We have a number of interviews dedicated to some of the most famous authors of mystery books. Mathew Prichard, the grandson of Agatha Christie and Chairman of her estate, chooses five of her best representative stories and one biography. He discusses what Agatha Christie was like as a grandmother and how she became fed up with Poirot, one of her most famous characters, but couldn’t get rid of him, because that was what her publishers wanted. Critic Michael Dirda discusses his life-long fascination with Sherlock Holmes and chooses the best books on the great detective. He also chooses four books by Conan Doyle and one biography.
Meanwhile Jason Hall, who teaches in the English department of Exeter University, chooses the best books by the Victorian novelist Wilkie Collins and discusses the relationship between the author’s interest in marginalised characters in his fiction and his own eccentric (and somewhat secretive) life in mid-Victorian England. M.C. Beaton, the contemporary and highly prolific author of mysteries and romances, chooses her favourite cosy mysteries, including well-worn favourite Robert Louis Stevenson, but also finding room for T.S. Eliot and Evelyn Waugh.
Covering the very latest mystery novels, we have put together the best mystery books of 2020 (so far).
The best murder mysteries set up their stories like a game between the reader and the writer, says Stuart Turton, bestselling author and lifelong mystery fan. Here he highlights five of his favourites, in which detectives make miraculous deductions, or doggedly chase clues until they meet with satisfying solutions.
Beast in the Shadows
by Edogawa Rampo & Ian Hughes (translator)
The Inugami Curse
by Seishi Yokomizo & Yumiko Yamazaki (translator)
Points and Lines
by Paul C. Blum and Makiko Yamamoto (translators) & Seicho Matsumoto
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders
by Ross and Shika Mackenzie (translators) & Soji Shimada
All She Was Worth
by Alfred Birnbaum (translator) & Miyuki Miyabe
Crime novels are hugely popular in Japan, but English translations of Japanese mysteries not always easy to come by. As Pushkin Vertigo publishes translations of two novels by Seishi Yokomizo, one of Japan’s most famous mystery writers, his grandson, On Nomoto, talks us through the best classic Japanese mysteries of the last century.
The best mystery books are completely unputdownable and addictive, the entertainment they provide more portable than watching TV and so much more satisfying than looking at your phone. Bestselling author David Baldacci, one of the masters of the genre and a passionate advocate for literacy and reading, talks us through some of the best mystery books ever written—as well as the contemporary authors he most admires.
Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels starring his fictional sleuth. Michael Dirda – Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, writer and lifelong Sherlockian – gives us his personal choice of the best Sherlock Holmes books and tells us more about their creator.
Wilkie Collins, the sensationalist author and inventor of the detective novel, knew precisely how to “make ’em laugh, make ’em cry, make ’em wait”. Jason Hall, Victorian literature expert and editor of a new edition of Jezebel’s Daughter, chooses the five best books from Collins’s extensive oeuvre – and considers the voracious appetites and unorthodox lifestyle of this intriguing Englishman.