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The Holiday Gift List Begins: 3 New Crime Novels by Deceased Authors

October 1, 2012 by Reader's Connection

The Twenty-Year DeathI’ve decided to review a new book every week, between now and the winter holidays. Call it the Twelve Weeks of Christmas ~ Hannukah ~ Kwansaa ~ Solstice ~ New Year. We’ll see how it goes.

My first recommendation is for the Georges Simenon or Raymond Chandler or Jim Thompson fan on your gift list. These dead males haven’t really written anything new, but Ariel S. Winter has written a first novel that is three novels run together, each in the style of one of those classic crime authors.

He calls it The Twenty-Year Death, and it follows the unfortunate events that plague a married couple for two decades. The evocation of Simenon is set in France in 1931 (the year that Simenon’s first Inspector Maigret mystery, Pietr-le-Letton, was published), the Chandler in 1941 (detective Philip Marlowe had appeared in a couple of novels), and the Thompson in 1951 (the author had been publishing novels for about ten years).

Your consumer of dark crime fiction will love it. I do. My criminal reading has usually focused on private eyes, so I’ve been a Chandler fan, but not a fan of Simenon or Thompson. After reading the first novel within this novel, though, I requested a couple of Inspector Maigret mysteries.

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