Growing up in the 1980s I read fiction across all genres. A teenager at the time, I read my own books, but also read as many books as possible from my parents’ shelves. This included thrillers like Alistair MacLean, Hammond Innes, Wilbur Smith, crime writers like Ed McBain and Agatha Christie, along with a host of names long since forgotten.
The past two decades I’ve generally not read much crime fiction, with the exception of the Norwegian writer Gunnar Staalesen. He lives and writes about Bergen, a place I lived a few years, and where I have roots. The names of other crime/mystery writers slide past my consciousness, but I tended to either read science fiction or American novels from the early twentieth century.
A couple of years ago I read Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, like so many others. This year I picked up a couple of Ian Rankin books, and once again I feel the strong pull of crime fiction. Oddly enough, I’m reading quite a few Scandinavian and European books, from Rankin to Andrea Camilleri, to Jo Nesbø to Asa Larsson, along with other Swedish writers like Henning Mankel and Per Wahlöö.
I have yet to dive into American crime fiction, but I have list of names, most of them authors I’ve never read, which I think is an exciting prospect.
There used to be a book store in San Antonio called “Remember the Alibi.” I find it tragic that this store is gone, but even more so now that I’m re-discovering this genre.