Jon’s gift guide

In no particular order here are some ideas for your gift buying needs this year. These are all things that should appeal to any fan of crime fiction.

Comics:

FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND by Bill Willingham and various artists
(Vertigo)
Someone is killing the fairest maidens in the land and Cinderella, superspy, is asked to find out who the killer is and stop them. The story takes place over 7 days and each day broken down into different parts. Told in part prose and part traditional comics style it is a fun fun read. There are also a lot of great artists here, each section drawn by someone else. Loved every page of this.

There is also a book about FABLES called the FABLES ENCYCLOPEDIA and it is a must have for all fans of the series!

 

JACK KIRBY: IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB
A hardcover from DC comics that reprints the first issue of this cool comic and also has the never released second issue. Kirby wrote and drew this and it is a collection of true crime tales from the thirties, including Ma Barker and Al Capone. Fun stuff.

MADISON SQUARE TRAGEDY: The Murder of Stanford White.
(NBM/Comics Lit)
Another of the wonderful “Treasury of XXth Century Murder” books by Rick Geary. I’ve loved everyone of these books and the latest was terrific. Stanford White was a famous architect in New York, among other things he worked on Madison Square Garden. He was also a famous man about town who loved going to shows and had a thing for show girls, which eventually lead to his murder.

Novels:

COUNTRY HARDBALL by Steve Weddle
(Tyrus)
A debut novel that knocked my socks off, told in a series of stories. Roy Alison has made some bad decisions and paid the price for them, determined to live a better life he returns home and finds that his plan of a btter life might be harder than he thought.

DESPERADO: A MILE HIGH NOIR by Manuel Ramos
(Arte Publico Press)
Ramos is one of my favorite writers and this latest of his is a masterpiece in the true noir style. His previous book, MOONY’S ROAD TO HELL is one of the books in the last 15 years to truly be noir, not just called noir. This book has the same distinction. Blackmail, infidelity and old friendships all circle around this plot that will keep readers flipping pages.

DOLLFACE by Renee Rosen
(New American Library)
Chicago in the 20s and Vera Abramowitz is living large. Two suitors vying for her attention and she thinks she has the world on a string, until she discovers that the two men are in rival mob outfits….

 

DEAD LIONS by Mick Herron
(SOHO Crime)
This is an awesome espionage thriller mystery. When MI5 spies can no longer operate the way they should they are sent to Slough House, the place where careers go to die. But all of the agents there want back in and a dead spy on a bus might be there ticket back into the show. A page turner from start to finish.

 

ASK NOT by Max Allan Collins
(Forge)
Al Collins Nathan Heller series has tackled some of the most notorious cases in American crime including the Lindbergh kidnapping and the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. In ASK NOT Collins takes on the biggest nest of conspiracies in US history, the Kennedy assassination. You may not agree with his conclusions, but you will be captivated by every page. This is one of the best of a great series.

DVD/BluRay

Breaking Bad and Dexter both have their final seasons out on Disc. These shows both have anti heroes that you find yourself rooting for and it’s hard sometimes to forget they are actually bad guys and killers. The finally for Dexter works really well and the final episode feels almost Shakespeareian. Breaking Bad’s final season really pounds the nails in and it will keep you guessing right to the last episode.

The Good Wife has been a surprise for us. We’re loving the show as it really works on a number of levels, the political stuff is fun, but I really like the cases that the law firm works and seeing how they manipulate the law. A great cast and strong writing. 4 seasons on Disc so far.

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Toys:

Lego has a Museum Break In set that is perfect for crime fiction fans.
Recreate a heist with minifigures! There is also a really nice police station.
Trust me, you’re never too old for Lego!

 

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