Smart detective fiction?
December 12, 2013 8:14 AM Subscribe
What are some particularly intelligent or well-written novels in the suspense/mystery/detective fiction genre?
posted by Bardolph to Media & Arts (55 answers total) 103 users marked this as a favorite
I'm looking to buy a book as a gift for a friend who especially enjoys detective, crime, and mystery novels (P.D. James and Elizabeth George are favorites, I believe, but she also likes John Grisham). She also likes lots of classic fiction, though (George Eliot, Wilkie Collins), and I think would enjoy something of higher literary quality than the standard airport detective potboilers. Works that are "smart" in the more traditional sense-- elegant prose, more complex characters, or interesting plotlines-- would probably be better received than anything avant-garde or self-consciously boundary-pushing in terms of form. Any ideas, Metafilter? I realize this is an eminently Google-able question, but searches for "intelligent detective fiction" just lead down a rabbit's warren of endless suggestions that I don't have time to sift through.
(On a related note: The Goldfinch keeps getting mentioned as a very good recent novel that, while not being genre fiction, nonetheless seems to have an element of suspense. If you've read it, is there enough suspense there that it might work for somebody of the reading habits I've described?)