Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
John Berendt

Although technically a work of nonfiction, and even though we know whodunnit it all along, John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has to be my favorite crime novel. Berendt perfectly captures picturesque Savannah and it’s quirky inhabitants, from the drag queen to the voodoo priestess to the crazy guy with the poison. The scenic and character details are so rich you can practically feel the humidity in the air, but the author thankfully leaves out many of the technical details, which could have easily bogged down the graceful prose. Is it a crime novel? Is it an overview of aristocratic Savannah society? Is it a travelogue? It is all of those things, and it is beautiful.

-Elisha Dew

3 thoughts on “LitStaff Pick: Our Favorite Crime Novels”

  1. Great picks all around. I love reading James Lee Burke and thought D. B. Grady's Red Planet Noir was wonderful. The Chabon book sounds like something I'd like to add to my have-read list. I recommend Reginald Hill, who died this year. His novels never failed to leave me in awe.

  2. Yes! Kyla Lucas, "Motherless Brooklyn" would be my pick too! Soooo good! It even makes my list of "Books I'd Like to Read Again as if for the First Time."

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