Tattoo were on, and were marooned in the city, unable to find where the bus left from to take us back to our car parked about 15 kms away because they'd closed streets all over the place without putting up any signs saying where the buses were now relocated. I was in agony with feet so sore I could hardly walk and we couldn't find anyone who actually lived there to help us. They should have some volunteers to help. Anyway, we eventually found the bus after Peter reconnoitred without me, and then I still had a long and painful hobble.
When Rankin says, "The traffic in Edinburgh was indeed a nightmare. Temporary lights, road closures, diversions. Long tailbacks everywhere. Most of it to accommodate the construction of a single tramline between airport and city centre," he is telling the complete truth and the lady on the bus who told us about it was very bitter too. It has been going on for years, she said. But that kind of detail really makes the novel. A great website too.
Kathy Reichs: Extreme forensic pathology.
Nury Vittachi: the Feng Shui detective. A great idea but I have only found a selection of short stories involving a 17 year-old side kick, so far.
Qiu Xiaolong author of Death of a Red Heroine (22/4/2013). It is the first in a series of novels involving Inspector Chen in Shanghai. There is wonderful detail of recent Chinese history and lifestyle and an interesting murder/mystery investigation. I'll be looking for the rest at the library.
Carter Brown; Carter Brown covers;
and Hard-boiled pulp fiction. I remember these A5 sized
detective stories in my older brother's bookcase but sadly I don't have any now.
July 2016: Just read The Dry a debut novel by Jane Harper. Suddenly the penny has dropped. We have our own noir and it is a growing genre. I'm going to call it Sol Noir as it's set in hot, dry places. It is still gloomy mystery and murder and the setting plays just as big a part as does the dark and cold of Scandinavia. It goes a long way back, to Picnic at Hanging Rock and Wake in Fright now I think of it. Lantana was another great Australian movie where the location was a major element. Gary Disher's Bitter Wash Road, is fantastic-set in rural South Australia, not far from Adelaide. And we saw Goldstone at the movies recently. That's set in Queensland, apparently, but it could be anywhere north of Port Augusta. I see great potential for literary tourism! N.B. Movie makers may be aiming at realism in this genre, but the unrelenting ugliness of unshaven men in dirty clothes and greasy, stringy hair is very unappealing-especially in the heat and dirt. Can we please have some good looking detectives. Let's face it, part of the pleasure of fictional characters is that they CAN be attractive. I hear the last Kenneth Branagh Wallender is coming up. I fear he may once again be dirty, unshaven, sleepless and without decent food. If I wanted all the ugliness of daily life I wouldn't read fiction.
Scandinavian crime fiction.
TV-There are some terrific, though violent, Scandinavian noir TV series that we have enjoyed recently including The Bridge , Follow the Money, Spring Tide and Midnight Sun. The Swedish context of Midnight Sun is fascinating but the killing very gruesome.
CRIME FICTION GUIDESTangled Web: a comprehensive British site promoting crime writing with a huge list of authors.
Euro crime: compact reviews of a crime fiction.
Detective, mystery and suspense fiction.
Mystery Net with activities for kids. Ultimate Mystery/Detective Web Guide-very old but still a lot there.
NON FICTION CRIME FIGHTING ORGANISATIONSSouth Australian Police
Australian Federal Police.
FBI crime reports; Interpol international.
Established Oct 2003. Links checked 18-4-2016.