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Books for research and writing



My shelves are in storage - well not all of them but for the time being any books that I use for writing or might need at hand for research are stacked on my desk. Some of them I've read cover to cover and other I just dip into now and then.

Let me walk you through what I've got and why:

  1. Stephen King - On Writing. This was actually the first craft book I ever read and it was gifted to me by my daughter. I'm not a Stephen King fan, but I really connected with this book, it was a fascinating read and parts of it still stick in my head some six years later.

  2. How to write Crime Fiction - Sarah Williams. Again another gift from my daughter back in 2015/16 when I was figuring out what type of crime fiction I wanted to write. I haven't read this from cover to cover but it was a handy thing to get me going.

  3. The Real CSI - A Forensic Handbook for Crime Writers - Kate Bendelow. A really useful reference guide that has helped answer my questions more than a few times. While this book is great I'm definitely looking to add more like it to my collection.

  4. The Crime Writers Guide to Police Practice & Procedures - Michael O'Bryan. The first crime novel I wrote was a police procedural and this was great for that, though truth be told I haven't used it as much since.

  5. How to Get Your Book Published - this is from the Masterclass series and came free with a writing magazine. This book really helped me with synopsis writing.

  6. How The Body Works - this is one of those very basic guides, I think they're actually designed for children, but occasionally I need to check where a body part is and this is a straight forward way to achieve that.

  7. All That Remains - Sue Black this was a Christmas gift from my daughter ( because she really understands me). This was a fascinating read and taught me a lot about death in general.

  8. Written In Bone - Sue Black - a recent addition to my collection and I haven't read it yet.

  9. Talking with Female Serial Killers & Talking with Psychopaths and Savages - Christopher Berry-Dee. These are dip into books rather than read cover to cover types. I use these when I'm looking to understand behaviour.

  10. Unnatural Causes - Dr Richard Shepherd - very interesting and insightful

  11. Forensics - Val McDermid. I also have this in audiobook format and I have to say that I learnt a lot from this book, some of which influenced my character Sonya Grother.

  12. Pitch Power - Kate Harrison I love the idea of this book, but it is the type of thing you need to really be in the mood for as there are lots of exercises for you to complete as you go along.

  13. Word Crime - John Olsson. I find forensic linguistics super interesting and this book has furthered my interest.

  14. A is for Arsenic - The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Katheryn Harkup. I bought this book because I love Agatha Christie and I thought it would be interesting and it is. It has also been a really useful potion reference guide. (as a side note I'm hoping to add Murder Isn't Easy - The Forensics of Agatha Christie by Carla Valentine to my selection soon)

  15. Calm - Michael Acton Smith. I've had this book a while. I dip into when I'm not feeling calm.

  16. How to Style Your Brand - Fiona Humberstone - on loan to me from the book gifting daughter (who is herself an accomplished photographer). In addition to being an author I'm also a qualified life coach and have from time to time considered doing this along side my writing but I've yet to make that happen, primarily because I like writing so much.

  17. Hashtag Authentic - Sara Tasker. I've followed Sara since I was off work in 2018, I was very ill and quite mentally exhausted, I found listening to her podcast soothing and I began to consider a life lived outside the craziness of my 9-5

  18. The Scottish Suffragettes - Leah Leneman. Research for an historical crime fiction novel I'm considering writing one day.

  19. Murder Maps - Crime Scenes Revisited 1811-1911 - Dr Drew Gray. A stunning book which I thoroughly enjoy and you guessed it was gifted to me by my daughter.

As they say in the cartoons - That's All Folks

I'd love to know what books you keep on your desk or creative spaces, drop me a comment



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