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Topic: Classic Whodunits?

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Subject: Classic Whodunits?
Date Posted: 4/12/2010 2:22 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2008
Posts: 65
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I'm looking for some recommendations for whodunit-type mysteries of the "everyone who's interested in the genre should read this" variety. I've read pretty much all of Agatha Christie's books, but I'm only just getting into everything else and I'm kind of clueless. 

Help please?

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 4/12/2010 7:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 41,112
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Josephine Tey's A Daughter of Time is considered a classic. I think some of Ngaio Marsh may be too, haven't read any of there stuff.

Alice

Date Posted: 4/12/2010 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
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Dorothy Sayers - Erle Stanley Gardner - Dashiel Hammett - I second Ngaio Marsh.



Last Edited on: 4/12/10 10:51 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/12/2010 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
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Raymond Chandler made wholesale changes in the way detective mysteries were written. But you cannot read more than five written today and not seen his detective at least twice.

Date Posted: 4/12/2010 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
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Oh, Ellery Queen is classic as well.

Date Posted: 4/12/2010 3:09 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Well. . . just because it hasn't been mentioned yet. . . there's always Sherlock Holmes. ;)

Very much second the Dorothy Sayers, and Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh, and Margery Allingham are all on my TBR stack as part of that "Golden Age" set.

Subject:
Date Posted: 4/12/2010 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
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All of those classics mentioned are in my "keeper" library...and they don't grow old or stale.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2008
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Thanks guys, I've read one or two novels by these authors but will check the others out...do any of their books have to be read in order, or should I just pick random ones?

Subject: More authors
Date Posted: 4/16/2010 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2009
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May I suggest you check out Marian Babson, Anna Clarke, E. X. Ferrars and Georgette Heyer?  They write mostly standalones so you need not read in any particular order.  Heyer is recently being republished.  All of these authors are ones I enjoyed immensely.  I am very partial to British cozies!

 

MSCOZY

Date Posted: 4/16/2010 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I think for the most part they can be read in any order. . . but the Dorothy Sayers you should probably read in order, because what she's known for is the character-building over the course of the series, so while the mysteries work fine in any order you'll probably be lost with some of the non-mystery elements that come into play (like the romantic arc that takes place over like four books near the end).

Subject: Dorthy Gilman, Ellis Peters, Elizabeth Peters
Date Posted: 4/17/2010 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2010
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Dorthy Gilman is probably best known for her Mrs Polifax series.  This is about a 60+ year old who joins the CIA.  Lots of fun but not comedies.  Her other characters are good, too.

Ellis Peters wrote all of the Cadfael books about mysteries occuring in 12 century England.  No super computers or DNA to find the gulity party.  just deductive reasoning form a very smart monk.

Elizabeth Peters has the Emilia Peabody series about mysteries surrounding a family of Egyptologists around the turn of the 1900's.  She also has several other one off mysteries and another series about Vicky Bliss set in modern times but dealing with solving ancient mysteries or current forgeries.  Good clean reads for the most part.

Date Posted: 4/18/2010 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
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Rex Stout is another example of the classic whodunit writer.  Many of his books feature the brilliant Nero Wolfe as the arm chair detective and Archie Goodwin, his go to man and narrator.  I would start out with Fer-De-Lance (his first) and then League of Frightened MenLeague is one of my favorite Nero Wolfe mysteries.  Also, consider John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson.  He wrote many mysteries of the "impossible" or "locked-room" variety.  Some of his books are better than others, but all I have read are entertaining.  What I enjoy most is the atmosphere in many of his books.  They are set up to be creepy and/or foreboding without being unbelievable.  Some of my favorites are Hag's Nook, The Crooked Hinge, The Plague Court Murders, The Corpse in the Waxworks and The Case of the Constant Suicides. Have fun checking out all the great authors mentioned!