Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday's Forgotten or Overlooked Books

If it's Friday, it's Forgotten or Overlooked Book Day, the weekly meme hosted by Patti Abbott at her blog, PATTINASE. Be sure and check the link to see what everyone else is up to.

Two Reference Books I occasionally find handy:

DETECTING MEN A Reader's Guide and Checklist for Mystery Series Written by Men by Willetta L. Heising, was published in 1998 so any male writers who debuted after that date are obviously not included. (There was also a DETECTING WOMEN guide but I don't happen to own that one.) I still enjoy wandering through the book looking through the alphabetical Master List for books and/or authors I might have missed.

 It's great for keeping track of male writers of mysteries and thrillers who came before '98. Heising doesn't go all the way back to the Golden Age of Male Writers, far as I can tell, but the book still has reference value for me. I can use it to check and double check books and authors working from around the 60's through the 90's, especially those whose names I'm not familiar with.

Online is great for lists if you already know the author's name. But books like DETECTING MEN (or DETECTING WOMEN) are terrific references when you're just looking around to see if there's a writer you somehow missed. And believe me, I've missed plenty.


KILLER BOOKS - A Reader's Guide to Exploring the Popular World of Mystery and Suspense. The Best Mystery Writers Cross-referenced By Your Favorite Books, Movies and TV Shows by Jean Swanson and Dean James.

This also has a publication date of 1998. It's kind of fun to look at the television shows and movies mentioned. It seems like another generation ago and yet it's only 13 years. The cross-referencing by subject matter and types of mysteries comes in very handy. I found many writers whose books I fell in love with in the pages of these two reference books.

Don't get me wrong - these books are not really for heavy duty referencing, but as guides, they're perfectly fine. Plus they feed my 'list mania'.

Note: I know, I know, I broke my own '' in the title rule with DETECTING MEN, but 13 years ago I wasn't as strict as I am now. Ha!


  1. Love that sort of books. Perfect for browsing when you just can't find a good novel.

  2. I met Willetta at Bouchercon in Chicago about five years ago. She is a stitch and a half. She is one of those people who when you meet her for the first time treats you as if you've been her friend for a couple of years.

    What's this bizarre rule you refer to? You don't read books with gerunds in the title? Come on! That means that you won't read any book with the word KILLING in the title and you'll miss out on The Killings in Badger's Drift and The Killing of Mr. Watson to name just two books definitely worth reading.

  3. Love it, Yvette! :-)

    And if you can find room to squeeze in yet another award, there's one awaiting you over at my place!

  4. Willetta sounds like a hoot, John. I wish I'd met her too.

    Okay, the 'ing' rule. I mentioned it on my Top Ten Tuesday post under trends we want to see LESS of.

    I don't like book titles that begin with a word ending in 'ing'.

    As in: Educating Rita, Saving Private Ryan, Raising Arizona, Killing so and so, Catching so and so, Loving so and so - that sort of thing.

    It's a minor compulsion. :)

  5. Thanks, Sue! I'm still trying to figure out where to put it. :)


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