We are joining the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) to celebrate National Crime Fiction Month during June. While these twenty books sit within the crime genre (some on the very edge), they are all blessed with being just that little bit different.

We have Catriona Ward’s Last House on Needless Street which hovers on the margins of horror. It is the story of a murder, a stolen child and revenge. A LoveReading Star Book and it's simply a stunner.

In The Dying Squad by Adam Simcox, proceedings take a supernatural turn when Detective Inspector Joe Lazarus discovers his own dead body on a drugs bust of a Lincolnshire farmhouse. The Dying Squad is the first book in a series, we're waiting impatiently for  The Ungrateful Dead to be released in Hardback in July following The Generation Killer paperback release this month! This series is fabulously unique and outrageously inventive and we blimming loved it. To read our review click here.

In Highfire, bestselling author of the Artemis Fowl series, Eoin Colfer successfully mixes crime with fantasy in his first adult fantasy novel. Another Star Book from us, this book provides a beautiful mix of genres that immediately found itself amoung our list of favourite reads. Vern the vodka-drinking and Flashdance-loving dragon has his peaceful world in a Louisiana bayou turned upside down in a high-octane, whip-sharp novel that's one heck of a reality and fantasy clash.

Then we have the characters who are wonderfully different, Kalmann by Joachim B. Schmidt and The Weight of Small Things by Julia Lancaster, both contain characters who I have no doubt will stay with me.

The LoveReading LitFest invited author Joachim B. Schmidt to the festival to talk about Kalmann. You can watch this exclusive event for free here. The story is strikingly vivid and incredibly powerful and we loved it. Kalmann spends his life as Sheriff of Raufarhöfn thinking he has everything under control. Nothing can go wrong when you know everything a man needs to know about life, right? But a surprise discovery and the rapid unfolding of events threaten to overwhelm him.  

In The Weight of Small Things, Julie Lancaster's debut, we meet nine year old Frankie Appleton. Frankie likes counting gates and hopes one day to be able to design the perfect gate to keep the bad things out. There's a devastating clarity and purity from telling this story from a nine year-old's perspective and Frankie will stay with us for a long time yet. This is an absolute gift of a book that can be uncomfortable to read but also delivers an irresistable charm.

A few of these novels made me almost choke with laughter, while in others I sobbed to the point of being emotionally drained yet full to the brim with the wonder of the words that created such feelings. Locations, themes, plots, even the atmosphere can take you from the known to the unique and for me all of these reads hold the power of being just that little bit different.

Keep scrolling and #PickUpAPageTurner this National Crime Reading Month. You can also find out more about National Crime Fiction Month here on the Crime Writer's Association website.