About ten years ago, having finished the latest Barbara Vine and knowing there wouldn’t be another one out for at least 12 months, I started searching around for something else to get my teeth into.
Being a great avid fan of vintage crime, I set out to make sure that I had read all of the early books by my favourite writers- rather than falling into the trap of simply sitting and twiddling my thumbs whilst I awaited the latest releases. There could be some real gems out there I’d previously missed, I thought to myself.
What a great idea this turned out to be! These were the days before ebooks had taken off and there wasn’t a kindle in sight so it became far more than just an exercise in reading. I also had to track down these vintage paperbacks. So, libraries and charity shops were my first port of call and the discovery of a Ruth Rendell Wexford title or an old P.D James from the sixties or seventies was an event worthy of celebration.
Much to my delight, the major publishing houses seemed to have caught onto this appetite for vintage crime and new versions of earlier books from celebrated writers began to appear; Agatha Christie and Josephine Tey have both received this treatment. This made my quest considerably easier to pursue. Although, I was now unaccustomed to paying full price for my vintage finds so I was still pretty wedded to rummaging through library sales and market book stalls. The whole process of discovery was half the fun anyway.
My exploits caught the attention of my other half, who is an obsessive cricket fan. Slowly but surely I observed him doing exactly the same as me, he began to eschew the latest releases and instead started to order rather obscure cricket related prose from as far back as the 1940s from amazon. Our shelves began to creak with the weighty names of many a revered, but now long since retired, cricketing legend.
So look out for my best picks and the reviews of my all-time favourite vintage crime books. I will also be getting some guest blogger reviews of classic cricketing books and memoirs so if this tickles your fancy then just browse through the menus.
Please get in touch with me with your own exploits, picks and observations on classic or modern crime, it’s never quite so interesting on your own!