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BOOKS To DIE FOR – Edgar Nomination

Article by Louise Phillips © 3 February 2013.
Posted in Guest Blogs ().

Books to Die For

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).

arlene hunt and declan hughes


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.”

Declan Hughes agreed, and he told writing.ie that “the Edgar nomination is a fitting tribute to all the work John and Declan, and Clair Lamb, put in, wrangling and corralling a whole bunch of writers in what must have been a nightmarish process. The winners are crime fiction readers the world over, for the anthology is such a treat – like having an extended, opinionated conversation with a knowledgable gang of friends. You won’t agree with each essay, but a good conversation is as much a dispute as it is a consensus. Books To Die For looks set to become be one of the handful of essential reference works in the genre.”
John Connolly & Declan Burke
J Connolly and Declan Burke
And if you’re not yet convinced, the proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say, and with so many of you having already tasted the flavours of this book, in that rare occurrence that happens hardly ever these days, the popularity of this collection is such, that it can be a tough one to get your hands on. Sold out in many Irish stores, because so blinking many of you have picked it up already!  So my advice to you is simple, snap it up when you see it, or order on line here at Amazon !!! (only 5 copies left) It is also available in kindle edition, but call me an old fashioned kind of girl, this is a collection for the favourite book shelf, something to take down and savour again, and again, and again. Declan Burke, who you can connect with over at his great blog site Crime Always Pays,  and John Connolly HERE , have brought together one of those lifetime books, and one which crime fiction readers the world over will enjoy and reflect upon for a very long time to come.
Don’t say I didn’t tell you!!!!!

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LOUISE PHILLIPS is the author of four bestselling psychological crime thrillers. Her debut novel RED RIBBONS, and her subsequent novels, THE DOLL’S HOUSE, LAST KISS and THE GAME CHANGER, were each nominated for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year. She won the award in 2013. Louise’s work has formed part of many literary anthologies, and she has won both the Jonathan Swift Award and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice platform, along with being shortlisted for the Molly Keane Memorial Award, Bridport UK, and many others. In 2015, she was awarded a writing residency at Cill Rialaig Artist retreat and she was also a judge on the Irish panel for the EU Literary Award. In 2016, she was longlisted for the prestigious CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and her first two novels, RED RIBBONS and THE DOLL'S HOUSE, were published in the US. She has recently been awarded an Arts Bursary for Literature from the Arts Council of Ireland, and her latest novel, THE HIDING GAME, will be published on September 5th 2019. Louise Phillips is the crime writing mastermind behind writing.ie's Crime Scene blog.