It’s Christmas-time and you are looking for a present for a loved one. Every year we face the same dilemmas when it comes to gift giving: do I have enough time to buy a gift? what do I get them that they don’t already have?
Look no further than the Unique Gift Ideas post for lovers of all things crime!
You have presumably clicked on this link because you are buying a gift for someone who loves to read or write crime stories. I have compiled a list of weird and wonderful gift ideas on the themes of crime, forensics and crime fiction. They are not the usual notepads, pens, coffee and books-you-can-find-in-the-top-ten. These may be ideas you haven’t considered. They are also all available online, so you can shop from the comfort of your home.
Prices range from around £10 upwards, the most expensive item on the list costing £150. For cheaper gift ideas take a look at 38 Stocking Fillers Under £15 for Crime Fiction Readers & Writers.
The Subscription Box
Hunt a Killer Monthly Subscription Box
There are lots of options to choose from when selecting a monthly subscription box with a crime fiction theme.
Hunt a Killer lets you play Sherlock by sending a box of clues, codes, messages and ciphers to an ongoing fictional murder investigation. Everyone starts at box number one and works their way through the boxes and clues, building your case as you go. Hunt a Killer has built a massive online following where fans share their theories and discuss clues!
Your giftee will love this.
The Multi-Author Book
The Floating Admiral by Various Authors
This book is known as a ‘collaborative detective novel’ and was written back in 1931 by fourteen members of the Detection Club. The club comprised of crime authors including Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, G. K. Chesterton and more.
The idea behind this book was to produce a literary version of the game consequences. Each author writes a different chapter, each also writing in a sealed envelope how they think the story will end once all authors have contributed. Every author’s envelope contents are included at the end so you can see for yourself the direction each writer was headed.
Not only is this a brilliant idea for a novel, it includes works by some of crime fictions greatest authors all in one place. I think this makes for a fantastic present for any crime fiction fan!
The Book with Real Clues
Murder off Miami by Dennis Wheatley
I think this is a fantastic present to buy someone who loves crime fiction: a story which includes all of the clues.
I actually bought this for myself earlier this year, and if you hunt around on Amazon you should be able to find it for less than £20. Written in 1936, Murder off Miami tells the story of the murder of British financier Bolitho Blane. Readers are shown transcripts of interviews, photos, blueprints, hair and used matches so that by the end you can make a guess at whodunnit. The answer is sealed in an envelope at the end so you can see if your guess was correct!
So much fun!
The Crime Scene Kit
John Adams New Scotland Yard Forensics Refreshed 2014 Kit
I think a really cool gift for anyone interested in crime and crime fiction would be their very own crime scene kit.
There are a few out there but this one had great reviews on Amazon, particularly from older teens and adults who also enjoyed playing with the kit. A lot of the kits are marketed to kids around 8-10 years old. To go for a real crime scene kit will cost you anywhere between $50 and $3,000 but they are available to the public!
Check out the pricier options here:
The Graphic Novel
The Last of the Innocent by Ed Brubaker
Another one currently sat on my to-be-read shelf is the beautifully illustrated graphic novel The Last of the Innocent. Sat proudly in the hard-boiled noir category, we read the story across four parts of Riley Richards who appears to have it all… or does he?
This is actually volume 6 in the Criminal series by Brubaker, but all can be read standalone. All are highly recommended by reviewers.
The Lego Set
LEGO Creator Expert Detective’s Office 10246
Everyone loves lego, and if your giftee is a crime fan, this would be the perfect way to marry two fantastic hobbies!
The detective’s office set tells the story of a smuggling mystery, incorporating the detective office, a barber shop, pool hall, bathroom, kitchen and rooftop water tower. Great playability and a really fun item for a shelf in the office for a detective writer!
The Craft Book
Criminal Crafts by Miss Demeanor
This lovely, quirky DIY craft book shows you how to create weird and wonderful creations relating to crime and criminals.
You can craft your own ransom note kit, invisible ink and even make a murder weapon out of soap!
A brilliant, darkly funny gift idea for a loved one who loves the macabre!
The Recipe Book
Appetite for Murder: A Mystery Lover’s Cookbook by Kathy Borich
This is such a great idea for a gift. Kathy’s recipes include cuisine from all over the world which have appeared in our favourite classic crime fiction stories.
Learn to cook up the food loved by Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Chief Inspector Wexford and more. Recipes range from the relatively simple fish and chips through to Birnennwecken pear cake from the Berne district with pears, prunes, and figs soaked in wine.
A lovely gift!
The Colouring Book
Hercule Poirot Quotes and Adult Coloring Book: Volume 1
Everyone loves to colour in, it’s satisfying and good for your mental health. I love this Poirot-themed colouring book full of quotes and period-designed illustrations for your giftee to colour to their hearts’ delight.
Another notable mention is the colouring book created by the stars of the popular podcast The Last Podcast on the Left. Their book features some fantastic (though sometimes gory) illustrations based on the hit show, the crime stories they have covered and inside jokes.
The Crime Writing Festival Ticket
CrimeFest, Bristol 17th-20th May 2018
There are a fair few crime writing festivals that take place each year in the UK, and believe me, it’s my goal to experience them all!
Alas, so far though I have only attended CrimeFest held in Bristol. I absolutely LOVED the experience and would thoroughly recommend it to readers and writers alike. Each panel consists of four authors chatting about a different crime fiction theme, and all have their books on sale in the library on site.
I loved having the chance to really indulge in my crime fiction nerd-dom for an entire weekend, and picked up TONS of recommended reads, writing tips and food for thought. Definitely check out these tips before attending though!
The Crime Scene Experience
In The Line Of Duty Experience For One
A fantastic gift to give; a real experience of conducting an investigation!
This three-hour hands-on experience based in London gives you a crash-course in CSI testing, interviewing and investigative ‘good practice’. I would LOVE to receive this for Christmas!
If your giftee is more interested in the role of the medical examiner, definitely check out dates for the Anatomy Lab Live travelling exhibition where you can witness how an autopsy works!
The Literary Walking Tour
Edinburgh Rebus Tours
Treat your giftee to a walking tour of the favourite haunts of their most loved character. This Rebus tour takes you on an adventure around the city of Edinburgh to see sites you will have read in Ian Rankin’s stories: Rebus’s watering hole The Royal Oak, Flodden Wall and Saint Leonard’s Police Station to name but a few.
The Self-Exploration Book
Q&A A Day For Writers
This 365-day journal asks a question each day, which ultimately aims to improve a writer’s creativity and confidence over the year. A nice gift perhaps for a newer writer who is looking to improve their skill or develop new ideas.
The Book Journal
Moleskine Passion Book Journal
This gorgeous Moleskine diary allows you to record all of the books you have read. All of your completed reads are entered alphabetically, allowing you to assign the title, author, own opinions and star rating to name but a few categories.
I think this makes for a really classy gift for a book lover, whether crime fiction or other. It’s an especially thoughtful gift for a book blogger to record their thoughts on the go!
The Novel Planner
A lovely gift for a new or established writer with a story idea in the works.
The planner can be used to keep oneself on track to complete writing goals. It includes an idea brainstorming section, an area for research notes, character sketch section, weekly and monthly calendars as well as constant prompts and lists to help you complete your project.
The Magazine Subscription
Crime Fiction Fix
There are some brilliant magazine choices out there for the lover of all things crime fiction. Some focus entirely on the fiction element, others look at real crime stories and even expert interviews.
I picked Crime Fiction Fix because it is a healthy mix of all of the above at the great price of £3.50 per month. I love the idea of buying a subscription to a magazine you know your giftee will really enjoy because it lasts all year round and educates them on different aspects of the genre they already love. In Crime Fiction Fix for example, each month covers a technical term explained in layman’s terms.
Over to you
What do you think of the list? Let me know in the comments!