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Monday, July 11, 2016

Yesterday, I attended a service to remember the thousands of men who lost their lives at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The uniforms, the marching band, the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph, the lone bugler delivering the Last Post - it was very moving. 

As a writer, my mind tried to imagine what it felt like for those men as they headed straight for the guns and certain death and how this bloody battle impacted on the mothers, fathers, siblings and children left at home. Needless to say, I soon had a full cast of fictional characters in my head. 

As a crime writer, my mind soon had these fictional characters committing deadly deeds. I often toy with the idea of writing historical crime fiction and, with my latest novel almost finished, maybe it’s time to seriously think about it?

I love the idea of criminals being free to act in a time that was, in many ways, much simpler. There were no mobile phones, no internet, no CCTV on every street corner and no worries about leaving a speck of blood or a stray hair at the scene. On the other hand, without DNA and the advancements in technology, solving the crimes becomes much more difficult for our sleuths.  

Years ago, I used to read a lot of historical crime novels. Recently - nothing. I can’t remember the last crime/mystery novel I read that wasn’t contemporary. I intend to rectify that and I thought a fitting place to start would be with the 2011 winner of the CWA’s Ellis Peters Historical Crime Award, The Somme Stations by Andrew Martin. However, as this is book 7 in his Jim Stringer series, it may be a while before I get to it. :)

How do you feel about historical crime fiction? Do you read it? Do you have any recommendations? I'm curious. 


Anne Marie Becker said...

I confess I haven't read many historical fiction novels, but I think I would enjoy the genre. I'm currently reading "Here is Where" and that book has true snippets of American history. The author traveled to little known spots around the country to highlight stories I'd never heard. It's been fascinating to read.

Shirley Wells said...

I've just looked up "Here is Where", Anne Marie. It looks a fascinating read.

Marcelle Dubé said...

I love historical crime fiction, Shirley. I wrote Backli's Ford as an alternate history with aliens and a crime--because I'm never straightforward in my genres. A good historical crime series set in 1960s America is the Smokey Dalton books by Kris Nelscott.

Shirley Wells said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Marcelle. I'll check out the Smokey Dalton books because the 60s *really* appeals to me. Backli's Ford is already on my Kindle. Can't wait to meet Constance. :)

jean harrington said...

Thank you for reminding me of a powerful piece of history that, sadly, I had forgotten.

Shirley Wells said...

There have been a lot of commemoration services here, Jean, especially local to me.

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