Ms Marsh Investigates... Liz Loves Books #bookblog

Under the Marsh microscope today, the fabulous and most prolific reader Liz, who blogs under Liz Reads Books (

Hi Liz, welcome to BritCrime. Can I kick off by asking why you like crime as a genre? What about crime novels appeals to you? 

I like blood death and destruction. Burning hellfire is my thing. The depths of depravity in human nature is endlessly fascinating as well. I like my crime on the dark but realistic side.

Oo-er! So what gave you the impetus to start blogging? 

Books. Love of books started me reviewing, a hope that I could perhaps give something back to those writers who enthralled me since childhood and beyond and those who are going to do so in the future. I absolutely have to thank Sharon Sant (author) and Kate Stephenson (Harper Collins) for encouraging me endlessly in the early days. They still do in fact!

Do you have a particular favourite sub-genre, such as psychological thrillers or police procedurals?

I like good psychological thrillers. The ones that misdirect and delve into the darkest depths. Can't get enough of them.

Who’s on your Must Read list?

These are not all crime I'm an equal opportunity blogger – John Connolly, Stephen King, Neil White, Rod Reynolds. Louise O'Neill, Sarah Pinborough. I have a about 200 authors on that list but those are right at the top currently.

Do you have any pet peeves – overused tropes, clich├ęd characters, etc?

If one more mobile phone dies just at the wrong moment I'm going on a killing spree.

Ha ha, I’m with you there *makes note never to mess with phones in own novels* So tell me, Liz, who is your favourite character from a crime novel, and why? 

Every Dead Thing by John Connolly
Charlie Parker from John Connolly's novels. No doubt in my mind. Or if you are after a one off Manny from Chris Whitaker's Tall Oaks. He has to be read to be believed and EVERYONE falls in love with him. Possibly one of the best characters in fiction ever.

What do you enjoy most about blogging? 

Oh all of it. The immense amounts of reading (of course) the writing of reviews and getting to put my adoration (or occasionally the wish to throw out of window) down on the page. The book community both online and in real life. ALL of it. To be honest though its still not really about the blogging. It’s about the books and the authors who create them. The fact that I can do little metaphorical happy dances all over social media about it now just is so much fun. And meet authors and ask them stuff. And get involved in other things around the blogging that helps get readers reading. And you know. BOOKS. Happy as Larry me. (I'm not sure who Larry is by the way)

Nor me. But he sure was one happy man. So have you ever thought of turning your own hand to crime (writing, I mean!) 

No never. I'm not talented enough to write. I can bang out a review because that’s my feelings, my own emotional responses to something I've read. Just coming out in a splurge. I couldn't plot to save my life. I'd have no idea how to write a character with any depth. I don't even want to try if I'm honest and I think you have to want it. I refer you back to the enigmatic Larry :)

Any advice for anyone thinking of starting a crime fiction blog? 

Just do it your way in your own time and do it to enjoy it not for any other reason. And never think you can't do it. If you love books you CAN do it. You don't have to have perfect language skills, all you need is the ability to read a step by step setting up a blog guide and an absolute love of the books you read – enough of a love (or hate to be fair – just an emotional response) to be able to write a few words about what you loved about it. Or didn't. My biggest tip? Don't complicate. Keep things simple stupid! You love reading. You loved that book over there? WHY did you? If you can write that down you can blog.

Great advice! Lastly, you’re hosting a fantasy crime fiction dinner party – who would you invite? Can be writers, other bloggers, whoever. Alive or dead! 

Karen Sullivan
Well I have to have all my favourite people who have become friends (I hope – they might run away next time they see me now plus there are MANY others I could mention but you said dinner party not rave ;) ) So Steph Broadribb (AKA Crime Thriller Girl who is both blogger AND author), Vicki Goldman Gilbert (Off the shelf book reviews, blogger), Rod Reynolds (so I can make him sign more books), Katherine Armstrong (Editor), Sophie Goodfellow (Publicist), Matthew Blakstaad (author and geeky gorgeous), Karen Sullivan (Orenda), Jeannette Hewitt (author), William Ryan, (author), and Susi Holliday (also both author and blogger). OOH and David Young (SUCH fun), then I think you should come Ava! We would be 13 for dinner. What could POSSIBLY go wrong. :)

That would be some party – thank you for inviting me *starts choosing a dress*. In the meantime, many thanks for joining us on Britcrime today and giving us the lowdown on the blogging life!

♠  @lizzy11268
Ava Marsh

Ava Marsh is the author of psychological thriller, Untouchable. Her second book, Exposure, is out now with Transworld.

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