I don't usually read crime-fiction or thrillers but I can recommend Death Comes for the Poets by John Hartley-Williams and Matthew Sweeney, a parodic take on the genre set in a skewed version of the UK poetry world. A succession of renowned poets are being bumped off one by one in bizarre and grisly circumstances, an investigator and his young side-kick are on the trail of the killer: the cliches and improbabilities of the whodunnit are embraced for blackly comic effect as the plot zips onward with the compulsiveness of any airport page-turner, the prose a spiked cocktail of energetic demotic, stock crime-ese and the odd poetic flourish.
What's made fun of, in fact, are the petty rivalries and bickering cliques of the poetry scene, the suggestion that beyond the veneer of fellowships or collaborations (eg. editorial groupings/poetry workshops/reading tours) lurks an animus of embittered competition. Without being identifiable as particular individuals, most of the poet-characters are ridiculous stereotypes of certain familiar species of versifiers, their well-worn styles shrewdly parodied in the mock-anthology that ends the book.
As two much-published and respected poets who have always stood towards the edge of the populist mainstream, Hartley-Williams and Sweeney are well-placed to satirise the two-faced complacencies and infighting of the poetry world. Many will remember their earlier joint-composition Teach Yourself: Writing Poetry (Hodder and Stoughton), probably the pithiest, wittiest and most valuable book of its kind. Death Comes for the Poets deserves a wide readership and - beyond its current Muswell Press imprint ( http://www.muswell-press.co.uk/#item=death-comes-for-the-poets ) - a larger-scale print-run by one of the bigger publishing houses.