Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mysteries - What's Not to Love?

Since I’m about to throw a new mystery out into the world, of course I’m wondering how it will do. You know how I wonder about things. My brain wandered all over the whole idea of what a good mystery is and how  each reader seems to take away something different from the same book. In addition, mystery types abound. I write cozies. I’m more comfortable writing that sub-genre than any other. But you may be looking for something more gritty or your taste may run to the action packed. So let’s share. Here are a few of my favorite mystery writers and why I like them. Then it’s your turn. Don’t be shy.

Elizabeth George – She’s a little bit gritty, sometimes a lot, but her in depth character studies make her stories come alive for me. Her books are long, but just as I’m thinking she’s dragging out a scene it changes and the tale moves along. In her Inspector Lynley mysteries George has created a character in Barbara Havers whom I can truly relate to. I love her for that.

Alexander McCall Smith – I’ve written about him before. We all go off to Africa with his #1 Ladies Detective Agency stories and I always love the trip. I’ll never visit there for real, but I sure do appreciate the time I spend with Precious Remotswe and Grace Makutsi as they tackle the intrigues that come their way. Simply delightful.

Donald Westlake – The man up and died before I could meet him, but boy could he write. In his John Dortmunder mysteries this character comes off the page and makes me laugh at the most unexpected moments. Other of his books, like THE AX, sent chills up my spine as I read, but I couldn’t put the book down. How versatile was this guy? And how sorry am I that I never attended his local book signings.

There’s my few. There are many others, but you have other things to do today so I stopped at three. Nice of me, huh?

Won’t you tell us just one of your own faves? Thanks.  

Image: Free Digital Photos


  1. Okay, I won't be shy. Love a good mystery and I guess I go beyond cozy ones most of the time as one of my favorite series is the Kurt Wallender series by Swedish wrier Henning Mankell. I love the character and how he works and figures things out. If you've seen the Masterpiece Mysteries of this character, the way the scenery and Kurt's life is are done so well. Rather dark, but so intriguing to me.

    Also love Agatha Christie mysteries, especially the Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple series. I can never guess "who done it" and her characters make me laugh, too.

    And once at a talk I went to by our local Medical Examiner, I raised my hand and asked if she read any of Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta books. She did and heard her speak once, but suggested if I wanted to read a good one to read Kathy Reichs' Temperance Brennan series (which the TV show BONES is based on). I liked both, but they get a little too gory at times for the cozy reader.

    In real life, I'd freak out with any of he happenings, but it books, I'm much braver!

    1. Hi, Cindy! I'm much braver in books, too, and so is Minnie. LOL I've watched all of the Wallender stories on PBS and loved them. Dark is right and you just want to smack him sometimes, but that's the life of a crime fighter, I guess. Thanks for your generous feedback. Hugs!

  2. I grew up with Nancy Drew and recently took one of the newer books from the library to see how they had updated them. Not the same. Or maybe I'm not the same.

    Then there was Phyllis A. Whitney. I first found in a used book store "Writing for Juveniles" and since I liked her writing, started collecting her books. Cindy once travelled all over the place buying her books to give me on my birthday.

    Phyllis A Whitney placed her settings in places that she visited for just that purpose. She changed names of buildings, etc. and of course I was usually surprised about whodunnit. Marion

    1. Hi, Marion. So glad you stopped by. That Cindy, isn't she a sweetie? I'll check out Ms. Whitney. Could be perfect for my granddaughters. Have a great 4th!

  3. You know, I really do like a good mystery but don't gravitate to them first for some reason. Maybe it's that time thing, keep thinking I need a stunt double to get the mundane stuff around here done so I have more time to read.

    As a girl I loved Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. James Scott Bell has written a few mysteries I've liked as an adult.

    Have a happy 4th weekend! :)

    1. Hey, Karen. I liked Nancy Drew, too. I write cozies, but I read all kinds of mysteries. Martha Grimes is a fave of mine and so is Jenny Milchman. She's a rising star and I can't wait for her third book. Have a great weekend. Smiling back.