Synopsis: Whether it be the London of Sherlock Holmes or the Ystad of the Swedish Wallander, Dashiell Hammett’s San Francisco or Donna Leon’s Venice, the settings chosen by crime fiction authors have helped those writers to bring their fictional investigators to life and to infuse their writing with a sense of danger and mystery. “Following the Detectives” follows the trail of over 20 of crime fiction’s greatest investigators, discovering the cities and countries in which they live and work. Edited by one of the leading voices in crime fiction, Maxim Jakubowski, each entry is written by a crime writer, journalist or critic with a particular expertise in that detective and the fictional crimes that have taken place in each city’s dark streets and hidden places. The book includes beautifully designed maps with all the major locations that have featured in a book or series of books – buildings, streets, bars, restaurants and locations of crimes and discoveries – allowing the reader to follow Inspector Morse’s footsteps through the college squares of Oxford or while away hours in a smoky Parisian cafe frequented by Inspector Maigret, for example. Aimed at the avid detective fan, the armchair tourist and the literary tourist alike, “Following the Detectives” is the perfect way for crime fiction fans to truly discover the settings of their favourite detective novels.
Review: The book contains: Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus series, set in Edinburgh; Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe series, set in Los Angeles; Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series, set in Venice; Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski series, set in Chicago; Arnaldur Indridason’s Erlendur Sveinsson series, set in Iceland; John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series, set in Florida; Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse series, set in Oxford; Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander series, set in Sweden; George V. Higgins’s Eddie Coyle series, set in Boston; John Harvey’s Charlie Resnick series, set in Nottingham; Andrea Camilleri’s Salvo Montalbano series, set in Sicily; George Pelecanos’s novels, set in Washington DC; Peter James’s Roy Grace series, set in Brighton; James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux series, set in New Orleans; Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret series, set in Paris; Ellis Peter’s Brother Cadfael series, set in Shropshire; Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade series, set in San Francisco; Declan Hughes’s Ed Loy series, set in Dublin; Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer series, set in Southern California; Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series, set in London and Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder series, set in New York.
As you can see from the list above, this book has a massive range from classics to modern books, and they are set all around the world. The book itself is of great quality, the pages are thick and beautifully designed, and there are great photos and maps scattered throughout, giving you a real sense of the places within each of the books talked about. The information provided is fantastic, and goes into great depth about the author, the detective featured and the places the stories are set. I really enjoyed reading about the various characters, even the ones I haven’t come across before, and have added lots of books to my wishlist! I think my favourite thing about this book are the pages inside, they are so colourful and pretty, and I loved the photos that are added to each section, it’s just a lovely book to own. This is an absolute MUST have for fans of any of the authors or books featured, or even for fans of detective books in general.