The plan is to review one or more useful website(s) each time, sticking to ones that are useful to readers, e.g. sites that distribute free e-books, detailed author sites, author and reader blogs that I enjoy, and sites that list useful information about an author’s books, such as series and reading order.
The first Useful Website of the Week is Stop, you’re killing me!
The site was started in 1998 by Bonny Brown, who is an avid mystery fan. Like so many other readers she likes to read series in order of publication to be able to follow the development of the characters and writing. She was frustrated by how difficult it could be to find out about publication order and even what books an author had written, so she started scouring various websites and reference books and put together the website for herself and other readers who felt the same way. In 2006 Lucinda Surber and Stan Ulrich took over the maintenance of the website, and have continued adding to it and making it even better. In 2008 it won the Anthony Award for Best Mystery Website/Blog, so I am clearly not the only one who recognises its excellence.
The website covers mystery, crime, thriller, spy, and suspense books. If an author has written books that belong to other genres, you will not find them there, so if you want to find a listing of an author’s complete works, you will have to look elsewhere (I’ll post a useful site for this next week).
I have been using the site since at least 2004, and have found it very useful. Occasionally I do come across a mystery author who is not featured there, but it’s rare. In those cases I have another website to fall back on, one that I will discuss next week.
Stop, you’re killing me! doesn’t just feature authors of crime fiction and their books by series and publication order, but also a number of other useful features. One is the ability to search by series character – so for example if you want to find books about Sister Mary Helen but can’t quite remember the author’s name, you just have to look up that character and you will be taken to the author’s page.
Other features include:
- Listings of newly published books
- Award listings – you can, for example, find the CWA Dagger awards going back to 1955
- Books by location, historical era and genre
- Sleuths/detectives by occupation and ethnicity
- Recommendations based on which authors or what kind of crime story you like
- Short reviews of the crime books the webmasters have been reading
The site is only about books published in English, both original English-language books and translated ones, but in some instances when a non-English language author has had some works translated and not others, you can find information about the untranslated works as well.