Monday, May 18, 2009

your recommendations please--mysteries set in NYC

I got a note the other day:
Dear Moonrat,

My retired father loves mystery novels set in New York City. Can you recommend any?



Ooo. Ouch. You got me. I don't read very much mystery.

However, I open the floor to my beloved internet friends, who read everything. Please, folks, chime in!

I will say I was *very* interested to see Soho Press's Chinatown detective series, by Henry Chang. Check out Detective Jack Yu in Chinatown Beat and Year of the Dog. I haven't read them, but they seem to have very good editorial reviews.

Others? I'll update the body (teehee) of this post with links.

**edited to add the following**

Brooklyn Noir
anthology (Akashic)--19 stories (rec by Donn Linn)

The Alienist, by Caleb Carr, set in 1896 rec by Miss Liberty)

Also The Angel of Darkness, by Caleb Carr (rec by Memory)

Gone Tomorrow
, by Lee Child (rec by Scribe and seconded by many others)

One of whom is Janet Reid, who also recommends:
Even, by Andrew Grant (debut author)
Reed Feral Coleman's Moe Praeger books
East of A, by Russell Atwood
SJ Rozan's Bill and Lydia series

Motherless Brooklyn, by Jonathan Lethem (rec by Nathan Bransford)

Bust, by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr (rec by Stuart Neville)

Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series, including 8 Million Ways to Die, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and When the Sacred Ginmill Closes (rec by Eric Berlin)

baka-kit recommends Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr series, which are more witty than noir

Lethal Legacy, by Linda Fairstein, which is based around the New York Public Library (rec by Colleen)

JES recommends Doug Preston and Lincoln Child's series, which features lots of NYC ties, including to the Museum of Natural History. He also recommends F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series.

Iasa recommends these authors: Richard Barth, Rex Stout, Hugh Pentecost, Carol O'Conner, Jed Rubenefield, Ed McBain, Amanda Matetsky, and Donald Westlake. (Iasa--do you have favorite exemplary titles?)

Kristan recommends Mary Higgins Clark--Kristan, any specific titles?


Eric Berlin said...

Any of Lawrence Block's books in the Matthew Scudder series. "8 Million Ways To Die," "A Walk Among the Tombstones," and "When The Sacred Ginmill Closes" are all particularly good.

iasa said...

Richard Barth, Rex Stout, Hugh Pentecost, Carol O'Conner, Jed Rubenefield, Ed McBain all wrote books set in New York

Kristan said...

A lot of Mary Higgins Clark is set in NYC, although her protagonists are usually female, if that matters...

iasa said...

Oh and Donald Westlake

Mark A Lewis said...

There's also James Patterson, and the Kellerman family. :)

Scribe said...

Recently somebody lent me a copy of "Gone Tomorrow" by Lee Child. I had a quick glance at the first page while I was making coffee for visitors - I ended up practically having the book ripped out of my hands by people screaming for their coffee. I haven't been so glued to a book in a long time - definitely my recommendation.

iasa said...

Amanda Matetsky's Paige Turner series

Memory said...

THE ALIENIST and THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS, both by Caleb Carr, are pretty awesome. There's scads of historical detail alongside the mysteries, too.

Nathan Bransford said...


Kerry said...

I bet Janet could get you some good ones.

Janet Reid said...

SJ Rozan's amazing Bill and Lydia series is mostly set in New York.

Lee Child's Gone Tomorrow is set in NYC and like Scribe, I could not stop reading!

Andrew Grant's EVEN is set in NYC. He's a debut author this year.

Reed Feral Coleman's Moe Praeger books are set in NYC.

Russell Atwood's EAST OF A is set in NYC. An amazing writer!

I know I'm leaving off a LOT but this is just a quick list to get you started!

baka-kit said...

Lawrence Block also writes the Bernie Rhodenbarr series, which are witty rather than noir, but are also good puzzles.

Colleen said...

I read Lethal Legacy a few months ago- it was set in NY and tied into the NY Public Library.

Stuart Neville said...

I asked this same question a while back, and BUST by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr was recommended to me. I absolutely loved it.

JES said...

baka-kit mentioned the Bernie Rhodenbarr series; second that recommendation.

If your correspondent's dad has never read Lee Child and starts with Gone Tomorrow or anything else, he may find himself devouring ALL of LC's books regardless of setting.

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (unrelated to Lee) have a great (and often creepy) series featuring an unconventional FBI agent, a (sometime) NYC cop, and others with NYC ties -- especially to the Museum of Natural History. Some of them occur elsewhere, especially the later ones, but the early books are pretty much City-set.

If he wouldn't be averse to trying an exotic blend of mystery-action-horror, he might also like F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series.

writtenwyrdd said...

1) Take any mystery novel.
2) Go outside with it while in NYC.
3) Lay it on the ground.
4) Problem solved! The mystery novel is now 'set' in NYC!

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

moonrat said...

haha. Thanks, Writtenwyrdd!

Elissa said...

Two recent great mysteries set in NYC I've read: Jesse Kellerman's The Genius and Brian Wiprud's Feelers. Both really fantastic reads. Kellerman's is about a huge artistic masterpiece found abandoned in a small apartment in the projects, and the mystery surrounding it. Feelers follows a really funny lead as he discovers a large sum of cash in an abandoned house -- cash that several other people have a claim to, including a murdering sociopath and a retired cop (but it's funny, I swear). Check em out!

Bill Greer said...

The Havana Room by Colin Harrison

wheelmaker said...

Manhattan Love Song, by Cornell Woolrich is a classic noir:

Shell I said...

I have to mention these because I am a raving fan (not exactly sure on genre as I don't usually read thriller or mystery but they may be more thriller but I still highly recommend them:

Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series (any of them) or his stand alone novels. From memory they are set in and around NY and New Jersey.