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What's your favorite all-time favorite mystery book


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Posted on Aug 28, 2010 6:47:45 PM PDT
Years ago a head of programming at CBS-TV was asked who was the best (among four or five)President he had worked for. His immediate response, "the guy I am working for now." Best mystery/detective? The one I am reading now and the one before that.

My wife started me on this trek 55 years ago. I had read all the Sherlock Holmes storie by way of a Book-of the- Month promotion. When I whined I had nothing more to read she brought in "The Woman in White!" I trek away still.

As we speak I am reading Bram Stoker's Dracula, can you believe, and for the first time. Not for me to say that Stoker was no fluke. I was going to read only a chapter or two to grab some feeling of the time and place. Yeah, sure. I am half way through it and love it. Go figure. Meantime I will think about "best."

Posted on Aug 31, 2010 1:34:57 PM PDT
Love Helen MacInnes Ride a Pale Horse and also books by MM Kaye Death in Kashmir: A Mystery.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2010 1:55:20 PM PDT
NanookMN says:
Did either of you notice that Rebecca ranked 30 out of 223 on one of the lists of the best English-Language Fiction of the Twentiety Century. Most of the books weren't surprises, but Rebecca was, as was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn which was ranked 55.

Posted on Sep 2, 2010 1:55:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 2, 2010 2:08:11 PM PDT
mostserene1 says:
For mystery novels that contain beautifully crafted sentences and insight into the human condition, as well as rewarding rereading:

The Magus, John Fowles (as others have noted, it is mysterious)

The Tuesday Murder Club, Agatha Christie

The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2010 4:30:18 PM PDT
Susie says:
Hi Mostserene1,

I love the description you gave to describe the books you recommended.

I'll put those on my 'check it out list'. Believe it or not I've only seen Agatha Christi's Poirot and I think she also wrote the Miss Marple series, on TV, I've never read a book written by her. I also haven't read any by Raymond Chandler or John Fowles.

Thank you

Posted on Sep 2, 2010 7:51:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 19, 2010 9:57:35 PM PDT
A great discussion which holds its own mystery ( " the strange story of a discussion which appeared to die in August 2009, only to come back to life exactly one year later.") How? Why?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2010 9:17:09 PM PDT
Susie says:
NanookMN,

I was just thinking about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn the other day, it was one of my first favorite books when I was a kid.

Posted on Sep 2, 2010 10:02:57 PM PDT
Mary Kate says:
Of course, I can't pick just one, either. But Josephine Tey's Brat Farrar and Christie's ABC Murders & And Then There Were None rank pretty high on my list. Of those published more recently, I read Kate Ross's The Devil In Music not long ago and really enjoyed it.

Posted on Sep 3, 2010 3:39:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 3, 2010 3:47:52 AM PDT
Some favorites.
M.C.Beaton: her Hamish Macbeth not-quite-cozies. The hero, the setting, and the recurring cast of characters are typical cozy, but the crimes and motivations are sometimes quite a bit darker. Not all the books are equally good, but any series of20-plus books would be the same.

A lot of historical mysteries. Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael stories started the trend and set the standard for medieval mysteries with a religious background. The laterbooks are more romance than mystery, but I can always read the whole series over again with pleasure. Any Cadfael fan should love Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma,the heroine of a series set in 7th.century Ireland.

Edward Marston has written an amazing number of books. I have four different series and he has recently started a fifth which I haven't read yet. Incredibly, their quality is extremely high, despite his prolific output. My favorites are the Nicholas Bracewell mysteries featuring an Elizabethan theatrical troupe, but they are all a great read.

Bruce Alexander wrote a series about a blind magistrate in mid-18th.century London, Sir John Fielding, a real person, the brother of the novelist Henry Fielding. These stories are told from the viewpoint of Jeremy Proctor, a boy saved from prison by Sir John and taken into his household. Each book takes us into the high and low life of Hanoverian England with its crimes and secrets while following Jeremy's growth from a boy to a young man. Alexander wrote ten Fielding books, and an unfinished eleventh which was completed by his wife after his death. They are less well-knownthan many others, but I would rate them among the best.

This is a long post and I haven't even mentioned my absolute favorite among crime writers, who wrote modern mysteries, not historical.( A not very helpful clue; he/she received one mention for one book in this discussion so far. )

Cheers, and happy reading.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2010 7:08:29 AM PDT
M. McKenzie says:
I loved your comment that you own thousands of mysteries. As I have hundreds, not thousands, of books, mostly mysteries, I'm trying to decide what to do with them as I'm currently downsizing. Any suggestions? I also love Michaels and Stout.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2010 11:27:18 AM PDT
M. Taylor says:
Frosty, Kathy, etc.:
WOW! How could I forget about REBECCA which is one of my all time favorites, too. THE SCAPEGOAT is also great. And this discussion has made remember Wilkie Collins who actually is considered the first mystery writer ever. His books THE MOONSTONE and THE WOMAN IN WHITE are fabulous.
M. Taylor

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2010 2:51:59 PM PDT
M. McKenzie

I just got involved with booksforsoldiers.com. Check it out for yourself. My friends and I have so many books that we have finished and want to find them a "good home" We have sent 2 boxes already and are collecting for another. It will also make you feel good.

Posted on Sep 10, 2010 3:29:08 PM PDT
A Taste of Death by P.D. James and anything by Ruth Rendell

Posted on Sep 10, 2010 4:42:27 PM PDT
I'm thirteen, and am reading (for real and seriously, not just PRETENDING) to read The Hounds of the Baskervilles. I LOVE this book so far, and I began reading it because I watched the brand new Sherlock Holmes movie, with Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. in it. This was an awesome movie, almost exactly like the book, and I think it's great.
The Hardy Boys is also a very good series, I think, not that I've read most of the originals. I don't enjoy Nancy Drew as much, for some reason....
I am using my mom's account on Amazon by the way.

Posted on Sep 10, 2010 11:32:21 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 10, 2010 11:38:46 PM PDT
Barkingmad says:
Hello Miss Ashcroft,
You might enjoy these DVDs; also available from Netflix and in the past regularly shown on PBS TV.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Boxed Set Collection)

Mr. Brett went to great lengths, often at odds with the producers of the show, to follow the original stories as faithfully as possible. The episodes are one of the jewels of television viewing. Great stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2010 6:43:03 AM PDT
JOY.... My goodness! I LOVED the WInd Chill Factor by Thomas Gifford too! It was one of the first thrillers I read, and I was hooked permanently. I think that might be one of the best I've ever read, but it might also be because it was the first.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2010 2:46:25 PM PDT
Catwings says:
Oh yeah KathyB!!!! One of my top 5 books and movies!!!!!! Awesome story!!!!! Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2010 3:35:31 PM PDT
Ruth Rendell! I'm glad someone finally mentioned her. I always read her books twice - once quickly for the plot, and then again much more slowly to savor the beauty or her writing.

Posted on Sep 11, 2010 7:28:04 PM PDT
I have enjoyed PD James, Steve Barry and David Baldacci.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2010 11:55:33 AM PDT
Yes, I have been keeping it up. It has grown so large since we last talked. I don't know where I left off when I sent it to you. I have found a few authors from it that I really like. Have you found any? And, thanks for writing.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2010 1:03:43 PM PDT
Susie says:
Hi Will o' Wisp,

You're welcome, I was happy to see you're still around. It must be close to two years since I last saw you.

I've been devouring translated euro crime fiction, mostly police procedurals, the last year or two.

Do you have any interest in those kind of books? If you do, I have some great recommendations for you.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2010 1:47:05 PM PDT
You know, I don't think I do. I have tried translated books before and can't seem to get into them. I loved Allison Brennan's first 9 books but this last trilogy is not my cup of tea. I seem to gravitate (in the mystery genre) to American court/mystery/suspense type books, i.e. Baldacci, Slaughter, White (either Kate or Steve). And, believe it or not, a few weeks back I got into what I guess is called a "cozy" genre. I got a book that was free from Amazon for my Kindle and before you knew it I had bought the other 10 or so. I really enjoyed the change - from murder to a "feel Good" type book. Of course, the ones I started on were about Tx (where I live) and that probably helped. Anyway, I really enjoyed them and I did "feel good" after reading them. Now I am back to mayhem and Murder.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2010 2:34:12 PM PDT
Martin Graf says:
I agree this is still the best of breed

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2010 2:51:23 PM PDT
Susie says:
Will o',

I do remember you preferred stories set here.

My favorite cozies are British ones, Martha Grimes' Richard Jury series is my very favorite and MC Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series set in Scotland is my next favorite.

My life is so crazy sometimes that I need to read the grittiest, creepiest most violently graphic murder mysteries, everything else seems like no big deal to me.

Posted on Sep 12, 2010 3:14:46 PM PDT
Jo Jo says:
My favorite has to be Foyle's War, episode 6: THE HIDE. In this movie you have the double set of clues being unveiled: who killed the lady, and the reason for Detective Foyle's (Mr. Kitchen) interest in saving the falsely accused man.
The path of suspense is paced, methodical, and clever. The whip cream on this treat is the depth of the emotional involvement by Det. Foyle which is slowly unveiled in the sharpest dialogue (which Bristish mysteries are famous for). I was in awe by the solemn drama of the truth being presented to the viewer. The experience made me review my own chest of drawers of emotions, so that I could empathize with the Detective. Jo Jo
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  266
Total posts:  508
Initial post:  Apr 5, 2009
Latest post:  Nov 29, 2012

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