June 16, 2012

  • A mystery writer I forgot about, but I can recommend.

    Catherine Aird, who writes the Inspector C. D. Sloan books, set in England.  She doesn't do the puzzle as well as, or to the extent of, classic mystery writers, but I still had a good time figuring out some aspects of the solution.  The one I finished was "Losing Ground," and what I think is rather cool is it is simply a mystery...not a murder mystery.  I enjoy a lack of bodies occasionally.  And there is no bad language in Aird's books, either, which is always appreciated.  Not to mention, they're written in third person, not that tiresome first person!

    Thinking about it, dollars to donuts it's the prevalence of first-person which has led to more and more mysteries being walk-alongs instead of puzzles.  Yes, Rex Stout managed the feat, but then the first-person voice was Archie Goodwin, assistant to Nero Wolfe, who solved the puzzle.  And Christie's Captain Hastings was helper to Hercule Poirot.  When the actual detective is the first-person voice, how the deuce is the reader supposed to notice clues the detective must have missed and put them together?

    Oh, and the book I checked out from the library today is "Evanly Choirs" by Rhys Bowen, a Constable Evan Evans mystery, set in North Wales.  Also third person, and also with no foul language.

    You know what is odd, though?  Rhys Bowen writes two other series, but I've never been able to get into them.  For one thing, one of 'em at least is first-person, which I generally avoid.  It likely wouldn't make much difference, as roughly half the time I don't care for more than one series by an author.  I like the Hamish MacBeth books by M. C. Beaton, but cannot stand that awful Agatha Raisin.  I will read the Laura Childs' scrapbooking mysteries (although the language leaves a good bit to be desired, and they are definitely walk-alongs), but not her Tea Shop books.  Used to read the Alpine series by Mary Daheim (though it's first person), yet didn't care for the same author's bed-and-breakfast series.

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