I recently moved to Houston and started reading Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto just because I like to read books that feature places where I've lived or been.  When I lived in SoCal it was super easy to find good (and bad) books that had locales I was familiar with.  Now that I'm in Houston, I want to find books that feature East Texas.  


I have a couple questions for yall (See I'm already picking up the Texas vibe).  


1.  What locales do you like to read about?


2.  Do you know any good books that feature East Texas or The Gulf Coast? 

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Hey Stuart. J. Mark Bertrand writes about a Houston detective. I haven't read his material yet, but that's the only one I know off-hand. And yeah, I like reading stories that take place in particular locale - places I've been, places I want to go, places I'll probably never visit. Akashic books has a new series of noir short story collections, each based on a city or country. Maybe there's a Houston one in there or at least a Texas one. I think there's one called Lone Star Noir.

My old pal Harry Hunsicker wrote a terrific three-book series about a Dallas P.I. named Lee Henry Oswald. Is that East Texas? (If it's not, just call me geographically challenged.)



I like to read stories set where I've been or where I'd like to go.


For East Texas set books check out Joe Lansdale (who was born and raised and still resides there).

Second on Lansdale. Check out the Hap and Leonard series, or THE BOTTOMS. Or pretty much anything, actually.
I like foreign countries.

Definitely. I read (and write) about places where I have spent siginificant time. It's a grab bag, including Vienna, which John Irving and Larry Beinhart have used, Budapest, and Hawaii.

When it comes to Hawaii, I would love to find a crime writer who has been to islands other than Oahu. I have set some of my own stories in the rainforest of the island of Hawaii, aka the Big Island.

James Lee Burke has used Galveston in at least one short story.


I spent a little time across most of the islands of Hawaii, and the Big Island was by far my favourite - all those dark volcanic rocks which tourists used to provide a background for their names and messages written in bright white coral and stones. An awesome setting for any writing. Thanks for reminding me.

One of the series I write is an outdoor-oriented mystery series, so I read quite a few others, chosen because they take place outside and away from civilization. Authors such as CJ Box, Dana Stabenow, and William Kent Krueger are on my list.
If I'm feeling homesick, I read about places I've lived. If not, I might pick by places I want to live.  Have you tried mysteryplaces.net?  It can be a nice resource.
Checked out mysteryplaces.net.  Cool site.
Must be a British site.  It only links to Amazon UK.  And it doesn't list me.

Yes, I love books about Texas.  And, my young cousin (school teacher in Tyler, expecting first baby) just "highly recommended" this novel about East Texas. The author is Leila Meacham: 



Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled by the scions of the town's founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been--not just for themselves but for their children, and children's children. With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.
I know nothing else about the novel or author. 

I recall learning somewhere about a new murder mystery set in East Texas that had some plot elements similar to some I was developing--upsetting!  If I remember where I read that I will forward the details.  

Also, in the 80s or 90s, there was a book (and TV movie)--based on a real situation in McKinney (Collin County, north of Dallas--about a woman who hacked up the wife of the man with whom she was having an affair. She got off because, supposedly, when the victim confronted her, the victim said something that triggered a childhood nightmare (and the axe was handy--the victim brought it into the house for the conversation--in the utility room).  I think the families were neighbors. 
There have been some pretty horrific murders really take place out there in the past.  They have been written about in magazines, but no books, yet.  In Emory, a girl and her boyfriend rather carelessly murdered almost every member of her family (Her father survived) She wanted to be with the boyfriend. There was the horrible dragging death of a black man by two young men in a pickup in Jasper (They are on death row).  
And I recently was reminded of the terrible multiple murders of young boys back in the '70s by Dean Coril in Houston (Houston is actually considered Southeast Texas.) A book was written about those murders, but the article I read recently made the point that the horror seems to have been forgotten.  There was also a gay, singer in the  choir of the Methodist Church in Carthage, who  was not convicted for murdering his elderly patron and stuffing her in a freezer (not convicted, though) (See Texas Monthly article).  
Oh, and not too long ago, a wife/dentist was convicted for running over her unfaithful husband/dentist 3 times with her Mercedes (in front of his mistress and with his teenage daughter in her  car).  She jumped out of the car and said:  "It was an accident!"   She tried to explain herself on Oprah, but didn't do well. I think their name was "Harris."  
Hope that helps.



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