It was a dark and stormy night. Rain pounded against the windows and the whistle of wind could be heard echoing against the chilled walls of the house. You walked down the dark hallway, an odd shape in your hands and a mysterious glint in your eye. You reached out, touching the doorknob, turning it slowly but with purpose. The door made a great creeeeeek opening. Your footsteps, light but powerful, crossed the threshold. You arrived at your destination, unsheathe the item in your hands, smile madly and-
Sit down to read your Agatha Christie.
Little does a reader know when they will become devoted to a genre. And if you are like myself, mystery is your cup of tea. You start when you are younger, Encyclopedia Brown and the Boxcar Children. You graduate to Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. Then you finally enter Sir Arthur Conan Doyl and Agatha Christie, amongst other literary and homicidal classics.
As always, your tastes grow and your shelf space shrinks. As does your murderous TBR. You can fill it up again with these novels you probably haven’t read yet.
Devil In The White City
While a classic whodunnit is thrilling, Devil In The White City by Eric Lawson makes you aware of the Murderer’s every move, motive, and thought. The book takes you deep into the psyche of H.H. Holmes, America’s first serial killer and the owner of the murder hotel. It is so rare for me to come across a piece of non fiction that I enjoy, but Eric Lawson pulls it off perfectly in Devil In The White City (and In the Garden of Beasts, another great historical novel.) This novel is a real nail biter and I recommend it only if you have a stomach that can handle detailed murder.
Flavia De Luce
WARNING! The Flavia De Luce series by Alan Bradley is not yet complete and Bradley one to two years to write the continuations. However the eleven books that are full of gore, pigtails, chemistry, and tea tide a dedicated reader over nicely. Flavia De Luce is not a normal eleven year old, no not even close! She is a skilled sociopathic chemist detective with braces to top it all off. She has a nasty habit of finding dead bodies and getting on her older sisters nerves. Both the murders and the humor are on point and are sure to satisfy your morbid itch.
13 Suspicious Incidents
Mini mysteries are the best and so is Lemony Snicket…and the two combined are just what the pathologist ordered. File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents by Lemony Snicket is a collection of short story mysteries that the reader can solve and then turn to the back of the book to check of your analysis is correct. True to Snicket’s signature dry, morbid humor and satire, 13 Suspicious Incidents will tickle your funny bone and is appropriate for all ages.
Baker Street Irregulars
Sherlock Holmes is the icon of mysteries. John Watson too has the spotlight now and again. But (if you have read the books) do you remember the Baker Street Irregulars, Sherlock’s eyes and ears all over London streets? Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars by Tracy Mack and Michael Citrin chronicle Holmes and the Irregulars many cases. These children have a nose for crime and an observant mind and assist Sherlock in his most trying cases. If you like mystery with lots of action, this is the series for you.
Murder Most Unladylike
Let me take a moment to list these genius titles; Murder Most Unladylike, Arsenic For Tea, Jolly Foul Play. The Wells and Wong series by Robin Stevens is both playful and murderous. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are two best friends who attend boarding school and solve the many crimes they wander across in their spare time. There are many lovable characters, fun mysteries, and many cups of tea…always a great combination.
There are those who love cozy mysteries, horrific mysteries, and suspenseful mysteries. But I bet my deerstalker that all armchair detectives will love these novels.