Even though the term dystopian was first coined in the 1740s by historian George Claeys, dystopian fiction novels did not become fully defined until the turn of the twentieth century. Written in 1921, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s social satire We laid the foundations for the genre that is now ubiquitous: dystopian fiction. Zamyatin’s We imagines a future … Continue reading We

The Dry

When I feel like reading an atmospheric and gritty crime fiction novel, my mind takes me to the cold and snowy landscape that is Scandinavian or Nordic noir. Jane Harper’s gripping debut novel, The Dry, shows that the heat of the Australian outback is as good place as any for a good mystery story. Set … Continue reading The Dry

Mouthful of Birds

Samanta Schweblin’s collection of twenty short stories, Mouthful of Birds, weaves between the realm of the real and the strange, exploring the deepest abyss of human psyche. These grotesque and surreal stories serve as a representation of the reality we live in. They question societal structures, norms, attitudes, and expectations. They examine how a person … Continue reading Mouthful of Birds

Among the Shadows

In Bruce Robert Coffin’s Among the Shadows, Portland, Maine’s gritty and dark atmosphere plays a starring role alongside an emotionally conflicted detective sergeant as he investigates the murders of multiple retired Portland police officers. Coffin’s debut novel is written with the type of confidence found in the best examples of police procedural fiction.   The story follows Detective Sergeant John Byron as … Continue reading Among the Shadows

Spinning Silver

Set in Lithvas, a fictional country in Eastern Europe, Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver follows the story of a moneylender’s daughter as she strives to survive in medieval England. Living in abject poverty, Miryem decides to take over her father’s failing moneylending business. She is quite successful at it that soon she attracts the attention of … Continue reading Spinning Silver

M Reviews: Above Suspicion

Above Suspicion, Helen MacInnes's 1941 spy novel, tells the story of Richard Myles, an Oxford professor, and his wife Frances, who have been asked by an old friend to carry out a secret mission during their annual European holiday. Their job is to locate an English agent and find out whether or not he has … Continue reading M Reviews: Above Suspicion

Oldies But Goodies: Learning The Gumshoe Game With Some Classics

According to an article in The Telegraph, there is greater interest in crime fiction today than with any other fiction genre. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle may have popularized crime/detective fiction, but in 1841 Edgar Allan Poe penned the first detective story with The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Ever since, crime fiction has continued to … Continue reading Oldies But Goodies: Learning The Gumshoe Game With Some Classics