Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Mystery Writers Bracket Battle Royale

While writing a breakdown of Stieg Larssen and Jo Nesbo, I had the idea of pitting all my favorite mystery authors against one another in an ultimate battle royale that would finally select the greatest mystery author of all time (obviously having not read all mystery authors in the universe I am using my judgement and going with the best I have read).
The authors will be seeded and then 16 of them will go head to head as we wind down to just who is the best mystery author ever (or whom I have read).
Your first question: What criteria will I use to figure this all out?
Glad you asked!
I plan to break it down with three major catagories: 1) Quality of Books (what percentage falls into the "Great" to "Horrible" range) 2) Main characters (just how indelible are their creations...) 3) Style / Inner Workings / Readability (by which I mean how good a writer is the author).

The seedings
1) James Lee Burke - Dave Robicheaux novels
2) Dennis Lehane - Patrick Kenzie novels / Mystic River / Shutter Island
3) Philip Kerr - Bernie Gunther novels
4) Ken Bruen - Jack Taylor novels / Crime Squad Novels
5) James Ellroy - LA Quartet / Underworld America Trilogy
6) Jo Nesbo - Harry Hole novels
7) George Pelencanos - DC Quartet / Derek Strange novels / Nick Stefanos trilogy
8) Don Winslow - Stand alone novels
9) David Peace - The Red Riding Quartet
10) Ian Rankin - Inspector Rebus novels
11) Stuart Neville - Gerry Fegan / Jack Lennon novels
12) Stuart Macbride - Logan McRae novels
13) T Jefferson Parker - Charlie Hood novels / California Girls
14) Chelsea Cain - Archie Sheridan novels
15)Josh Bazell - Peter Brown Novels
16) Tana French - Murder squad novels

Agree? Disagree? Who got seeded too high? Who is too low? Are you excited by the matchups?

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