Green equals Classic Crime

Of course, I love all my books, my book collection is my pride and joy, but I’ll admit to having a some favourites…

I love Popular Penguins, and I have shelves of the orange lovelies. It’s been a fantastic way to add some must-haves to my library and they look fantastic all shelved together. I have recently added a sweet little collection of Pink Popular Penguins too, released earlier in the year to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation.

This week I added a new colour – classic green penguins, full of classic crime tales…

The Green Popular Penguins are a new generation of iconic, instantly recognisable Popular Penguin books. With a nod to the design for Penguin’s original ‘Mystery and Crime’ series, these new titles have been dressed to kill with a sharp price of $9.95 and a bold green cover twist on the iconic Penguin triband.

green popular penguinsWith fifty collectable crime classics available from 38 acclaimed crime writers, the Green Popular Penguins collection features classic stories from favourite authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle as well as the gritty detective fiction of Raymond Chandler and the hard boiled work of Dashiell Hammett.

Victorian era writer Mary Elizabeth Braddon (the sister of an ex-Premier of Tasmania) features in this collection, as does British Spy novel specialist Eric Ambler and the contemporary husband and wife crime writing duo Nicci French. Much loved characters make a return including Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason, a defence attorney and Francis Durbridge’s ever gentlemanly Paul Temple.

Crime as a genre has always been a specialty of Penguin Books. In fact, on that fateful day in 1935 when Allen Lane stood on a British railway platform looking for something good to read on his journey (consequently creating Penguin and the Popular Penguins books), he was returning from a visit with the doyenne of crime fiction herself, Agatha Christie.

The Green Popular Penguins will reintroduce a whole new generation of readers to the magical world of crime fiction throughout the ages with their suspenseful, compelling plots and captivating characters.

You can find out details of all 50 titles here…

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to start my collection!

Screen shot 2013-07-26 at 1.30.34 PMOn the release of this new collection, I was lucky to receive three titles in the mail, hot off the press. I’m going to read and review one of them, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, but the other two are up for grabs for two lucky readers!

Screen shot 2013-07-26 at 1.31.01 PM

If you’d like to go into the running to win a copy of Blood and Judgement by Michael Gilbert or Edgar Wallace’s The Door with Seven Locks all you need to do is email info@thatbookyoulike.com.au and let me know which of the 50 titles you would pick as your favourite. Include your name and address, and use the subject line CRIME THRILLERS. I’ll draw two winners at random next Friday, 2 August 2013. Please note, this competition is open to those with an Australian postal address and that each winner will win one title, which will be allocated at random.

Good luck, and happy reading!

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I like it: Web of Deceit

I’ve discovered a little something about myself – much to my surprise, I quite like crime fiction.

Up until now, I thought that the few crime novels that I’d read and enjoyed had been a bit of a fluke. I read Kathryn Fox’s Cold Grave last year and loved it, and earlier, thoroughly enjoyed The Siren’s Sting, by Miranda Darling. I thought they must just have been particularly good examples of the genre.  I’ve since read others, and enjoyed them equally.

Web of DeceitAnd now, I’ve just finished reading Web of Deceit, by Katherine Howell (Pan Macmillan) and found myself unable to put it down, I was enthralled by the mystery and entertained by the action. I couldn’t wait for the truth to be revealed…

So on reflection, I think it’s fair to say that a pattern has emerged. I really like crime fiction, and in particular those that have a ‘speciality’ to which the author can write authentically from personal, professional experience. In this case, Katherine Howell is a former paramedic and brings to the story all the drama, trauma and heroism that the work of a paramedic involves.

Web of Deceit is the latest in the Ella Marconi series…

When paramedics Jane and Alex encounter a man refusing to get out of his crashed car with bystanders saying he deliberately drove into a pole, it looks like a cry for help. His claim that someone is out to get him adds to their thinking that he is delusional.

Later that day he is found dead under a train in what might be a suicide, but Jane is no longer so sure: she remembers the terror in his eyes.

Detective Ella Marconi shares Jane’s doubts, which are only compounded when the case becomes increasingly tangled. The victim’s boss tries to commit suicide when being questioned, a witness flees their attempt to interview her and a woman is beaten unconscious in front of Jane’s house.

Ella is at a loss to know how all these clues add up and then a shocking turn of events puts even more people in danger…

Howell’s novel twists and turns relentlessly, leaving the reader guessing right up until the very end. It’s not only unclear who is guilty for these crimes, but it’s also uncertain until the close, just who is going to be the hero of the hour.

There’s romantic relationships and personal conflicts, all of which allow the reader a chance to get inside the head of the fantastic characters in this story. These relationships; lover to lover, father to daughter, ex-wife to new wife, are all handled brilliantly – creating interest, diversion and introducing additional complexity to the already complicated scenario unfolding around the characters of Alex, Jane, Ella and Murray.

There’s plethora of clues to gather and assess and in keeping with the formula of many a quality crime story, Detective Marconi is not only pushing against time to solve this puzzle, but also against her penny-pinching, clock-watching boss. The reader is kept wondering – will his lack of commitment to solving this mystery cost Ella the chance to prove that Marco was a victim of foal play? Will Ella have the back-up required to make sure that she too doesn’t become a victim of this web of deceit? It’ll have you on tenterhooks.

You can enjoy an excerpt of Katherine’s novel on Pan Macmillan blog’s here.

I really enjoyed this book, I’ll be adding the previous Katherine Howell titles to my collection. If you’d like to find out more about Katherine and her books, you can visit her website.

Have you ever been surprised to find that you quite liked a particular genre, perhaps one you’d dismissed in the past?

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