Police Procedurals

Meeting: week of February 7, 2012

Benchmark Title: The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
Also available on Overdrive

Characteristics of Police Detective/Police Procedural Mysteries (from Joyce Saricks, The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, p. 209.)

  1. Either the department as a whole or particular members (almost always detectives) provide the focus for these Mysteries.
  2. Details of police departments and police work figure prominently, and the details of the investigative procedures enhance the story.
  3. Settings may be urban, suburban, or small town. Details of the setting, a strong sense of place, are often important.
  4. The police team or department is generally engaged in working on multiple cases, usually unrelated to each other, and these are not necessarily all solved.

Getting Up to Speed in … Police Procedurals by Jessica Zellers (Novelist)

Key Authors:
P.D. James
Ed McBain

Other Authors:
Patricia Cornwell
Deborah Crombie
Linda Fairstein
Tony Hillerman
Craig Johnson
Ian Rankin
Kathy Reichs

There are many more lists of police procedurals — let me know if you want help finding something to read.

If we all read different books for our 2nd titles, we will learn about more books. When you have chosen which book you would like to read, please name it in a comment on this post, so we can avoid overlap.


16 Responses to Police Procedurals

  1. Julie says:

    I picked Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner. It is part of her Detective D.D. Warren series and set in Boston.

  2. Ben says:

    I picked Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon, the first Commissario Guido Brunetti novel.

    (I’m also reading Charlie Stross’s Rule 34 which is a science fiction police procedural of sorts!)

  3. Faith says:

    I’m reading Exit Music by Ian Rankin. Wish me luck.

  4. Paula E. says:

    I’m reading The Man who never returned by Peter Quinn.

    • Paula E. says:

      I’m switching what I’m reading to Changing Woman by Aimee & David Thurlo, because 42 pages of background information and no plot doesn’t work for me.


  5. Sasha Nyary says:

    I’m going to read Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.

  6. Janet says:

    I’m reading The Complaints by Ian Rankin — not the same series as Faith is reading, but the first of a new series.

  7. Daniele says:

    I am reading “The Drop” the newest Michael Connelly 🙂

  8. Molly M says:

    I am reading Open Season by Archer Mayor, set in nearby Brattleboro.

  9. jason says:

    I’m reading/listening to “Tooth & Nail” by Ian Rankin.

  10. Susana says:

    I will be reading Cop Hater by Ed McBain, the first in his 87th Precint series.

  11. Dylan G says:

    I will be reading Bleed A River Deep by Brian McGilloway. I swear I will.

  12. Erica E says:

    I have read “Don’t Look Back” by Karin Fossum and “Faceless Killers” by Henning Mankell. Apparently I like tedious, stark Scandinavian police procedurals. Who knew?

  13. Tex says:

    “Roseanna” by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, the first of the Martin Beck series.

  14. Steven S says:

    “Last seen wearing…” by Hillary Waugh. Police procedural published in ’52, set in fictional college town in Massachusettes.

  15. Susan S. says:

    My second selection is “Gallows View” by Peter Robinson, the first in the Inspector Banks series, set in Yorkshire.

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