Countdown to the MysteryPeople Top 100: Reed Farrel Coleman’s Top 20 Mysteries

We are quickly approaching the unveiling of our list of the MysteryPeople Top 100 Crime & Suspense Novels, which will occur at MysteryPeople’s Fifth Anniversary Celebration on November 7th. The final list is culled from submissions by many of our favorite authors, and as the anniversary comes up, we’ll be posting each many of these Top 20 lists on our blog. Last week, we brought you two very different lists from Craig Johnson and Janice Hamrick.

Our next author is Reed Farrel Coleman, best known for his Moe Prager series, and and his respectful yet innovative continuation of Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone novels. Reed is known for the deft exploration of human emotion in his work and it appears to be reflected in what he reads. His list is a solid introduction to the noir canon, past and present. All descriptions below come from the hands of Mr. Coleman himself.

1. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler – The A, B & C of PI fiction, poignancy, and unrequited love.
2. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett – Treachery, dingus is thy name.
3.Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett – People are still rewriting this book, but they’ll never do it as well.
4. Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
5. The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain – Has all the elements of Noir in spades: yearning, lust, larceny, envy, violence, self-destruction, hypocrisy, and doom.
6. Berlin Noir by Philip Kerr – No one has ever done the absurdity of law enforcement in absurd times better.
7. L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy – The game changer
8. Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell – American Shakespeare working with meth, misery, and yearning
9. Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
10.A Dance at the Slaughterhouse by Lawrence Block – Sexy, bloody, dangerous, and grand.
11. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley – And for Best Psycho Ex Machina … Mouse.
12.Die A Little by Megan Abbott
13. The Guards by Ken Bruen – Great and most fucked protagonist.
14. Red Cat by Peter Spiegelman  – In a world of underappreciated writing, this takes the prize.
15.Night Passage by Robert B. Parker  – I couldn’t possibly comment.
16. One Shot by Lee Child – A great PI novel disguised as a thriller.
17. The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozan – Tragedy, history, hostility and a NY PI story.
18. California Fire and Life by Don Winslow
19. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
20. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon

Reed Farrel Coleman will be joining us January 30th at 5PM to sign and discuss the debut novel in his latest series, Where It Hurts. Look to our blog for more details closer to the event. Pre-order now!

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