“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Crime Times

Hoo-rah! The Times wades into the escalating war on who the greatest crime writer might be, producing its own list of the Top 50 ‘Greatest Crime Writers’, producing something of a shock-horror (appropriately enough, given her subject matter) with its nomination for the greatest, Patricia Highsmith (right). The CAP panel of judging elves would very probably have plumped for Leonard, Chandler and Ellroy for their Top Three (the order depending on how hard they’d been hitting the Elf-Wonking Juice on any particular afternoon), but no one ever listens to the elves, so who gives a rat’s caboodle? Anyhoo, The Times publishes its Top 50 list tomorrow, but we have a sneak preview at this very link right here courtesy of the ever-friendly Times folk, where they’re also promising “explanations of how the list was created, who was on our judging panel, and some fun little sidebars about translating Crime Fiction to TV and Film, etc.” Without further ado, albeit with a tiny little trumpet parp, herewith be the illustrious Top Ten:
1. Patricia Highsmith
2. Georges Simenon
3. Agatha Christie
4. Raymond Chandler
5. Elmore Leonard
6. Arthur Conan Doyle
7. Ed McBain
8. James M. Cain
9. Ian Rankin
10. James Lee Burke