So I’ve always been interested in looking up authors that the characters in crime novels are reading: it leads me to some interesting authors. Lately, however, I’m wondering if I’m missing out on something by never having read the authors that are clearly an inspiration for the contemporary authors I read today. Namely, I’ve never read Ngaio Marsh, whose character named Troy was the inspiration for the character of Troy Chance in Sara J. Henry’s A Cold and Lonely Place. Also, I’ve never read Simenon, who was an inspiration for PI Cayetano Brule in The Neruda Case by Roberto Ampuero. My knowledge of Golden Age authors is slim to none: I read a handful of Agatha Christie books when I was a teenager, and that’s about it.
I can rely on Wikipedia for a quick background check about some of the authors I’ve stumbled across, but I wonder if I’m glossing over a lot of stuff because my background is limited to crime fiction written in the last 30 years, more or less. Any thoughts?