A Noir Christmas

Posted by Bethan Hirst - Tuesday, 5 Dec 2023


By Henry Sutton, author of Crafting Crime Fiction.

Looking for a winter chill? Look no further. These five titles are my runaway hits of the year.

  1. Beware the Woman, Megan Abbott (Virago). Nothing is as it seems for heavily pregnant Honey in rural Michigan. Her young husband is not the problem. It’s his father, and his father’s housekeeper, the isolation and the strange noises in the night.
  2. Scorched Grace, Margot Douaihy (Pushkin). Who’d have thought a queer, tattooed nun would crack a case of arson and murder in steamy New Orleans? But Sister Holiday is not your normal nun, and Margot Douaihy is one hell of an inspired and original crime fiction writer, currently blazing a trail across the US.
  3. Gaslight, Femi Kayode (Raven Books). The follow up to Lightseekers, finds investigative psychologist Philip Taiwo on the trail of the missing first lady of a Nigerian mega church. Is the Bishop being framed? And how are Philip’s teenage sons coping with life in a far from civil US?
  4. A Bird in Winter, Louise Doughty (Faber). A spy on the run might be the premise. But in Doughty’s highly capable, literary hands, the material takes on an existential edge, as the female lead questions life, love and commitment, ahead of any professional challenge.
  5. Black Wings Has My Angel, Elliott Chaze (Pickle Partners Publishing). Brilliant noir that needs revisiting. First published in 1953, this short novel features an escaped convict has be plans his next heist. Except he’s fallen in love and hate with a call girl, who’s up for the loot, but can they trust each other?

Crafting Crime Fiction
By Henry Sutton

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