What was the first crime novel you ever read? AFTER Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys that is, when you were an adult!

I'm thinking too. And I realize that I mainly read horror until fairly recently! When I was a young teen I used to grab hold of my parent's Alfred Hitchcock Monthly Magazine. I loved it! But as for novels--I think the first crime novels I read were by Lawrence Sanders. Come on, tell me--so it'll refresh my memory!

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I don't remember exactly. It was probably something by Christie, because my dad had a fairly extensive library of both scifi and mysteries, but I mostly read scifi and fantasy when I was younger, and wrote mystery since I was 9 (due to the influence of the above-mentioned Nancy), so it's a bit of a blur as to what the first adult mystery I read was.

Come to think of it, it might have been one of the Mrs. Polifax books. I just don't have a clear enough memory of events to guess which one, though.
I adored Nancy! they have it on dvd now! i couldn't believe it.
I don't remember reading mysteries when very youngish. but I do remember working a midnight to eight shift at a switchboard (summer job) and reading The First Deadly Sin by Lawrence Sanders! about an axe murderer! it was spooky working all alone on the floor of a large miami hotel. I was afraid to go to the bathroom! anyway, thanks for your reply!
I can't picture you reading Christie! You're tastes I would think are too exotic,considering the books you write.
I suppose we get into certain writers that we prefer and then we travel away. I read so many pct 87 ones, I felt I was a NYC Detective! now, I'm getting into other ones. I love historical too. btw, at one time all I read were Ruth REndell's psychological suspense novels, without Wexford. I think I read all of them. but then I went off themso I know what you mean.
I've never read Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. I wasn't much of a reader when I was a teenager, but in high school they forced Hemingway on me and I liked the Nick Adams stories. After I dropped out of high school and was working I started to read more and an article in the paper about Elmore Leonard compared his writing style to Hemingway's so I picked up his novel SWAG. I saw what the article meant right away, "The Killers," and "Fifty Grand," are practically Elmore Leonard stories. But the characters in SWAG were guys I knew. They may have been a slick used car salesman in Detroit and a car thief from Oklahoma but they sounded and acted exactly like guys I was working with at a truck parts warehouse in Alberta. I was hooked.
I love novels with characters who do typical kinds of jobs. I so enjoy reading those kind of books far more than if they're Lords or Scientists or society people. i guess I love the kind of books you mention. Elmore Leonard and his process server--those kinds of books. I had to read Hemingway also in High School, but never went for him (not then), The Killers, I think is one of the best stories ever written. I love gritty, "real" stuff. thanks so much.
I recall a Christmas when I was about eight years old getting a Sherlock Holmes omnibus. I went from that to Joseph Wambaugh and I've been on a crime wave ever since. Thank God that everyone else seems to be getting published so that I have lots to read.
Absolute favorite, Wambaugh! I couldn't put down The Onion Field. The film was good too actually. it's inspiring that so many books get published. It helps me when I lose heart sometimes! I can picture you (and you were very bright at eight)! curling up at Christmas with a Sherlock Holmes omnibus! At eight I was curling up with Superman comics and Classic Comics--but that was good too, because it got me interested in reading the novels those classic comics were based on. thanks terry!
Impressive for ten! It is nice to re read books you liked. I do that too. Have a confession! didn't know Gardner wrote under another name. will check that out. Thanks!
Post Nancy and the Hardy Boys, it was Dick Francis and Robert Parker.
Thanks. I agree with that choice.
After the Hardy Boys, I went for high adventure--H.Rider Haggard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Fu Manchu, Doc Savage. Then someone introduced me to the Hercule Poirot stories. After that I picked up Leslie Charteris, Ellery Queen, Earl Stanley Gardner and Rex Stout. By the end of my freshman year in high school I'd discovered Richard S. Prather and G.G. Fickling whose books with the great covers--all guns and cleavage and curves--beckoned from the drugstore rack where I changed buses on my way home from school. That was a great time to be reading and riding buses because then I got into James Bond, Modesty Blaise and Matt Helm. I went to science fiction and historical fiction for awhile when my bus schedule changed and I had to wait at a public library for my Dad to pick me up. This library had shelf after shelf of Frank Yerby, Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury. It wasn't until after college when I was in the Peace Corps that I discovered J.D. MacDonald, Ross McDonald and Mickey Spillane.
Thanks so much. You definitely get the best memory award, bar none! Now that I think of it, my Grandad was heavily into Mickey Spillane! I was fascinated because he had a stack on his nightstand--with the most lurid covers: dead blondes, deceitful blondes and of course tough guys! I guess that's why I love lurid covers! I hadn't remembered that. Your list is so impressive. A lot of guy stuff early on. love your phrase, " guns and cleavage!" that's Hard Case crime stuff. that's my dream. a Hard Case crime novel. Thanks again, Mark for your reply! It got me thinking!

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