Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Short Story Month, Day 22. Crime Fiction

Proportionally to other things I read, I'd say I read a fair amount of crime fiction. But reading short stories in this genre hasn't ranked all that high on my list. I was going to say that I never really got hooked on the short form in this genre, but then I remembered another early formative book, namely, Alfred Hitchcock's Solve-Them-Yourself Mysteries. I remember a summer when I spent a few happy hours reading these stories--I don't remember if I solved them myself or not. (I do remember one solution, but perish the thought that I'd give it away here.)

Anyway, the short form is fun and very satisfying. To the extent that crime novels are puzzle books--not all are--the short form may even be more  perfectly adapted to the task.

I've been fortunate enough in the last couple of years to read a couple of terrific crime fiction anthologies, which have reawakened me to the inherent possibilities here. The first was Requiems For the Departed, edited by Gerard Brennan and Mike Stone, which I reviewed here , which is about as great an introduction to the Irish crime writing  scene as you could hope to find. This is a feisty bunch who really pack a punch.

And this led in turn to my picking up The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, Volume 8, because it featured some of the same people, and I pretty much devoured that whole.

Suffice to say that I've discovered my enjoyment of the shorter form.

I had a bit of a hard time finding any real crime fiction plot generator, and was going to have to resort to a few tricks up my sleeve, when a blog post by my friend Peter Rozovsky wended its way across the ocean. Peter is on his way to Crimefest in Bristol, but he managed to post a very evocative photo from London, which you can find here.

Today's prompt:

Go take a look at that photo. Make it figure in a piece of crime fiction. Or any other kind of fiction it evokes for you is fair game too.


  1. By Jove, I may feel my semiannual story coming on.

    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"