Caught Up In Crime

A Reader's Guide to Crime Fiction and Nonfiction

by Gary Warren Niebuhr


From Arthur Conan Doyle to Robert Parker to James Patterson, from In Cold Blood to Silence of the Lambs, crime literature seems to feed an insatiable appetite that has not diminished across the years. But with so much to chose from, how does a fan find that next favorite author?

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Cover image for Caught Up In Crime

May 2009

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 304
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Reference and Information Services and Tools/Readers' Advisory and Leisure Reading
  Reference and Information Services and Tools/Arts and Humanities Literature Reference Tools

More than 600 crime titles are described and organized according to popular reading interests.

Welcome to the dark side of the crime genre, where creeps and psychopaths dominate and the good guys don't always win. Award winning librarian Gary Warren Niebuhr organizes and describes more than 600 crime titles according to popular reading tastes. He adopts the premise that, as in mystery, character is the defining appeal characteristic of these books, but the characters are of a different sort.

Books are arranged in three broad categories—"professional criminals," "caught up in crime," and "criminal detectives." Within these chapters, titles are organized in sections on the mob, serial killers, white-collar crime, criminals on the run, victims, cops-gone-bad, rogues, and more. True Crime is separated from fictional works. Annotations give brief plot summaries, noting the special appeal of the characters involved to help anyone find the perfect book.


  • Describes and organizes more than 600 titles according to popular reading interests
  • Is thoroughly indexed according to title, author, subject, locations, and character
  • Includes brief biographical information as part of the author index
  • Includes an "Introduction to Crime Literature"


  • Presents the first readers' advisory guide devoted to both fiction and nonfiction crime literature
  • Written by an award-winning librarian
Series Description

Genreflecting Advisory Series

Significantly expanded and updated, the titles in this highly acclaimed series are designed to help you quickly locate the kind of fiction your library patrons are looking for. Each title includes the latest reads and reading trends within a genre and identifies subgenres, similar titles, read-alikes, and relevant online resources. Annotations describe and evaluate the best, the most popular, and the most representative books in a genre, noting special features of the works and referencing or comparing them to related publications. Brief historical overviews, award information, section tabs for quick reference, and practical guidelines for advising readers are just some of the features you will find in these useful guides. Designed for easy access, these books are compact enough to be carried into the stacks and simple enough to be used by general readers. Essential for readers' advisory and ready-reference, they are also excellent tools for acquisitions and collection development.
Author Info

Gary Warren Niebuhr is library director for the Village of Greendale, WI, and an award-winning author. His published works includes Libraries Unlimited's Make Mine a Mystery and Read 'Em Their Writes. In 2005, Gary received the Margaret E. Monroe Award from the American Library Association in recognition of his contribution to the development of adult services in libraries. He is a contributing writer to Book Group Buzz, a Booklist magazine blog, at



"This guide for fans of crime fiction and nonfiction organizes more than 600 titles into separate categories of professional criminals, criminal detectives, and getting 'caught up in crime.' Niebuhr, an author and public library director in Wisconsin, provides plot summaries, publication information and brief subject cross-references such as kidnapping, organized crime and geographical locations. The 'caught up in crime' section further separates titles into themes of white-collar crime, serial killers, rogues, victims, and 'cops gone bad.' "Reference & Research Book News

"Niebuhr shows off his knowledge of crime writing by listing many of the best older works, including some that are out of print (but, in these days of Internet book buying, still readily available). The only challenge that readers or readers' advisors face when confronted with so many excellent choices is deciding where to begin reading. Whether you're after capers, serial-killer tales, white-collar crime, mobsters, dirty cops or lawyers, criminals on the lam, amateur criminals, or any other kind of crime tale, this work is recommended as a thoughtful starting point."Booklist

"Readers' guides are always welcome in the growing field of mystery literature."ARBAonline

"For those who maintain a collection in the growing genre of crime fiction and nonfiction, Caught Up in Crime is an essential reference volume. . . . a guide to everything you'd need to develop, promote, and maintain a Crime/True Crime collection."Catholic Library World

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