I just read five Loren Estleman books in a row—our library has a huge collection of his work and I've been taking advantage. I started with Sugartown, a detective fiction that follows P.I. Amos Walker's adventures through Detroit's gritty criminal underworld. There are two things I like about Estleman's Walker series. First, the novels all take place in Detroit with locations across the state of Michigan. I've never spent any real time in Detroit (other than the airport) although I spent a few years sourcing photography for midwestern publications and have grown very familiar with the area through the photographers' work I commissioned. It's fun to "see" the Renaissance Center, Belle Isle, Mackinac Island, Ann Arbor, etc. through a crime fiction lens. The other thing I appreciate about the books is that they are similar in style to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. I recommend starting with Sugartown, written in 1985 (interesting takeaway—if you were a man and lived in Michigan in the 1980s, you undoubtably wore a moustache). After reading several Amos Walker's back-to-back, I need to take a break and cleanse the mental palette—perhaps with a little P.D. Wodehouse—then back to crime fiction.
posted by Rachel