Thursday 15 November 2012

Books To Die For - John Connolly

This book is an anthology of essays collected and edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke. They have brought together a collection from some of the most current and famous crime writers. The subject of these essays is their favourite crime story. Basically this is a collection about crime writing by crime authors.

This was the book that I wanted to have it's own review. What attracted me to it in the first place was the cover. This image really doesn't do it justice. It's a beautiful clothe bound edition and it stood out from all the other new books around it in the library. I couldn't leave without it. The second thing that attracted me was that John Connolly was one of the editors and, once I read the blurb, the subject intrigued me.

I have been reading crime a couple of years now. Probably just slightly longer than this blog has been running. So I can't really call myself a newbie to the genre anymore. However, reading this book made me realise just how little I have read in regards to crime. There were authors I had heard of but never read and then a good number of authors and stories I had never heard of. Then there were books described that I probably wouldn't have considered trying if it weren't for this book. What it comes down to is that this book is a great guide for people who enjoy the genre and maybe want to read a bit more or try new authors.

As I said, each of the essays is written by a different author and the are relatively short. They all have their own style too. For the most part I enjoyed them all. It was interesting reading another crime writers insight into the genre. A few mentioned that their favourite book was their first foray into crime and probably wouldn't have been inspired to write it if they hadn't read it. Most of them has me wanting to read the books that they describe. I confess that I got a little excited when I came across a book that I had read myself. It was interesting to read what someone else thought of it.

Each essay begins with a small piece about the author of the book that's about to be describe. And each ends with a short piece about the author who wrote the essay. This just added to my interest and meant that I got to learn a lot more about the writers than I thought I would have to begin with. I read this from cover to cover but I don't think you have to read it that way. It's the type of book that you can dip in and out of. Particularly if you are looking for inspiration.

I was a little sad when I returned it to the library and I think I will have to eventually buy a copy of it so I can refer back to it.


  1. Hurrah for beautiful books. I have to be in the right mood for crime fiction, although it is the genre I am most likely to get unsolicited copies of! Typical really but it's nice to find new authors that I probably wouldn't find otherwise.

    1. I don't think I will ever be a crime fiction expert. I like too many other books to become that. You are right though. It's nice to find new authors regardless.