The best new-to-me author so far this year

I thought this meme would be simple, but actually it’s a real challenge.

What does ‘best’ really mean? It’s hard to know whether you’re looking at a ‘one-book wonder’ or an author who will hold your attention over several books.*

I enjoyed The Seven-Per-Cent Solution a lot, but would I be interested in seeing the same trick again (Nicholas Meyer has written a couple of sequels)? Probably not.

In a similar Sherlockian vein, I read but didn’t review Laurie R. King’s The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. It’s a great book, but I enjoyed it as a stand-alone and was actually slightly disappointed to see it was the first in a lengthy series. Also: They get married?!?

Of the newer books I have read, I liked Patrick Easter’s River of Fire and thought William Ryan’s The Holy Thief was great, but are they anywhere close to being the ‘best’?

Ira Levin wrote A Kiss Before Dying in 1954 and it was his first book. In my review I said: ‘Ultimately A Kiss Before Dying earns its position as a classic, although probably best avoided if you’re in a new relationship.’ Levin went on to write arguably some of the best-known books of the second half of the last century: Rosemary’s Baby, The Boys From Brazil, The Stepford Wives. Each one was different, although they probably don’t qualify as crime fiction. However, I’m still going to go ahead to pick Levin as my best-new-to-me-author choice.

The ‘best new-to-me crime fiction author’ is a meme at Mysteries in Paradise.


*Unless, like me, you’re focusing on the classics of the genre and have the advantage of being able to take an overview.

About pastoffences

Past Offences exists to review classic crime and mystery books, with ‘classic’ meaning books originally published before 1987.
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3 Responses to The best new-to-me author so far this year

  1. Maxine says:

    i’ve read a few of these and I would have picked that Ira Levin, too. But….Sherlock Holmes getting married?!??!!! Not a series I’ll be reading 😉


  2. good choice – Levin was a great writer – funnily enough I was thinking of him when I recently read Karin Fossum’s THE CALLER – you might not think he’d have much in common with a Norwegian writer of suspense but both have a way of looking at the things ‘normal’ or ordinary people hide underneath the surface. Even his foray into dystopian futures (This Perfect Day) says more about the things people hide than it does about science fiction.


  3. I recently bought this one, further evidencing my lack of control when it comes to Kindle. I also have another couple of Levin titles sitting there. My curiosity was piqued as I was only familiar with the films from my ‘formative years’. From what you say, looks like I have a treat in store.


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