I recently read two 19th Century mystery novels. They weren’t particularly good but it was okay for a quick read on the treadmill. However it got me thinking about my preferences in mysteries. I used to think that I like reading mysteries until I realized recently that I really dont’ like contemporary thrillers and mysteries very much at all. I hardly ever read those. I love reading mysteries that are set in a different time. I divide my mystery preferences into two groups.
A. Vintage Mysteries- This is really categorized by Agatha Christie for me, I just don’t know other writers who were writing in that time period. I love the British setting and the dialogue and reading about little details like teashops, housemaids, getting news through the radio, butchers who deliver parcels. I have re read all her mysteries so often that I already know the killer and the plot but I love the old fashioned details. Whats great is A&E has made all the books into movies and some wonderful person has put up the Poirot series on YouTube. Now I’m hooked , it wonderful to see the cool 1940s fashions , cars, and other details. I guess thats why I like the young adult mysteries of Enid Blyton too, I might have outgrown the plots but I love the details and the language.
B. Historical Mysteries- These are written in contemporary times but the plot and the characters are set in the past. I have just recently started reading this genre and its not as good as Christie but they are still fun. I guess the problem is that in spite of the details the language seems very modern. But I did like the two recent ones I read because it did have little details about life in post civil war Boston. It has motivated me to learn more about the Gilded Age, so I suppose thats good.