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