Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Machination: Mystery Fiction

Today's Monday post relates to a post on genre that I have been working on recently. I'll finish it eventually, but until then, here is a little something.

Mystery fiction is an umbrella genre encompassing specialized fiction like medical thrillers, police procedural, and "hardboiled" fiction. It is associated most usually with crime fiction, although supernatural thrillers are not uncommon. The name should tell you exactly what it is, but in a nutshell, mystery fiction is at its heart a puzzle and solution story. There are many cliches in mystery fiction like the alcoholic detective, the ditsy girl that solves the case, and the main suspect is innocent all along.

Probably the most famous mysteries are those of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew series. It grew in popularity in the 20's and 30's, giving rise to pulp magazines before declining in the 50's. Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine is one of the remaining pulp magazines today, continuing to churn out monthly volumes since the 1950's.

Today, mystery stories remain popular. The genre is popular in television (NYPD Blue and its ilk), books (James Patterson is amazing), and comics. Whodunit fiction is surprisingly selling well. Murder mystery dinner theaters pop up all over the place and have amazing online resources for at-home murder mystery parties. Mystery fiction is a very neat genre when done well. Not many can do it well though, as Tod Goldberg (wrote the books Burn Notice is based on) likes to point out. Check out his rant... it is hysterical.

So do you have any favorite mysteries that you could read over and over, or that you recommend to everyone? I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew so this is a favorite of mine even though I write fantasy.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS


Booksteve said...

"James Patterson is amazing" ??!! UGH!

Why do I even speak to you?

"Grumble, grumble, grumble..."

Dee said...

You speak to me because you love me. :) I think James Patterson is awesome and so does many, many other people. lol His children's fantasy series is fantastic.

Raven Marlow said...

Haha I didn't think James Patterson was really James Patterson lol. Mostly ghost writers.

Anyways ... I don't think Janet Evanovich qualifies, but I love her books, and they do relate.

Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse series) has three other series that are sleuth-like, particularly het Aurora Teagarden series. I don't normally read the genre, but you've made me think of one I accidentally popped across once that was really good. The protagonist was an antique dealer. I'll have to go look that one up for you. It got my attention because of some Celtic knotwork on the cover (I love it!), which was apparently because this installment of the series was set in Ireland. Dang I can't believe I forgot about that. Horrible what depression does to your memory.

Hope you find an interesting read or two out of this

Raven Marlow said...

Found it: