This year, give the gift of crime. No. I am not suggesting that you break in to your neighbor's home and take custody of the nicely wrapped Wii under their tree. I'm suggesting that you take a look at the wealth of crime books available for your gift giving.
On this subject, Roy Blount, Jr. (right) wrote a Holiday Message in the Author's Guild newsletter: "We don't want bookstores to die. Authors need them, and so do neighborhoods. So let's mount a book-buying splurge."
I say we all take up Roy's challenge. Shop at your area independent store or visit one on-line. My personal favorite is Murder by the Book in Houston. Not only do they have a delightfully crime-centric store but they also have a huge assortment of autographed books which make very special gifts.
In addition to signed books, here are a few other ideas for giving the gift of crime:
- Grab a few true crime paperbacks to stuff in a stocking.
- Pick up a group of books by different authors all set in a locale that has special significance for the recipient.
- Select books written by authors in your home state for someone far away who misses home.
- If you know someone interested in a particular type of crime, pull together a combination of fiction and non-fiction books featuring that element.
- Or be even more creative--start with Stacy Dittrich's book, The Devil's Closet, and find other crime books with a doll on the cover.
If the Grinch wasn't a fictional character, profilers would undoubtedly label him a sociopath--and Pat Brown would be the first to tell you not to trust his contrition at the story's end. Be a grinch-fighter, shop an independent book store and give the gift of crime fiction and non-fiction books this year.
Whatever you choose, books are great gifts. For Christmas. For Hanakuh. For Kwanzaa. Forever.
See below for the mysteries, thrillers, true accounts and informational crime books, released in 2008 by the contributors of Women in Crime Ink.