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Friday, April 30, 2010

Mysteries Yet Again: Amateur Sleuths

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple was one. So was Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey and Alexander McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe. Amateur sleuths such as these abound in mysteries and have been around since Edgar Alan Poe created one of the first amateur detectives, C. Auguste Dupin. He appeared in Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue.

Amateur sleuths can be cooks, newspaper reporters, antique appraisers, almost any occupation you can imagine. They tend to find themselves caught up in mysteries by chance, cooperate with authorities, but often viewed by the police as a nuisance.

If you haven’t met the amateur sleuths, here are a few of their most recent adventures you might want to sample:

Moon Spinners by Sally Goldenbaum (Izzy Chambers, proprietor of the Seaside Knitting Studio)

Laughed ‘Til He Died by Carolyn Hart (mystery book store owner Annie Darling and husband Max)

The Big Steal by Emyl Jenkins (antiques appraiser Sterling Glass)

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith (Botswana’s only female detective Precious Ramotswe)

Death of a Trophy Wife by Laura Levine (L.A. freelance writer Jaine Austen)

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