Andrew Taylor

Brexit has at least inspired John le Carré — his thriller on the subject is a cracker

26 October 2019 9:00 am

Since 1903, when Erskine Childers warned of the rising tide of German militarism that preceded the first world war in…

Yukio Mishima posing in Tokyo in 1970. Credit: Getty Images

Capers in crime: Life for Sale, by Yukio Mishima, reviewed

3 August 2019 9:00 am

Few biographies are quite as impressive as Yukio Mishima’s. One of Japan’s most famous authors, he wrote 80 plays and…

Nights at the Lyceum: Shadowplay, by Joseph O’Connor, reviewed

8 June 2019 9:00 am

‘I am very, very pleased,’ murmured Queen Victoria in 1895, when she dubbed Henry Irving, Britain’s first theatrical knight. He…

Murder in the basement: The Language of Birds, by Jill Dawson, reviewed

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Jill Dawson has a taste for murder. One of her earlier novels, the Orange shortlisted Fred and Edie, fictionalised the…

Philip Kerr, photographed in Paris in 2012. Credit: Getty Images

Farewell Bernie Gunther: Metropolis, by Philip Kerr, reviewed

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Philip Kerr’s first Bernie Gunther novel, March Violets, was published 30 years ago. From the start, the format was a…

Sadie Jones’s modern morality tale

9 March 2019 9:00 am

The love of money, says St Paul, is the root of all evil. The Snakes makes much the same point.…

Credit: Getty Images

Where would we be without crime’s heavies? Muscle, by Alan Trotter, reviewed

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Let’s hear it for the heavies, the unsung heroes of noir crime fiction on page and screen. The genre would…

Death of a rock star: Slow Motion Ghosts, by Jeff Noon, reviewed

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Here is a novel set in the no man’s land between past and present, a fertile and constantly shifting territory…

Kett refuses the King’s pardon on Mousehold Heath. Credit: Getty Images

Kidnapped by Kett: Tombland, by C.J. Sansom, reviewed

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Tombland is not to be treated lightly. Its length hints at its ambitions. Here is a Tudor epic disguised as…

Sebastian Faulks (Rex Features)

Hoping to find happiness: Paris Echo, by Sebastian Faulks, reviewed

8 September 2018 9:00 am

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a serious novel must be in want of a theme. Paris Echo soon…

Give me Shakespeare’s Macbeth over Jo Nesbo’s any day

14 April 2018 9:00 am

It must have seemed a good idea to someone: commissioning a range of well-known novelists to ‘reimagine Shakespeare’s plays for…

Corpses, clues and Kiwis in Ngaio Marsh’s posthumous novel

24 March 2018 9:00 am

Publishing loves a brand. Few authors of fiction create characters who reach this semi-divine status, but when they do, even…

A crime novel that continues to puzzle

25 November 2017 9:00 am

His Bloody Project, Graeme Macrae Burnet’s previous novel, had the sort of success that most authors and creative writing students…

Apostle of gloom

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Few people turn to Henning Mankell’s work in search of a good laugh. He’s best known as the author of…

A blast from the past

9 September 2017 9:00 am

If you had to choose one book that both typified spy fiction and celebrated what the genre was capable of…

Crime pursues the crime writer

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Patricia Highsmith was an accretion of oddities — a woman who doted on her pet snails and carried a selection…

Who killed murder?

19 March 2016 9:00 am

Pity the poor crime writers. Our earnings, like those of all authors, are diminishing for reasons far beyond our control.…

Neil Jordan: as seductive a novelist as film-maker

12 March 2016 9:00 am

The first and most important thing to say about The Drowned Detective is that it’s a very good novel and…

If you read one spy novel this year, read Real Tigers

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Most spy novels have a comfortable air of familiarity. We readers can take moles in our stride. We have grown…

‘Vampire’, woodcut by Edvard Munch (1902)

Count Dracula wasn’t always the vampire of choice

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Nowadays a vampire is usually a Transylvanian in need of an orthodontist. But, as Nick Rennison demonstrates in this entertaining…

This way to a parallel universe, via north Oxford

5 September 2015 9:00 am

As a novelist, Iain Pears doesn’t repeat himself, and he gives with a generous hand. In Arcadia, he provides a…

Brothels, hashish, a poisonous scorpion, a cursed necklace: all excuses for macho antics in the Valley of the Kings

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Gore Vidal has form as a crime writer. In the early 1950s, when his sympathetic literary treatment of homosexuality had…

Murder on Grub Street

18 April 2015 9:00 am

Historical fiction is sometimes accused of being remote from modern concerns, a flight towards nostalgia and fantasy. It’s not an…

Cybersex is a dangerous world (especially for novelists)

14 February 2015 9:00 am

Few first novels are as successful as S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, which married a startling and unusual…

Forget Poirot, Holmes or Marlowe: there is nothing urgent or even logical about Chilean detective work

22 November 2014 9:00 am

If nothing else, a private investigator who has learned his trade from the works of Simenon stands out from the…