As I was clicking merrily along, I came to this:
Mysteries with muscle
Agatha Christie–style murder mysteries à la Jane Marple typically attract individuals—usually more female than male—interested in particular kinds of settings/communities or in stories that highlight characters and character relationships before crime. This year, a somewhat overlooked mystery genre subset featuring tough-guy narrators in gritty worlds dominated by male characters is muscling its way into prominence.
Among the most hard-boiled of these titles are three excellent series debuts. The Cut (Reagan Arthur: Little Brown, Aug.) by acclaimed crime fiction writer George Pelecanos deals with an ex–Iraqi War vet who recovers stolen property for anyone with enough cash and whose work gets him entangled with the criminal underworld.
Fun & Games (Mulholland: Little, Brown, Jun.) by cult crime and Marvel Comics writer Duane Swierczynski channels pulp fiction noir in the story of an ex-cop who stumbles across a ring of sociopathic hit men specializing in accidental deaths. In newcomer Wayne Arthurson’s Fall from Grace (Forge: Tor, Apr.), a prostitute’s death leads a down-and-out reporter to uncover a scandal that could cost him everything, including his life.
Purgatory Chasm (May) a first novel by amateur race car driver and builder Steve Ulfelder, is one of several “tough guy” mysteries St. Martin’s Minotaur imprint plans to launch in 2011. Other titles by the likes of Steve Hamilton and David Housewright are also on the list. Ulfelder’s protagonist is an ex-alcoholic and mechanic who finds himself embroiled in a murder investigation involving a fellow AA member with a shady past.
However testosterone-driven these novels may appear, St. Martin’s executive editor Keith Kahla admonishes that “[it] doesn’t mean that men are the only readers of these books—in fact, [established writers of similar crime fiction] have a substantial following among women readers.” He argues that to label these mysteries as male- oriented or female-oriented is to shortchange both the books and the readers.
Holy Murgatroyd!!! That's OUR Steve Ulfelder! Mentioned alongside George Pelecanos! And Duane Swierczynski!
Dear Readers, I gasped for air, clutched my gills and swam for
Pub date is May 10!