2010’s First Time Authors

Blogger beyond borders Peter Rozovsky talked today (or yesterday depending on your hemisphere) about all the new authors he has discovered this year which, not surprisingly, sent me scurrying to my spreadsheet to find out how many books by new authors I have read this year. The answer: 81 (I’m not counting the DNFs) which I think by the end of the year will even out to around 50% of my reading (it’s slightly more than that right now but the next 4 books I have lined up are by repeat authors).

It was a bit less than 3 years ago that I was sick to death of the paltry range of tired crime fiction authors available on the shelves at my local bookstores (insert the names of a dozen or so Big American/English names at your discretion). Fortunately before I could summon the gumption to throw myself off a cliff in despair (or worse still, read a different genre) I discovered Aust Crime Fiction which led me to Mysteries in Paradise which led me to Petrona which all led me to a whole new way of finding interesting books to read. Since then I have read more than ever, most of the books by people my local bookstore has still never heard of (though to be fair some of that might be my fault as I suspect my Swedish pronunciation leaves a lot to be desired).

This year’s haul of new (to me) authors has got a little bit of everything.

On one end of the sub-genre scale there is cosy author Sheila Connelly and on the other end there is Ken Bruen (whose book The Dramatist was possibly the least cosy thing I have ever read but I loved it) (except when I hated it) (which was at exactly the same time as I loved it) and in the middle there’s a mixture of procedurals, thrillers, historical mysteries, psychological suspense and private detective yarns.

There are debut authors like Elly Griffiths and Simon Lelic who I couldn’t have read before this year if I’d tried and then there’s Maj Sjowall & Per Whaloo who everyone else has been reading for 45 years and I am just very late to the party.

The list contains my equal highest rating (3 5-star rated books) and my lowest rating (the silly, woeful The Last Pope). A rather astonishing 67 are rated 3 or more which means I would happily read more by the same author (and in some cases already have).

On the list there is at least one American, Argentinian, Australian, Brazilian, Canadian, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Indian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, New Zealander, Norwegian, Peruvian, Portuguese, Scottish, South African, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish author and they have set their books in 32 different countries/great icy wastelands.

I haven’t got the energy or inclination to include 81 hyperlinks but here is my list in full and you can easily find reviews of any of these by clicking on the author name in the right hand side-bar (over ——-> )

  • Alex Scarrow – Last Light
  • Andrea Camilleri – August Heat
  • Ann Waldron – The Princeton Murders
  • Anne Zouroudi – The Messenger of Athens
  • Ariana Franklin – Mistress of the Art of Death (5 stars)
  • Barbara Fister – On Edge
  • Bateman – Mystery Man
  • Belinda Bauer – Blacklands
  • Catherine Hunter – The Dead of Midnight
  • Charlotte Jay – Beat Not the Bones Australian
  • Christian Jungersen – The Exception
  • Claudia Pineiro – Thursday Night Widows
  • Dan Waddell – The Blood Detective
  • Dominique Manotti – Affairs of State
  • Edward Marston – The Railway Detective
  • Elena Forbes – Our Lady of Pain
  • Elly Griffiths – The Crossing Places
  • Gail Bowen – A Colder Kind of Death
  • Gene Kerrigan – The Midnight Choir
  • George Pelacanos – The Way Home
  • Giles Blunt – Forty Words for Sorrow
  • Glen Peters – Mrs Di Silva’s Detective Instincts and the Shaitan of Calcutta
  • Hakan Nesser – The Mind’s Eye
  • Imogen Robertson – Instruments of Darkness
  • Jackie Fullarton – Revenge Served Cold
  • Jacqueline Winspear – Maisie Dobbs
  • James Thompson – Snow Angels
  • Jeffrey Siger – Murder in Mykonos
  • Jim Kelly – Death Wore White
  • Jo Nesbo – The Redbreast
  • John Hart – The Last Child
  • Karen Maitland – Company of Liars
  • Kate Carlisle – Homicide in Hardcover
  • Ken Bruen – The Dramatist (5 stars)
  • Kwei Quartey – Wife of the Gods
  • Lief Davidsen – The Serbian Dane
  • Linda Berry – Death And The Easter Bunny
  • Lindy Kelly – Bold Blood
  • Luis Miguel Rocha – The Last Pope (0.5 stars)
  • Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza – Southwesterly Wind
  • Lynn Harris – Death by Chick Lit
  • M C Beaton – Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House
  • Maj Sjowall & Per Whaloo – Roseanna
  • Margaret Truman – Murder at the Kennedy Centre
  • Margie Orford – Blood Rose
  • Mario Vargas Llosa – Death in the Andes
  • Martin Edwards – The Coffin Trail
  • Mary Jane Maffini – Devil’s in the Details
  • Matt Dickinson – Black Ice
  • Mehmet Murat Somer – The Prophet Murders: A Hop-Ciki-Yaya Thriller
  • Michael Harvey – The Third Rail
  • Michael Stanley – A Carrion Death
  • Michele Giuttari – A Death in Tuscany
  • Nancy Martin – How to Murder a Millionaire
  • Nevada Barr – Borderline
  • P M Newton – The Old School Australian
  • Paco Ignacio Taibo II -The Uncomfortable Dead
  • Patricia Moyes – Falling star
  • Peter Klein – Punter’s Turf Australian
  • Philip Kerr – If the Dead Rise Not
  • Quintin Jardine – Inhuman Remains
  • R J Ellory – A Simple Act of Violence
  • Rob Kitchin – The Rule Book
  • Robert Engwerda – Mosquito Creek Australian
  • Robin Bowles – The Curse of the Golden Yo Yo
  • Robin Spano – Dead Politician Society
  • Sammi Carter – Candy Apple Dead
  • Sarah Andrews – In Cold Pursuit
  • Sarah Atwell – Snake in the Glass
  • Sheila Connolly – One Bad Apple
  • Shona MacLean – The Redemption of Alexander Seaton
  • Shuichi Yoshida – Villain
  • Simon Lelic – A Thousand Cuts (a.k.a. Rupture) (5 stars)
  • Simone van der Vlugt – The Reunion
  • Stef Penney – The Tenderness of Wolves
  • Stuart Neville – The Ghosts of Belfast
  • Sulari Gentill – A Few Right Thinking Men Australian
  • Teresa Solana – A Not So Perfect Crime
  • Tonino Benacquista – Badfellas
  • William Deverell – April Fool
  • Zoe Ferraris – The Night of the Mir’aj

Despite the fact I’m desperate to read more books by many of my recently discovered authors I’m not giving up on new authors as 87 of the 194 books I own but haven’t (quite) gotten around to reading yet are also by new (to me) authors. I can’t wait to read ’em.

What new authors have you loved (or not) during 2010? Do you like mixing new authors with old favourites? Do you have any new authors you plan to try in 2011?

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13 Responses to 2010’s First Time Authors

  1. BooksPlease says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of new authors! I’ve read 44 new-to-me authors this year, out of the 96 books I’ve read so far. I need to go through and sort out a list to be certain I’ve noted them all, sometimes my reading takes precedence over record keeping. 🙂

    I do like to vary my reading by finding new authors. Off the top of my head new-to-me authors of note are Christopher Brookmyre, Ann Cleeves and Deon Meyer. And I’ll certainly be looking for new ones next year, mixing them with old favourites. There are quite a few waiting in the tbr piles!


  2. kathy durkin says:

    For first-timers, I loved Teresa Solana, Elly Griffiths and Malla Nunn. I very much liked Henning Mankell, Andrea Camilleri, Claudia Piniero, Hakan Nesser and Jim Kelly. U.S. writers–I like new-to-me writers Kelli Stanley, Joseph Finger, David Ellis.
    I read 29 new authors this year, over half international.
    But I’m still drawn back to many old favorites, am reading “The Reversal,” Michael Connelly’s new legal thriller, which is good.
    But I would definitely say this is one of my best and most adventurous reading years, and I credit this blog and other excellent ones for the incisive reviews, ratings, comments.
    I have to plan my next year’s reading, don’t know if I’ll go crazy and join lots of challenges, but they all bring new book titles and authors to read about and then check out … what could be better?
    Don’t throw yourself off a cliff; there are always more new, good books and countries to be heard from. I don’t know if I am up to a love-hate relationship with Bruen’s book or any other, but it has happened to me.


  3. kathy durkin says:

    Errata: It’s Joseph Finder.


  4. Without sites like this first-time authors would never be read so thank you SO much for your support. Third book is out in the UK in January and I’m halfway through writing Book 4….Happy Christmas and thanks again. Elly


  5. Dorte H says:

    Impressive list!

    I have only read 15 of them, but a handful of them are on my TBR. I will put up my own list in a week or so.

    NB: I sent the link to my daughter because she is writing a short paper about crime blogs right now, and one of her questions was how blogging influenced our reading. This post confirms what I have told her.


  6. kathy durkin says:

    Yes! Elly Griffiths’ comment is so true. The value of the Internet and websites/blogs such as this one are key in expanding our reading choices and enjoyment. I’d still be back reading the same U.S. authors I read, with a few additions from friends’ comments.
    Look forward to what 2011 brings.


  7. Just got an email that my pre-order of the third Elly Griffiths novel is on its way. Woo hoo.


  8. kathy durkin says:

    Oh, I better get going and order the third Elly Griffiths then.


  9. Hi Bernadette

    Am so glad my book was one of your 81. I don’t know about other authors, but for me the first reviews (yours among them) in those initial weeks, meant the world. Thank you…and Merry Christmas.




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