A Selection of Crime Stories Involving Tourism or Travel

Espionage in Crime and Mystery Novels

Favourite Characters in Crime and Mystery Novels

In this meeting, the Crime and Mystery Book Club at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts Library discussed our favourite characters from the genre. Here are the books and characters:

Court Counsellor Fandorin from Special Assignments by Boris Akunin

Simon Templar from The Saint by Leslie Charteris

Phryne Fisher from Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

Aimée Leduc from Murder Below Montparnasse by Cara Black

Captain Richard Gaudeans from The Blindfold Game by Donald Thomas

Clara Vine from Black Roses by Jane Thynne

Marcus Didius Falco from The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis

Inspector Shan Tao Yun from Skeleton God by Eliot Pattison

Inspector Chen from Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong

Miss Marple from At Bertram Hotel by Agatha Christie

Richard Hannay from The 39 Steps by John Buchan

Lew Archer from The Underground Man by Ross Macdonald

Tommy and Tuppence from Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie

John Smiley from Smiley's People by John LeCarre

Jackson Brodie from One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

Hugh Llewellyn Monsarrat from The Soldier's Curse by Meg and Tom Keneally

Hugo Marston from The Bookseller by Mark Pryor

Father Anselm from The Silent Ones by William Brodrick

Professor Simon Shaw from Simon Said by Sarah R Shaber

Stewart Hoag from The Man Who Died Laughing by David Handler

Father Brown from The Innocence of Father Brown by GK Chesterton

Lovejoy from The Judas Pair by Jonathan Gash

Jesper Humlin from The Shadow Girls by Henning Mankell

Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn from Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman

Ian Pembroke from Hot Money by Dick Francis

Kramer and Zondi from The Steam Pig by James McClure

Emily Tempest from Gunshot Road by Adrian Hyland

Enzo Macleod from The Blackhouse by Peter May

Agnes Charmichael from Angel Without Mercy by Anthea Cohen

Detective Chief Inspector Adam Dalgleish from Cover Her Face by PD James

Crime Books Read Over The Australian Summer

The Crime and Mystery Book Club from the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts Library read many novels over the summer holidays. Here is a list of the ones that were crime and mystery books:

The King of the Rainy Country By Nicolas Freeling

Snobbery With Violence by Marion Chesney

The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith

High Island Blues by Ann Cleeves

The Accident on A35 by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Out of The Ice by Ann Turner

Quieter Than Sleep by Joanne Dobson

The Age of Doubt by Andrea Camilleri

The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman

End Game by David Baldacci

Anatomy of A Murder by Robert Traver

The Bitter Taste of Victory by Lara Feigel

Houdini, A Magician Amongst the Spirits by Harry Houdini

The Bourne Supremacy by Robert Ludlum   

The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer

Blood, Money and Power - How L.B.J. killed J.F.K. by Barr McClellan

Indemnity Only by Sara Paretsky

After the Fire by Henning Mankell

X by Sue Grafton

Police At The Station And They Don't Look Friendly; Hidden River by Adrian McKinty

Open Season by Archer Mayor

In Her Blood by Annie Hauxwell

Good Money; Too Easy by J.M. Green

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre

Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey

The Accident Man by Tom Cain

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Guilty Minds by Joseph Finder

The Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe

The  Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

Beware of Johnny Washington by Francis Durbridge

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

The Mistletoe Murders by P.D. James

Don Among the Dead by C.E. Vulliamy

The Red Box by Rex Stout

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump by 27 Psychiatrists

Earthly Remains by Donna Leon

No Middle Name by Lee Childs

The Distant Echo by Val McDermid

Even Dogs In The Wild by Ian Rankin

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

A Useful Woman by Darcie Wilde

Vienna by William S Kirby

SMSA Library Crime & Mystery Book Club Favourite Stories of 2017

Our Favourite Crime Books That We Read in 2016

Recommendations of Crime Stories from Page to Screen

In our latest Sydney Mechanics School of Arts Library Crime and Mystery Book Club, we discussed books that had been adapted for television and film. Some were done well and some we not, and of course, some were better in the written form and some actually were improved on screen. Here are our recommendations:

A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters
This is the first book in the Cadfael series and was made into a British TV series starring Derek Jacobi.

Death of a Gossip by M.C. Beaton
This is the first book in the Hamish McBeath series and was made into a British TV series starring Robert Carlyle.

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
This is the first book in the Swedish trilogy was made into a nine hour miniseries for Swedish television that was  reedited into three theatrical movies that did very well internationally. This book was also made into an English speaking film with American and English actors. I personally preferred the Swedish version because it holds truer to the Lisbeth character. 

The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter 
The Remorseful Day is the last Inspector Morse, and of course Inspector Morse was a long running British TV series starring John Thaw and inspired two spin offs. Lewis, about his sidekick Sargent Lewis, and a prequel - Endeavour, about a young Morse set in the 1960s.

Wire In The Blood by Val McDermid 
Wire In The Blood is the book the TV series is named after is the first in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan series. 

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith 
Child 44 was made into a movie starring Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace in 2015

Runaway Jury by John Grisham 
This is Grisham's seventh novel, but was only the ninth one to be made into a movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, John Cusack and Rachel Weisz

The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith 
This series of books from Alexander McCall Smith was made into a US TV series in 2009.

Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death by James Runcie 
This collection of short stories have been made into a UK TV series called Grantchester after the town Sidney lives in.

L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy 
Ellroy's third novel in the LA Quartet was made into a very successful film in 2008.

Agatha Raisin and The Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton 
Another series from M.C. Beaton made into an UK TV show.

Frosted Christmas by R.D. Wingfield
Frosted Christmas is the very first DI Frost novel. The UK TV series, A Touch of Frost, starred David Jason. It was very popular and ran for a long time.

Sidetracked by Henning Mankell 
OK, this series of books about Swedish detective Kurt Wallander has been made into a very long running TV series called Wallander in Sweden starring Krister Henriksson from 2005 to 2013. It was made again in English, by the British, starring Kenneth Branagh.

Standing In Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin
Rankin's very popular character Inspector Rebus has been brought to TV by two actors, Ken Stott and John Hannah. Both great actors, but very different approaches to character.

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
What can I say? It is a classic in both mediums. Read it and watch the movie.

Meet Inspector Banks by Peter Robinson
Inspector Banks was brought to British TV in the last few years. The next series is due out this year.

To Catch A Thief by David Dodge
This is a book that is actually more famous as a film. The classic Alfred Hitchcock movie starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly is one of the best movies of the 1950s. The book has also been made into a radio play on BBC 4.

The Night Manager by John Le Carre
Other John Le Carre's novels have been dramatised, most notably the Smiley books. However, this recent British TV miniseries is a very slick and sexy take on a later novel from Le Carre.  

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Originally published in 1898, this gothic novel was made into an opera by Benjamin Britten, a ballet by Will Tucket, a play (The Innocents) by Harold Pinter, five feature films (some non-English speaking), over 10 TV movies (again some non-English speaking), and it has also heavily influenced other novels. 

Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard
Rum Punch was adapted by Quentin Tarantino into the film Jackie Brown starring Pam Grier. Here is an interesting interview with Leonard about that adaptation. 

Laura by Vera Caspary
This 1942 novel was made into a classic film in 1944 (yes another one) by Otto Preminger starring Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews. 

Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
Made into a film by Michael Apted in 1983 starring William Hurt, Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith was written in 1981 and was the first book in his series set in Soviet Russia.

Before I go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
This is a debut novel by S.J. Watson that was published in 2011 and made into a film starring Nicole Kidman in 2014.