~by David W.
Someone’s been murdered: who are you going to call? A haughty genius and his devoted doctor sidekick? A persnickety little Belgian whose egg-shaped head is punctuated by a tiny moustache? A wisecracking shamus in a dingy office, drinking rotgut and polishing his gat? Of course not: YOU CALL THE COPS!
Continue reading “Mystery Challenge: Professionals – The Police”
~ by Jenny C.
For all of you reading along in the Mystery Challenge, this week we focus on the valiant, perceptive, amateur sleuth. Now, many heroes and heroines of the mystery genre qualify as amateurs, especially those from points in history before official certifications, but I wanted to highlight some of the most winning personalities among these amiable snoops.
The classic amateur investigator has to be Dorothy Sayers’ beloved Lord Peter Wimsey. Aristocrat and gad-about, forever dependent on his alarmingly efficient manservant, Bunter, Lord Peter swans around the countryside with an endearingly foppish attitude. When push comes to shove, however, his harmless façade drops to expose a ferocious intelligence. Set against the backdrop of the World Wars, Lord Peter’s adventures are not to be missed! Start with Whose Body? and discover why Sayers is one of the greats. Continue reading “Mystery Challenge: Amateur Sleuths”
The loveable con artist is a staple of British literature. Lucky Bunny by Jill Dawson fits the pattern, but with a whip smart female protagonist who comes full circle from stealing from doorsteps to keep her little brother fed, to taking part in the heist of the century to escape from an abusive husband with her daughter. Along the way she teams with other women to carry shoplifting to a high art and turn fleecing older gentlemen into an act of mercy. Can she really abandon a career that’s this much fun? Continue reading “Lumpen London”
The book’s location is MYSTERY > JAMES. Quick – who’s the author?
Chances are you guessed P.D. James, the doyenne of contemporary British crime fiction, who over the past fifty years has penned over a score of titles – most featuring buttoned-down Inspector-cum-Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh – that have consistently raised the bar on what is possible in crime fiction, and won scores of fans among genre and literary readers alike. Fair enough, and fans of James should check out her recent master class on the genre, Talking About Detective Fiction. Continue reading “Alphabet of Crime: Keeping up with the Jameses.”
Okay, maybe we didn’t exactly discover them, but here are writers, old and new, that we’d love to see more readers to discover themselves.
It happens this way a lot at the library: call it serendipity in the stacks. I stumbled upon David Peace’s unsettling works quite by chance. Picking up a book titled Occupied City, I was arrested by a grim and grainy photograph inside the front cover showing a nurse standing in a snow covered street next to what one could just make out as a pile of corpses. Continue reading “SPL Discoveries: David Peace”