Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blog Tour: Lucy Christopher's Favourite Crime Novels

I'm very pleased to welcome Lucy Christopher to Teenage Fiction for All Ages and as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of The Killing Woods, Lucy will be sharing her five favourite crime novels.

Here's a bit about The Killing Woods:

Emily's dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl in the woods behind her house, the place she played in as a child. She's sure he's innocent, but what did happen? Determined to find out - and afraid of what she might discover - Emily seeks out the boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But Damon Hillary has his own secrets about the dangerous games that are being played in the dark.

Lucy Christopher's Five Favourite Crime Novels

The Famous Five Series, Enid Blyton

Perhaps these novels aren’t strictly a crime series, but I grew up with the Famous Five and it’s hard not to imagine that my early reading of these stories of young people tackling crime and dark deeds hasn’t influenced me at least a little bit. Blyton’s trademark series was published between 1942 and 1961 so they are a little dated now, but at the heart of each one is a crime to be solved. Reading these novels, I grew up with dreams of going camping and foiling smugglers and the like. They aren’t dark or too serious or grizzly, but they’re full of heart and adventure.

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

There’s not much to say about this book that someone else hasn’t already said. It’s a sensation. As a Creative Writing lecturer as well as a writer, sometimes I find it hard to appreciate a new book on both the story and craft level, but I felt no such difficulty with this one. It’s interestingly plotted and intricately written. It also had the true marker of a good crime novel – it kept me up reading until the small hours of the morning.

You Against Me, Jenny Downham

Like The Killing Woods, You Against Me also contains a dual narration between a boy and a girl. Both of these characters are trying to uncover the truth of the most serious event of their lives up to now – the sexual abuse of a girl they both know. Part of the reason I like this book so much, aside from the fact that it’s so well written, is that Downham’s approach to the subject matter is bold and fresh and utterly convincing. This is emotional, skilful writing. UK YA at its best.

I Am the Cheese, Robert Cormier

Entering the YA library somewhere in between The Famous Five and Gone Girl, Cormier’s 1977 novel has been a favourite of mine since I first read it. This book is not afraid to break rules – you only have to look at its deeply layered, twist-filled plot to see this. The first person narration never wavers as Adam gradually begins to uncover the mystery of who he really is and what happened to his parents.

The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Is a detective story the same as a crime story? You can’t have a detective without a crime, and you can’t think of detectives for too long without coming back to the prototype for the modern detective. Holmes is an interesting and strong protagonist, focused to the point of obsession, often alienating those around him: an early anti-hero. The Hound of the Baskervilles is the quintessential Sherlock Holmes’ story - full of mystery, suspense and a brilliantly moody setting.

Many thanks to Lucy Christopher for stopping by and thanks to Riot Communications and Chicken House for arranging it.

Catch-up with the rest of the Tour here.

1 comment:

  1. Great post - I LOVE Famous Five and should really give Gone Girl a try!