CIS: My classics by Rosie Claverton

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The Cardiff-based novelist and screen writer Rosie Claverton is more than happy being a modern crime author. Her books include Code Runner, Binary Witness and Captcha Thief, and feature the high-tech detective Amy Lane. Right now, Rosie is working on the next in the series, Terror 404. It’s got a great title and is due out in Spring 2017, so keep an eye out for it.

Yet, even with all those online apps, hacking and mobile technologies in her books, she still loves classic crime too. In addition to her writing, she’s a psychiatrist and an educator, and she has a pet hedgehog. We asked Rosie to pick her favourite old crime books for Classics in September and here’s what she said…


The Mystery of Banshee Towers by Enid Blyton
Perhaps an unusual choice to begin my list, but my love of mysteries stems from Enid Blyton. I spent my childhood immersed in The Famous Five and The Five Find-Outers and Dog and this particular book is one of the most-read on my shelf. Enid Blyton turns a good mystery and the integrity of her criminal mind still holds up well, even if her social views are more than dated. I still favour a touch of the supernatural with my crime, both if the ghostly goings-on turn out to be real or a clever, elaborate hoax.
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Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie
My first foray into adult crime fiction was courtesy of The Queen of Crime. I leapt in at the deep end with Murder on the Orient Express, which is an exceptional book and gives birth to a trope now beloved of crime authors. I recently read Lord Edgware Dies, which is why it’s most prominent in my mind. I loved the twisting turns, and the simple narrative misdirections that continually throw the reader off the scent. There’s a reason Christie will never be dethroned.
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The Adventure of the Dying Detective by Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle is another author whose works I could not live without. Choosing my favourite from the canon was a difficult task, but I decided on this short story because I now use it to teach medical students and doctors about Medicine and Humanities. There’s something compelling about a doctor-turned-author portraying an ostensibly dying Sherlock Holmes for the benefit of Doctor Watson, and it’s a theme that particularly resonates with me, as a fellow doctor-author. If only I could be as devious as Doyle!
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The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
While this enormous novel would probably be filed under “saga” or “adventure”, what I enjoyed most about this Dumas epic was the criminal elements. While the original crime is spelled out for the reader, the subsequent unfolding of the crimes that follow and the themes of revenge, justice and “sins of the father” will thrill any lover of mystery. This book kept me company during a long summer of motorway driving—and at fifty-two hours of audiobook, it was indeed a reliable crime companion.
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The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver
This modern classic is one of the reasons I started writing crime fiction, which is what I managed to stutter to the man himself at Harrogate this summer. They are the perfect dynamic duo: the quadriplegic forensic scientist and the streetwise beat cop in New York City. I love the pairing so much that I echoed it in The Amy Lane Mysteries. Deaver’s plotting and characterisation are sublime, and so damn good that I couldn’t work out the murderer even when I read it the second time! A book that will be remembered throughout the history of crime fiction.
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Classics in September 2016 is sponsored by Bloomsbury Reader.

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