Checking On My Kind Of Mystery

I hope fellow Canadians had a happy Thanksgiving!  Today is what we and perhaps the Americans too, call “gate night”.  Pranksters, at least in the city, used to throw eggs and be mischievous, so this was a day to be watchful.  Happy Hallowe’en tomorrow!  Country children tend to go elsewhere but we have candy ready in case our few rural children come by.  We decorate, play the right music, and love the Hallowe’en theme in TV shows too.  “The Big Bang Theory” didn’t go that route this year and “Modern Family” focused on heart rather than spookiness but we always enjoy their contribution.  I hadn’t seen “The Simpsons” in a couple of years but Ron & I tuned in for their five-hundredth episode and that show always does Hallowe’en up big.

We grow gardens, so starting today:  it is our lovely pumpkins’ time to be on display and shine!  We aren’t going to carve this year:  they look lovely as-is.  We wouldn’t want to waste a scrap anyway.  When they are through showing how pretty they are, I do some of my best cooking and baking with pumpkin!  Ask me for recipes making Pumpkin Curry Soup, Pumpkin Loaf, and occasionally Pumpkin Cookies.  Hehehe.  My reading turns to eerie and mysterious topics – if it wasn’t there already!
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This was my most frequented group but “Gentle Spectrums” caught up.  Mystery queens Bev, Sue, Erin and others make me smile by keeping the review page humming all of the time.  I watch all of your entries coming in and love it!  There are a lot of specialized mystery groups on the internet, so I was pleased to come up with something broad and easy but which offers a different spin.  My theme incorporates everything you read connected with mystery;  not just novels!  It has come in handy, I am happy to continue observing.  I see links to author biographies and “how to write” books.  At a sale, I came across a book about Agatha Christie’s cover art.  That book would have no where else to go, barring highly general “non-fiction” themes.  No matter how many challenges pop up pertaining to mystery, I am glad to be one stop for all types to join me.

Congratulations to Bev for digesting 100!  I am at 78 mysteries because I branch out to a nice variety.  Is everyone reading as many as they usually do?  I am on par but children’s literature is helping me fill the 150 quota I have targeted again this year!  {GRIN}

I am eccentric about release order, which is what keeps us at book sales.  We can’t read what we own until we score a series’s predecessors.  Do you find yourself stuck with a stockpile you can’t read because it belongs further downa series?  Ron & I have travelled out of town for a few good charity sales!  No matter if they are standalone works, like Canada’s wonderful Simone St. James, or whether an author produces various series.  I like reading older books first.

With Agatha Christie, who published nearly all of her work before my time, I am having fun reading each book as it was released, as if I were a part of those decades’ reading audiences who were anticipating them.  I avoid noting which series each belongs to and like the surprise of reuniting with Hercule Poirot etc.  My spouse, Ron told me yesterday that “Murder On The Orient Express” is being remade into a current movie and I gasped.  I can’t see it until I’ve reached that point  in Agatha’s publishing career and I recall that it is quite a distance away!  If I don’t watch it as a new release, so be it.  I’m only concerned with being front in  line for Star Trek, Harry Potter, Star Wars, or Tom Hanks’s “Da Vinci Code” films.  “Inferno”, here we come!

I am happy the mysteries I have delved into has checked-marked a lot of boxes. I have read new ouevres I loved and dispensed with some I disliked. Of particular note is getting around to names that long sat on our bookshelves. We collect used books in bulk but of  course, with a personal library vast enough to need its own building, we take years to select one from any author. It isn’t unheard of to own books 20 years before I get to them; half my age! Part of the delay is not owning volumes that precede what Ron & I have.

I focused on rectifying bits & pieces, enabling me to read more of our collection.  You know when you buy a book on sale and find it is volume 5?  I prioritized several first volumes and found them.  I will no longer buy a newly-discovered item unless it is volume 1 either.  Another rewarding experience was to persevere with less-tantalizing novels; volumes purchased on sale around ten years ago, when I did not know adult mysteries were moulded into series.  They were chosen as novels that looked interesting. Having rechecked my Patricia Cornwell pieces, she did not appear to be my cup of tea. I’m not into police fiction. To my surprise, I enjoyed her writing!  I am adverse to some of the subjects but good writing wins half the battle for my appreciation. It is not the long-running “Kay Scarpetta” series that I favoured but rather, Patricia’s trilogy.  How do you select your reading?

Something else I am taking delight in, is reading some new purchases soon after bringing them home.  Our home is so full, we need to read whichever book we fancy next and keep going.  It doesn’t matter if each selection is fresh from a store or if its presence has etched a groove in its spot.  Review freebies must save money, if there are any publishers who send physical books to Canadians who stick to the real thing.  However I like the way I am reading with utter freedom. New releases are an unusual treat.  I have tackled all angles lately.  Have you been surprised by authors you braced yourself to get over with?

This has been a year steering away from “cozy mysteries”. There are authors I love who fall under that label but I lose my taste for this watered-down offshoot of grown-up standard mysteries, the more I read the standard mystery. I am 43. If a sex scene is written-in, I don’t want it hinted at: portray the scene!  How many times can we stand the “found a body, I have to be the one to solve the case” formula?  The more I turn to beautiful writing and complex stories and mysteries, the less I can stomach trivial plots and settings.  I have to laugh because when I greatly enjoy a novel billed as “a cozy”, I usually consider it “Too good to be a cozy”!

On my to-do list is a look at old authors like Ellery Queen, Patricia Wentworth, and Ngaio Marsh.  I did not like Margery Allingham’s nor Dorothy Sayers’s first but will revisit them.  Goodness knows I collected a boatload of their work.  Having grown up on gothic mysteries, I joke with Ron that anything beginning in the 1970s used to be on the new side for me!  I love knowing current authors as well.  Quirky, serious, old, new:  my literary trail is complete.  That’s my update!  How have your goals shaped up?


About RIEDEL Fascination

I cherish animals, plants, reading, music and free spirituality. I welcome you for articles, literary activities, and interaction! Surrounding ourselves with good people is a delight. I occasionally review at The Book Depository.
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3 Responses to Checking On My Kind Of Mystery

  1. My yearly goal has gone great (200). I am four away from completing. I do wish I had read more mysteries but think I read a decent amount. I did read some cozies this year, mainly paranormal. I also love Agatha Christie – read Murder on the Orient Express this year. I select my reading based on yearly goals, monthly themed challenges, buddy reads, mood, arcs sent for review, and other random (mainly mood!). I like keeping a large library so I always have something to read and don’t fall into ruts.

  2. Happy Halloween! And a Happy belated Thanksgiving. I’m in the US so I still have about three weeks to begin preparations for our dinner. Lol.

    • Happy Hallowe’en to you too, Angela and thanks for wishing our federal occasion well! I just had two adorable neighbour kids cleaning us out of candy, which is rare in our rural town. It made this night early.

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