Friday, December 4, 2009

What About Mysteries?

I received an email asking me to recommend a "few good mysteries". While I do read, and enjoy mysteries, I'll defer to others who really understand the genre.

Detectives Beyond Borders

The Rap Sheet

New York Times 10 Notable Crime Novels of 2009

Sarah Weinman's list
and her own blogConfessions of an idiosyncratic Mind—crime fiction and more

From an essay by P.D. James
Why Detection?

"E. M. Forster has written: 'The king died and then the queen died is a story. The king died and the queen died of grief is a plot. The queen died and no one knew why until they discovered it was of grief is a mystery, a form capable of high development.' To that I would add: the queen died and everyone thought it was of grief until they discovered the puncture wound in her throat. That is a murder mystery and, in my view, it too is capable of high development."

I recently reread Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky's and then read the recent crime novels by R.N. Morris. His novels, set in St. Petersburg, feature the same inspector— Porfiry Petrovich.

Morris writes:" Of course, Crime and Punishment is the Dostoevsky book which most explicitly concerns itself with the subject of murder (and which inspired my own new novel, The Gentle Axe).

New York Times review

R.N. Morris's mystery might be termed a literary mystery.

GoodReads List of Good Literary Mysteries

When mystery becomes literary fiction, and vice versa.
by Jordan Foster in PW

The Guardian's list of the ten top mysteries includes some classics.
Elizabeth Kostova's top 10 books for winter nights

"I have a penchant for the erudite literary mystery. Over the years, I've collected novels that fall into this category - old warhorses and honored contemporaries -..." E.Kostova

1 comment:

  1. An "erudite literary mystery" piques my interest. I'm off to follow the intrigue.
    - Jan