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Chapter 30 of Shades ("Rattling the Bones") is up at SQ, though I… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Chapter 30 of Shades ("Rattling the Bones") is up at SQ, though I don't remember what repairs I made to it. Sincerely.

I've been on a mystery binge. I finally decided to read some Sue Grafton novels, and I'm partway through S Is For Silence. So far, better than the other mysteries I've been reading. I can see why these are popular.
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hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: January 9th, 2007 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh! Oh! Mysteries! You may not like older mysteries or the ones set in the past if you like Grafton, but if you hadn't read the Dorothy Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey books....do.

I've been enjoying a new series by Jacqueline Winspear, the Maisie Dobbs books, too. I think there are four now? Maybe three. Maisie is a detective/psychologist in London in the late 20s/30s--she was a WW1 nurse and all the mysteries deal with fallout from the war, a decade later.

I also turn to P.D. James' Adam Dagliesh books sometimes.
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: January 9th, 2007 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, do! Sayers is marvelous. I quite enojoy P.D. James too--I first encountered her because she is the patroness of the Dorothy L. Sayers society, but now I like her in her own right.
ashavah From: ashavah Date: January 9th, 2007 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I second all the recommendations made so far.
From: magnolia_mama Date: January 9th, 2007 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll second (third? fourth?) P.D. James and add Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine and Martha Grimes. For male mystery writers, try Peter Robinson.
miss_daizy From: miss_daizy Date: January 9th, 2007 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
If you haven't tried P.D. James or Elizabeth George yet, I highly recommend both of them for mystery readers. George, especially, gets better and better with each book.
ashavah From: ashavah Date: January 9th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I quite like Sue Grafton. She's not high literature, but she's fun and pretty good as the private-eye genre goes.
From: (Anonymous) Date: January 9th, 2007 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
On a different matter, what happened to your nano novel? did you send it to publishers? I'm curious.

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: January 9th, 2007 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
It kind of died mid-scene. I never got any further than I was when I posted about finishing my word-count.
dalf From: dalf Date: January 9th, 2007 08:41 am (UTC) (Link)
more law and aurrors?

*makes a puppydog face if you are susseptable to such*
shimotsuki From: shimotsuki Date: January 9th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the things I like about both Grafton and Sayers is that the major characters grow and develop across the series. It's not that the books must be read in order, but more that the characters don't reset to the same state at the end of each book; experiences they've had in one story change them and affect their behavior in later stories. I notice this with Grafton in particular -- Kinsey becomes less defensive and more open to friendship as the series goes on.

And Grafton may be a pulp writer, but sometimes her turns of phrase are so beautiful or otherwise apt, they make me shiver.

I also recommend the Catherine LeVendeur series by Sharan Newman. They are set in 13c France, and there's a lot of interesting background about the Christian-Jewish relations of the era. The first book in the series is particularly melodramatic, but they get a bit less purple after that.
miseri From: miseri Date: January 9th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm terribly fond of the Golden Age mysteries -- that is, mystery stories written in the 20s and 30s, when detectives actually detected and mysteries were puzzles that the reader could follow along. I like Agatha Christie; people have accused her of being unfair, but I have yet to read one story in which she actually was unfair, though "Endless Night" sailed awfully close to the line ... then again, I don't really consider "Endless Night" to be a a mystery. Don't touch "At Bertram's Hotel": that one is just tiresome and wrong.

Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael mysteries are pretty good; at least, the first few in the series are. After "Virgin in the Ice" they start to get steadily more soap-opera-ish. I think I stopped reading them after I got to "An Excellent Mystery", which is only a mystery in the theological sense.

The first two PD James books with Adam Dalgliesh were okay. The rest were bloody awful.
alkari From: alkari Date: January 10th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes to all the authors who've been mentioned.

But don't forget the wonderful Josephine Tey! Her "Daughter of Time" is a classic, both as a work of fiction and as a work of genuine historical research and argument, and is an absolute must for those interested in the Wars of the Roses and Richard lll. It is an absolute tragedy that she didn't write more.

My brother and I have been going through bookshelves at my mother's house, and have started re-reading the Nero Wolfe stories by Rex Stout. Great fun, as private eye novels from the Golden Age. Another 'classic' detective writer was Ngaio Marsh, a New Zealander, whose Inspector Roger Alleyn novels are set in the UK (though in a couple he is back in NZ).
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