Saturday, August 17, 2013

The travails of an avid mystery reader

I think I may have already mentioned that I read mysteries like some people eat candy. They are my escapist occupation at the end of what can be long days. The trouble is, I don't really enjoy poorly written books and the number of mysteries that I've begun but can't bear to finish because of pretty rotten writing or plot is large. Thus, when I find well-written, entertaining mysteries that aren't too graphic, and that happen to part of a series with the same detective, I'm thrilled. I have weeks (or sometimes months) of happy reading as I plow through the entire series (in order, of course). And then I come to the last book. Sadly, it is impossible for mystery writers to crank out new books fast enough to keep up with my reading speed.

My absolute favorite detective is Lord Peter Wimsey by Dorothy Sayers. Since there will be no more books, I make do with rereading them every 10 years or so, when I've forgotten most of the important points. My next favorite is Amelia Peabody by Elizabeth Peters. These books are entertaining, have a great story arc about Amelia and her family who are archaeologists in Egypt, and there is a lot of them. Sadly, the last book Ms. Peters has written about Amelia came out in 2010. I'm still waiting for a new one.

It was a happy day a couple of weeks ago when I discovered a new detective by a new author... Vish Puri, India' Most Private Investigator written by Tarquin Hall. The characters are charming and interesting, I love reading about different cultures, and the mysteries are interesting. Plus, there is a lot of humor which I greatly appreciate. I have read the first two books over the past week or so and just yesterday the third (and currently last) book arrived at the library and I can't wait to start it. (Of course I am currently knee deep in school year planning, and can't really justify taking the time out to start a book that I know will cause me to drop everything else to read.) As B. was looking at it, he noticed that there are even a couple of recipes at the back of this volume. One of the things I have enjoyed about the series is reading the descriptions of the food. After I've read for a while, I have an overwhelming urge to go eat at an Indian restaurant.

Knowing I have a new book waiting for me is quite the motivation to get my school planning done. I should savor it when I do get to read it, but I know I will plow through it and be done in a day or two, at which point I will have to find something else to read.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

In case you missed the news - Barbara Metz (who wrote under the names Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels) recently died.

http://www.wral.com/mystery-writer-barbara-mertz-dies-at-85/12755676/

Hi from Ruth! said...

I discovered Tarquin Hall a couple of years ago and have really enjoyed the books as well...particularly the first one!

Ruth

Hi from Ruth! said...

I discovered Tarquin Hall a couple of years ago and have really enjoyed the books as well...particularly the first one!

Ruth

Evie said...

I love Sayers and Peters, too; have you read the Flavia de Luce books? I hear the chemistry is a little off, but it doesn't bother me.

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

Nooooo! I didn't realize Elizabeth Peters had died. :(. What a loss, I love those books.

I'll have to pin this post so I can find the author name later, thank you for the recommendation, I can tell we like some of the same books. My husband introduced me to the D Sayers books years ago.

How about Margery Allingham?

jess cloud said...

i like Tarquin Hall really enjoy his books, actually discovered my first one on http://www.5spot.ca and so far im hooked!

Anonymous said...

Do you have any suggestions for good children's mysteries? My 9-yr-old has done the Hardy boys (enough already!) and LOVES the genre but i would love to suggest sthg a bit more challenging....Emily b

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