Tuesday, April 14, 2015

the holy grail of mystery/crime fiction? Perhaps.

Good god, I've hit the motherlode. After three, count them three unsuccessful attempts to buy these books, someone finally came through for me.  The first time I tried, the seller sent me a copy of a book by Brett Halliday, mass market paperback. Not even close. Second time, I got a copy of a book by Dell Shannon.  Third time, I was sent something by Carolyn Crane.  Once, I can understand, twice is weird, but three times???? Seriously bad.  Finally I dug a little deeper into the wallet and fourth time was the charm.

I'm talking about Crime Fiction II:  A Comprehensive Bibliography 1749-1990, by Allen J. Hubin.  It is an amazing set of reference books that lists all crime/mystery writers, their books sorted in various ways,  film adaptations complete with screenwriter & other info, yada yada yada.  For someone like myself who enjoys the classics and other old crime/mystery novels, it is absolutely perfect -- the ultimate crime fiction resource.

For example, I needed a book written by someone with a last name starting with 'P' for my obscure women crime writers project (which I'm doing in alpha order), and so after a little research, came up with an author I've never heard of named Zelda Popkin. (Love the name, by the way).  Anyway, here's her entry:

Now that I know what she's got to offer, I'm off to Amazon looking for any of her earliest works that are still in print.

The only downside is that as I come across more of these unknown/forgotten/obscure writers, there's a very good  chance that my tbr pile will grow as my book budget shrinks.

If you're a true old crime/mystery novel fan and can lay hands on these books, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.


  1. I have heard of these books, and I am envious. I would love to have them. Maybe someday.

    The only Popkin I have heard of is Death Wears a White Gardenia.

    1. You are way ahead of me on the Popkin! I didn't even know she existed until I got this book.

  2. Zelda Popkin? I love it. Just on the basis of her name, I'd read her books if they were handy.

    Do you try Abe Books to buy old books? There's also Better World Books.


I don't care what you write, but do be nice about it