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Friday, May 21, 2010

Mysteries: Last Thoughts


We’ve covered a lot in our survey of mystery subgenres: legal thrillers, the police procedural, amateur sleuth, medical and historical mysteries, but we may have just tapped the surface.

For example there are culinary mysteries, such as Diane Mott Davidson’s recent Fatally Flaky and Sweet Revenge or State of the Onion and Eggsecutive Orders by Julie Hyzy.

Or mysteries in the noir style, which includes classics like Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon or James Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice. More recently, Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo falls into this category, which features cynical male private detectives in gritty settings.

There are mysteries that feature a female sleuth, such as those of Janet Evanovich, Sara Paretsky, Lisa Scottoline, Marcia Muller, and many, many more.

We could go on and on. From the time Scheherazade narrated the first mystery, “The Tale of the Murdered Young Woman” in One Thousand and One Nights to the present, readers (and listeners) have enjoyed the pleasure of discovering “whodunit” in a million ways.

Image "Scheherazade: Weaving the First Mystery Tale" is in public domain.

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