Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How I Came to Appreciate South African Crime Fiction


Roger Smith's second novel, Wake Up Dead, came out today. Amazon is still excluding Macmillan books from direct sales and is listing it as currently unavailable. Oddly, they shipped my pre-order. How about supporting this author by visiting visit an indie book store or ordering a copy from Powell's Books or The Book Depository or Barnes and Noble or any non-Amazon source. The Book Depository has free shipping world-wide.

The arrival of Roger's book reminded me how the Internet can build connections and create interests. Had Roger not started following me on Twitter almost exactly a year ago I wouldn't have read his first novel,Mixed Blood, and wouldn't have spend hours looking at Cape town on Google Earth and reading background material on South Africa. I'm sure part of my interest comes from having lived in South Africa between 1952 and 1956 (ages 6 to 10) but it hadn't occurred to me that it is a source of so much good crime fiction.

The problem with wanting to read crime fiction from South Africa is availability in the U.S. In addition to Roger, I have discovered Deon Myer and Michael Stanley (Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip). The excellent blog Crime Beat has given me other authors I hope to read someday though with several I might have to learn Afrikaans first.