Archive for the ‘polls’ Category

P1020051I have always considered crime fiction awards and polls very useful for introducing readers to writers and books that they haven’t read.  Even if one doesn’t agree with the choices made by the judges, or general public, the results are usually quite fun. But they do have to adhere to certain basic standards like sanity. If we judge the best crime writers simply on all time sales there is obviously only one winner with Agatha Christie a long way ahead of the number two, and James Patterson back in third place.

Do you know who number two is? 

WH Smith has a list 107 crime fiction authors in order of merit, and I do worry about my ageing eyesight, because I cannot see Colin Dexter’s name anywhere. Some of the voting was quite astonishing with S.J.Watson, who up to date has only published one book, at 65 ahead of Stieg Larsson 68, Lindsey Davis 69, Elizabeth  George 70. That one book may be very very good, but surely S.J. has to produce more than one book to merit a position among the best crime writers of all time.

Television exposure does not seemed to have helped some fine authors with Ann Cleeves at 90, Ellis Peters at 89, Andrea Camilleri at P102004884. I am ashamed to find that I haven’t even read any of the books by the numero uno on the list, Peter James. His detective Roy Grace works in Brighton, a town I used to know very well, as three of my mother’s sisters lived in Hove, the adjoining seaside resort. I will have to remedy my omission as “he won the crown effortlessly by an incredible number of votes.”

He must be very good to streak ahead of  Agatha Christie at 5, Raymond Chandler at 47, Michael Connelly at 32, Reginald Hill at 48, and Patricia Highsmith at 52. I would suggest that if the poll had asked readers to name their “favourite” five crime fiction authors it might have produced a more interesting result. 

By the way the number two  all time best selling crime fiction author was Georges Simenon. 


The results of this poll [now closed] even with such a small sample show that:

1] Books are still number one, and have not yet been taken over in popularity by the Kindle.

2] Surprisingly few people prefer audio books. 

3] I am not the only couch potato who likes to slump out watching  TV crime series.

Thanks to all those who voted.

How do you like your crime fiction?

Posted: March 13, 2012 in polls

Do you want to know a secret? I don’t particularly like the Kindle reading experience. I much prefer a book and the tactile feel of turning those pages. I love putting my book mark between those pages and immediately see what progress I have made. I love reading books. 

I just don’t think you get that feeling of intimacy with a Kindle. I agree when going on holiday the Kindle is ideal for saving space, and the cheap deals are good, and it is nice to have the complete works of George Eliot and Charles Dickens handy to read, but I just like the feel of a book. How about you?


I was pleasantly surprised by the results of this poll. I would have liked more voters, but I think that the quality of the voters is more important than sheer quantity. 

Your favourite male SWEDISH* crime writer is Hakan Nesser, ahead of Johan Theorin and veteran Henning Mankell. 

Hakan Nesser’s formula of cleverly plotted police procedurals containing social comment and sprinkled liberally with dry humour is a winner.  He doesn’t get the volume of  publicity that other writers such as Stieg Larsson, or Norwegian Jo Nesbo receive, but his enlightened readers can’t wait for more of his books to be published.

*The other category included one vote for Mons Kallentoft, and two for Jo Nesbo who is Norwegian. I did not make the poll Nordic or Scandinavian because the list of names would have been too lengthy. Thanks to all those who voted.

A few weeks ago I conducted a poll about your favourite Nordic female crime writer. Now here is the chance to pick your favourite male Swedish crime writer with the poll closing on 27 October.

What a week it has been, me struggling with a very bad cough and cold while trying to sort out VAT receipts, England’s bizarrely selected rugby team losing to France’s crazily selected rugby team,  and fox hunting [the Dr Liam version] back on the social calendar in the Home Counties.

But with the superb Italian TV series Romanzo Criminale on Sky Arts it can’t be all bad. 

Nordic women crime writers: poll result

Posted: September 12, 2011 in polls, Scandinavia

The result of the Nordic women crime writer poll was a close run thing, with Karin Alvtegen [Sweden] winning by one vote from Karin Fossum [Norway], with Asa Larsson and Maj Sjowall [both Sweden] two votes back.


Both Karin Alvtegen, and Karin Fossum, write a deeper psychological style crime fiction in which the perpetrator’s motives, and the impact of a crime on victims, relatives, accomplices and witnesses play a bigger part than the whodunnit  factor. I suppose you could compare their style with Ruth Rendell’s non-Wexford stories? Have I made the correct comparison?

Do women write this type of story better than male writers? Or is that too simplistic a view?

Do women readers prefer Karin Alvtegen, and men prefer Stieg Larsson? Do women prefer Karin Fossum, and men prefer Jo Nesbo? Do you prefer thrillers, psychological suspense, or police procedurals? What is more important to you; clever plots, character development, creating an atmosphere or the quality of the writing? The problem with this sort of  poll is that sometimes it raises more questions than it provides answers. 

My first contribution to the Sisters in Crime Book Bloggers Challenge is to have another fun poll to discover who is your favourite Nordic female crime writer. My apologies if I have forgotten your favourite, but the write in option was very popular during the last poll, when apparently I had drunk too much of my medicinal Bushmills, and forgot Ireland!

Please cast your votes before midnight on 10 September when the poll closes.

The results are in for Crime Scraps Poll no 2, and the main conclusion is that I did not list the correct countries! 

There were 36 votes cast, and very surprisingly not a single one for France [four times winner of the CWA International Dagger] or Argentina, whose Ernesto Mallo was picked by several of us as favourite for this year’s International Dagger. My excuse for not picking Ireland as one of the countries listed was that we have already had a mini hot spot there with some fine writers  such as Ken Bruen, Declan Burke, Rob Kitchin, Tana French, Benjamin Black, KT McCaffrey, Adrian McKinty, Gene Kerrigan,  Brian McGilloway and others producing some stimulating crime fiction. A poor excuse for a mental slip up. 😮

The results: South Africa 8, Italy 7, Ireland 5, Australia 4, Canada 2, Spain 2, Germany 2, Greece 2, and one vote each for Eastern Europe, Scotland, New Zealand and Japan. 

Thanks to everyone who voted.

Only two more days to vote

Posted: August 15, 2011 in notes, polls

Please note there are only two more days to vote in Crime Scraps Poll no.2 and give your opinion on which country might be the next crime fiction hot spot, when and if Scandinavia cools off. The poll will close midnight on 16 August.

Crime Scraps Polls No. 2

Posted: August 2, 2011 in polls

These polls are purely for fun, but it will be very interesting  to see what everyone thinks, so please cast your vote. The poll will close on 16 August. 

There was a brief discussion of this subject at Crime Fest during a panel about translated fiction with Deon Meyer, and a panel member suggested France.