Andrew Taylor

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…

This autumn's crime fiction visits the Isle of Man and enters the Big Brother house

15 November 2014 9:00 am

Phil Rickman isn’t unusual among crime writers for mingling supernatural elements with earthly crimes. What makes him different is his…