Thursday, February 16, 2017

Black and Blue and Indigo

by Alan

What 3 mystery books are “must reads” for those who have never read mysteries before?

So many great books to recommend! So many potential “must reads”! How can one possibly choose?

By narrowing things down using my Book-Sort-O-Matic Machine (patent pending)!

I hauled it out of deep storage, replaced the flux capacitor, and programmed the following criteria:

1) Book written by an author who is either an Edgar Award winner or MWA Grand Master.

2) Book itself either won, or was nominated for, a prestigious mystery-writing award.

3) Book features a detective (police or PI).

4) Book has a color in the title.

5) I read the book and enjoyed it.


Three choices popped out!

Black EchoThe Black Echo – Michael Connelly.

Winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1993, this is the first in the Harry Bosch series.






Blue Edge


The Blue Edge of Midnight – Jonathon King

Featuring ex-cop Max Freeman, this won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 2003.





indigoslam_largeIndigo Slam – Robert Crais

This is the seventh novel in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series (nominated for a Shamus Award in 1998).






What’s your favorite mystery with a color in the title?


Paul D. Marks said...

Alan, I thought of several books and even a short story I like with colors in their titles: Red Wind (Raymond Chandler), Black Money (Ross Macdonald), Devil in a Blue Dress (Walter Mosley), The Concrete Blonde (Michael Connelly), The Black-Eyed Blonde (Benjamin Black and two for the price of one), White Jazz (James Ellroy), Paint it Black (Janet Fitch), John D. MacDonald’s whole rainbow of color in his titles. And I would have included Indigo Slam if you hadn’t.

But if I had to pick one favorite mystery with a color in the title it would be White Heat by, uh, Paul D. Marks. Well, you asked and it does have a color in the title ;-)

Art Taylor said...

Dang! Paul beat me to this! I was gonna zero in on John D. MacDonald and Walter Mosley particularly (MWA grandmasters each) and hadn't even thought of White Jazz yet, which may be my favorite of Ellroy's books (yet another grandmaster).

Here's another, though--an all-time favorite by a writer who predated MWA and the Edgars: Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett.

catriona said...

Red Dragon! Brrrrrrrrrrrrr.

RJ Harlick said...

I was going to add John D. too. Love to read him when I want to escape the cold of winter to the heat of Florida.

Unknown said...

I just love those titles!

Alan Orloff said...

Paul - Well, White Heat, of course. Goes without saying. And I'll throw Crimson Joy into the mix, too!

Art - Figures you'd pick a Hammett! (Or I should say, a Dashiell!)

Catriona - Yes, Red Dragon. A great book (and underrated).

RJ - Yeah, the color thing was John D's shtick.

RM - When in doubt, throw a color into the title.