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Topic: any fans of older mysteries out there?

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Subject: any fans of older mysteries out there?
Date Posted: 7/20/2009 10:58 AM ET
Member Since: 5/28/2009
Posts: 35
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I like some newer authors, but I really like some of the older authors who for whatever reason are forgotten today?  Any other fans of mysteries from the 1930s through 1950s out there?

I especially like the Crime Club books from the 1940s, and have found a lot of "new" authors by reading the back jackets of the Crime Club books I run across in used bookstores.

Date Posted: 7/20/2009 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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My favorite mysteries are older, though not forgotten: Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. What authors have you found from that club?

Date Posted: 7/20/2009 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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I like Christie and Sayers, too. Also, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Josephine Tey, and Ngaio Marsh. And slightly more recent author, Patricia Moyes.


Date Posted: 7/20/2009 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I also really like John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson and Marjorie Allingham.  If you can track down copies, Dorothy Sayers edited three huge mystery short story collections (each are about 1,000 pgs) called Omnibus of Crime (1,2 & 3).  They're really, really good.  For whatever reason, numbers one and three are pretty easy to find.  Tracking down #2 was a bit of a chore.  They're really worthwhile.

It's a little difficult to wade through but there are some really great things here: http://www.munseys.com/  He has literally hundreds of out of copyright mysteries posted. 

Last Edited on: 8/11/09 6:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/20/2009 11:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2009
Posts: 22,583
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All of the above plus early Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, Phoebe Atwood Taylor/Alice Tilton,  Raymond Chandler, Earl Derr Biggers, Clayton Rawson, Dashielle Hammett, and many others.  I was raised reading these books because my mother loved the classic mysteries.  She love Earl Stanley Gardner/A.A. Fair and I read most of those as well.

Date Posted: 7/21/2009 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 5/28/2009
Posts: 35
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One of my favorite authors is named Lange Lewis--not even sure if that is a man or a woman.  Her/his book The Birthday Murder is one of the most perfect mysteries I've ever read.  Great puzzle, great characters.  It is set in Hollywood, and the main character is a woman celebrating her birthday.  Unfortunately her husband is poisoned, and she becomes the main suspect.  None of Lewis' other books matched that one, but I did like her book Juliet Dies Twice, where an actress playing Juliet in a college production is killed.  I like any mysteries featuring actors, either on stage or in the movies.

Another author I like is Craig Rice, who is probably most famous for her books featuring John J. Malone, a hard-drinking lawyer and his wisecracking friends Jake and Helene Justus.  I really like her book Home Sweet Homicide though, which is about a mystery writer and her three children.  There is a murder in their neighborhood, and the kids decide to solve the crime to get their mother some publicity.

Anybody who likes old mysteries should check out Rue Morgue Press.  They bring back a lot of the old authors.

Going to the Crime Club books which I mentioned in my first post, I like Kathleen Moore Knight.  She wrote a ton of books, some set in New England that fans of Phoebe Atwood Taylor would probably like, but also wrote a lot of books set in more exotic settings, at least two or three in Mexico. I also like Margaret Scherf, whose books are on the humorous side, and a writer named Jean Leslie, who never seemed to write the same book twice--just always different characters and settings, but with a great mystery surrounding everything.

Date Posted: 8/3/2009 1:45 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2008
Posts: 2
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I love the classic masters of the genre; Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, etc... but I also enjoy reading classic 2nd or 3rd tier hardboiled novels, old paperback originals and such. Some of them may be guilty pleasures but they are pleasures. Stuff by Day Keene, Peter Rabe, and many others.

Date Posted: 8/3/2009 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2009
Posts: 177
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My favorite mystery writers: Agatha Christie and Josephine Tey.  I have all of their mystery works.  Tey's "The Franchise Affair" is my favorite book.  I've also enjoyed Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Stout, and others. 

I also appreciate Christie and Tey because their books are not sexually explicit or graphically violent.  I'm the mother of teenagers and a high school math teacher.  I like to be able to recommend with a clear conscience.  I also don't like personally to read trashy mysteries.  I really well-plotted book doesn't need that junk to titillate readers.

Date Posted: 8/3/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2009
Posts: 22,583
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Melissa - I added Craig Rice to my Amazon WL.  I like a good solid mystery.  So few are these days.

Date Posted: 8/3/2009 6:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 2,030
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Mary Stewart had some good suspence stories.  I also liked her King Arthur books.

Date Posted: 8/4/2009 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 7,011
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I, too, love Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner.  I had never heard of Ngaio Marsh until I joined PBS, but I think I have read all her titles now. Don't forget Arthur Conan Doyle.  For those of you who like Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, and author by the name of Robert Goldsborough has written several books that were approved by the Stout family.  They are pretty true to Stout's writing.  I think they are pretty much available right now. 

Last Edited on: 8/4/09 1:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/8/2009 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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Boy! I'd like to get some of Margaret Scherf's books. Maybe there are some on this site now. I will check again, but when last I looked, there weren't any. I understand she's a great writer!

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 4:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2006
Posts: 368
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I just remembered Authur Upfield. Is anyone else out there a fan of his? I would definately count him  as one of the older writers. I believe he started his series about the 1/2 Aboriginal detective Inspector in the laye 30's. As like other older authors, some of his title have been reissued under new titles.I think he continued writing until he death in the 60's. If you've never read him, his books are definately not the usual poloce procedural! They often have you guessing until the last page or so.

Date Posted: 8/11/2009 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I love Agatha Christie.

Have you read Barbara Cleverley?  She's a modern author but her books take place in the 1920-30's. 

Date Posted: 8/12/2009 9:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 485
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Margaretann - Arthur Upfield is one of my favorite authors!  I was so excited when I first found his books - wonderful mysteries and facinating descriptions of the people and countryside during that era in Australia. I also like that he incorporated natural phenomena (disasters! - huge brush fires, sand storms...) into his stories, so exciting!