RARA-AVIS: Best 20 Hard Boiled

From: T.Kent Morgan ( tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 06 Apr 2002

This is a very subjective list of 20 based on three different categories.

Early Influences From My Father's Paperback Library 196 - Mike Hammer 197 - Michael Shayne 227 - Perry Mason 283 - Travis McGee Write-in - Kent Murdock (George Harmon Coxe) liked first name

Characters (and Writers) Who Got Me Reading Mysteries Again 36 - C.W. Shugrue 121 - Hawk 250 - Sharon McCone 266 - Spenser 286 - V.I. Warshawski Write-in - Doc Adams (series - Rick Boyer) Write-in - Fang Mulheisen (series - Jon A. Jackson)

Immediate Reads (Usually Purchased in Hardcover) 64 - Dave Robicheaux (liked Burke before he started series) 66 - Carl Houseman 117 - Harry Bosch 154 - John Rebus 173 - Lucas Davenport 182 - Doc Ford (unfortunately I didn't buy Sanibel Flats in HC) 276 - Thorn Write-In - Gabriel Du Pre (series - Peter Bowen) hard boiled when he has to be. As a Red River Metis living in Montana, he is the closest to a Canadian on my list.

Clearly, I need to read more of the classics such as Chandler, Hammett and Ross Macdonald that I have been adding to my collection over the past couple of years since joining Rara-Avis.

When I went to make my list, I was shocked to discover that no one had nominated Doc Adams and Fang Mulheisen. Boyer's first book featuring Adams, Billingsgate Shoal, won an Edgar and is one of my all-time favorites. Jackson's series certainly deserves more recognition. The Man With An Axe may be the most enjoyable crime book I have read this year and La Donna Detroit is next on my TBR list. If Jose Latour's second crime novel written in English lives up to his first, Outcast, featuring Cuban/American Eliot Steil, he will unquestionably find a spot on any revised top twenty list of mine.

Kent Morgan in Winnipeg

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