An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.
- Charles de Montesquieu

That was the "quote of the day" on my homepage not long ago. It gave me a smile, but at the same time it made me think a little. Will my books be boring anybody in future generations? To be honest, I don't think so. But what about your books? And if not yours, who among the current crop of crime writers do you think will still be read in 50 or 100 years?

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This is a tough one. My crystal ball is in the shop.

I was going to say Dennis Lehane but changed my mind. He needs to produce a larger body of work to be read widely 100 years from now, in my opinion.

Stephen King, if he counts as a crime writer. (Which I think he does.) Maybe George Pelecanos? Or Grisham because of sheer popularity and the number of books he wrote?
Hey, King's an MWA Grandmaster. He counts. I think you're right about him.
Well certainly, it's not all about quality because Agatha Christie continues to sell. In her case, it might be about output and being early in the field. I think it's hard to predict because the writer would have to speak to an entirely different world. Or capture this world well enought to be historically of interest. My guess would be George Pelecanos, Daniel Woodrell, Richard Price. What no women? Maybe Patricia Highsmith.
All good choices. No Megan Abbott?
She'd kill me and I don't think I'm the best judge. She hung the moon in my book.
She hung the moon in my book, too, I'm not even related to her. Quite a talent, that Megan. I really liked DIE A LITTLE, but THE SONG IS YOU flat blew me away, and I've told her so. I should get to QUEENPIN sometime this month, and am really looking forward to it.
Well, since there's a high probability I'll still be alive in 50 years, assuming I can still read it's likely Rankin and Bruen etc. will still be read, at least by one.

I actually think Lehane is possible, but I don't think you have to produce a lot of work to produce a classic. Just think Harper Lee.

Honestly, I'm not sure. I suppose Rankin is possible, because his stuff has been used in schools and universities, and if it stays in the system it's possible 50 years from now people will still be reading his stuff. Not something I've ever really thought about though.
Well, we're still reading Hammett from the '20s and Chandler from the '30s. Those guys have lasted. And Christie. Still in print. I don't think it's possible to predict, really. I wish I were going to be around in 50 years to find out.
I nominate James Lee Burke and Michael Connelly as good candidates to be read for many more years. Perhaps Crumley and Hillerman as well.
I'd say their chances were good. Burke came to my mind, too.
I read books that were published last week and they feel dated--too many transitory cultural references. Then I read Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, and Dorothy L. Sayers and feel as if they were writing yesterday. They are certainly of their time, but they are timeless.

I think Peter Lovesey, Ian Rankin, Jacqueline Winspear, John Le Carre, and Reginald Hill will survive. I don't read enough American writers to feel qualified to nominate any of them. Although from what I have heard, I would think James Lee Burke and Michael Connelly are likely candidates.
Another vote for Ian Rankin. He's looking good.


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