Caught Up In Crime
A Reader's Guide to Crime Fiction and Nonfiction
by Gary Warren Niebuhr
May 2009, 304pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Hardcover: 978-1-59158-428-5
$60, £45, 50€, A86

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?

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”
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, August 1, 2009

"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, November 15, 2009

"Readers’ guides are always welcome in the growing field of mystery literature."—ARBAonline, December 1, 2009

"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, June 1, 2010
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