Monday, December 9, 2013

Ian Rankin's five perfect mysteries

Ian Rankin's latest novel is Saints of the Shadow Bible.

For Chatelaine magazine, he tagged his five perfect mysteries, including:
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco.

This extended homage to the crime novel is also an ingenious story in its own right, as well as offering a philosophical commentary on language, text, and meaning. A series of gruesome and unexplained deaths in a medieval monastery brings William of Baskerville to the scene. The ensuing plot is mazey enough to suit purists, while Eco has fun with our expectations, as well as painting a well-researched and nuanced portrait of the theological debates of the time. Eco showed a wider international public what fans had always known – that crime novels need not simply be about the puzzle, but are capable of dealing with rigorous themes while tackling big moral questions.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Name of the Rose is on John Mullan's top ten list of the most memorable libraries in literature, Andy McSmith's top 10 list books of the 1980s, and Vanora Bennett's list of five favorite historical novels.

Learn about Ian Rankin's best books and the best selling book Rankin wishes he'd written.

--Marshal Zeringue