Looking over the whole list, this year was a year of non-fiction. Only three novels top the year. #8 is a sort of hybrid. Otto Penzler, at least at the time of the publishing of the soon to be mentioned book, was the operator of a mystery/detective fiction bookstore in New York. Such a store is quite a niche, so to help with profits and hopefully bring new business Penzler asked some of the best detective fiction authors to write essays about their detectives, inspiration for, reasons why, etc. He brought them all together in a collection called The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives.
You can tell from previous top tens that I’m a big fan of detective fiction, especially the old school stuff, and have latent hopes of creating my own detective one day. This was fascinating to hear behind the scenes stories from the authors about how they got in to crime fiction and what brought them to the particular character that made their writing famous. It was fun to see the different minds of writes. Some wrote personal stories. Some wrote short stories about their character, not even breaking the fourth wall. Despite my enjoyment of the genre, many of these authors and detectives were new to me, which spurred some desire to pick up a few more characters other than Holmes and Poirot.
If you are at all into crime fiction, you would enjoy this book.