8 Favorite Books: Is There a Mystery Here? #mondayblogs #detectives

My friend and collaborator Kate Kasten and I wrote a Nancy Drew satire called The Clue in the Old Birdbath. First it was a stage play, then we wrote lyrics and music and it became a musical. One of the songs is “Is There a Mystery Here?” and sometimes that song pops into my head. Like when something goes missing from my house, or like yesterday when my cat got into a room where all the doors were shut and no one saw him enter.

But what I’m actually writing about here is crime novels (in the US we call them mysteries) and their readers. When I read mysteries before I started writing them, I always tried to hold the clues in my head and solve the mystery before I got to the end. Now that I write them, I try to coast through the book, hoping NOT to solve the mystery. I want to be surprised.

Which is your preference? My daughter likes to solve the puzzle before she gets to the end, but she will enjoy the book anyway even if she figured it out early on. My dad always read the ends of his books to make sure he was going to like them. I’ve never met anyone else with that particular penchant.

Here are a few of my favorite crime novels/mysteries:

  1. A Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell
  2. The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid
  3. The Hounding of the Baskervilles by A. Conan Doyle
  4. Miss Pim Disposes by Josephine Tey (who was herself a mystery)
  5. The Lord Wimsey and Harriet Vane novels by Dorothy L. Sayers
  6. The Gun Series by Lori L. Lake
  7. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  8. Resurrection Men by Ian Rankin

Feel free to share your favorites here. I’m always looking for a new author with work to devour. I’m not much of a cozy fan, but did enjoy some of Agatha Christie’s works. And I read them all, because back then, I never stopped reading a book once I’d started. Now I find life is too short!


4 thoughts on “8 Favorite Books: Is There a Mystery Here? #mondayblogs #detectives

  1. Some of my favorite mysteries:
    1) Dog on It by Spencer Quinn (and the whole series) I know you’re more of a cat person, but these are very funny, and very well-written.
    2) Like you, I also love all the Harriet Vane novels.
    3) The Beekeeper’s Apprentice and A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King. I lost interest as the series progressed. I also really liked her less well known Kate Martinelli series that started with A Grave Talent.
    I read so many mysteries in the last twenty years that lately I’ve been avoiding them, going back to science fiction and immersing myself in that genre.

    • Thanks for commenting! Have you read Jennifer Brody’s new book? (sci-fi). In addition to mysteries and thrillers, I also read a ton of literary fiction. Just finished Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn. Am now reading The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.

      • For some reason I don’t know Jennifer Brody, but I just downloaded a sample of The 13th Continuum from Amazon and I’m going to look for it at my library. Thanks for mentioning it!

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