On the website for Books to Die For – This is what John Connolly and Declan Burke had to say about the most ambitious anthology of its kind yet attempted. The world’s leading mystery writers coming together to champion the greatest mystery novels ever written.
“What we sought from each of the contributors to this volume was passionate advocacy: we wanted them to pick one novel, just one, that they would place in the canon. If you found them in a bar some evening, and the talk turned (as it almost inevitably would) to favorite writers, it would be the single book that each writer would press upon you, the book that, if there was time and the stores were still open, they would leave the bar in order to purchase for you, so that they could be sure they had done all in their power to make you read it.”
It was an immensely ambitious project to bring together a series of personal essays which at times reveal as much about the writers and their own work, as they do about the books they love. With more than 120 authors from 20 countries creating a guide that will be indispensable for generations of readers and writers, John Connolly’s says, “From Christie to Child, and Poe to PD James, from Sherlock Holmes to Hannibal Lecter and Philip Marlowe to Peter Wimsey, BOOKS TO DIE FOR brings together the cream of the mystery world for a feast of reading pleasure, a treasure trove for those new to the genre and those who believe that there is nothing new left to discover. This is the one essential book for every reader who has ever finished a mystery novel and thought…I want more!”
And the wonderful people who decide on the prestigious Edgar nominations agree, ‘Books to Die For’ having been shortlisted under the category -BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL for 2013.
There is no surprise that within the pages of this ‘MUST HAVE’ Crime Fiction Lover Essential Anthology, many Irish Crime Authors feature, and I caught up with a couple of them for www.writing.ie – The wonderful Arlene Hunt, author of seven crime novels: Vicious Circle (2004), False Intentions (2005), Black Sheep (2006), Missing Presumed Dead (2007), Undertow (2008), Blood Money (2010), and The Chosen (2011), and the equally wonderful, Declan Hughes, playwright, and author of City of Lost Girls (2010), All the Dead Voices (2009), Dying Breed (2008), The Colour of Blood (2007), and The Wrong Kind of Blood (2006).
This is what Arlene had to say, ” I am immensely proud to have been a tiny part of Books to Die For, so I was delighted when I learned it was nominated for an Edgar. I whooped- as I am wont to do when seriously pleased. It can’t have been easy for John Connolly and Declan Burke to collect so many excellent writers together, indeed herding authors must be like herding cats, not a task I would fancy. Yet they did so with aplomb and the subsequent book is a thing of rare beauty and filled with wonderful engaging essays from authors about authors they admire. It’s the kind of tome every book lover and crime fiction aficionado should have on their shelves.”