Monday, December 12, 2011

Musing Monday...It's a Mystery!

Can MizB at Should Be Reading possibly have come up with another Musing MOnday question this week? I bet she has...

What kind of books do you like to read?
Why? Provide specific examples.

Oh, such a difficult question.
How can I possibly answer this one?

Ok, I am just fooling around.
Just glance around at my last few reviews and I think you may figure the answer out.

Yes, I am a fan of mysteries.
A hopeless, over the top follower of the who-done-it in all it’s various forms. I like thrillers and police procedurals, noir and cozies, crime and psychological..I like them all. I like series and stand-alones, classic and contemporary..yep, I like them all.

Now I have tried to expand my genres, especially since I started the wee blog, and to some limited degree I have succeeded. Really! I went from 100% mysteries to maybe 90%. :-)
I read a bit of YA fiction, something I did not read when I was a YA since I was reading mysteries, and I read some of what might be called literary fiction, a name I always find rather odd. What, as opposed to non-literary fiction? But nevertheless, I read some. I have always read a bit of science fiction and have added some dystopian books in the last few years..even though they tend to depress me, and I have long enjoyed a bit of horror, at least the not too horrible horror of Dean Koontz.
But push come to shove, the one genre I always return to are mysteries.

They are my comfort read. Which is, I admit, rather odd.
Give me death and mayhem, violence and crime and I am relaxed and happy and enthralled. Why?

my childhood public library branch, Newark, NJ
Well, I wrote about this once before. What I concluded is that I think I and many readers are attracted to mysteries because, for all the bad things that may happen in one, they paint a world where there is order and goodness. Yes, there is a battle between good and evil and yes, it is not all black and white but rather filled with shades of gray but the mystery will be solved and truth will be revealed and order will be restored. If not perfectly, at least to some degree. Even in an imperfect world, people who do bad things will be punished.

And maybe best of all, we the readers get to play along, exercise our brain, and see if we can figure it out too. In a good mystery, what I consider a 'fair' mystery, we, the reader, will have the facts to solve it and will usually fail. And hopefully be amazed that once again a little sleight of hand led us to the wrong conclusions. Great fun.

Examples? Oh, where could I possibly start? There are so many author I love. Slaughter comes to mind as a favorite series and Ann Cleeves' Shetland Island Quartet is another. Laurie R. Kings' Martinelli books are very good, and I loved Cody McFadyen books...he is very, very creepy. And speaking of creepy, let me just mention Mr. Koontz again. He has written a huge number of books and while some of them are just good, many of them are really excellent.
And hey, they are not even mysteries!


  1. I'm right there with you. I love mysteries. If my brain is all spent from literary novels, I grab a mystery almost as a treat.

  2. I favor cozy mysteries, but not the creepy kind. I like a variety of genres. I like to mix them up, but like I said, I guess I favor the cozies.

  3. I agree with everything you said about mysteries. For me, they are about good vs. evil at the heart and good must win in the end, right? Or at least I hope it does. That is comforting. Justice prevails.

    Nice suggestions at the end. I concur.

  4. I love mysteries too, I haven't read a lot of series, but I collect as many as I can for when I finally do get around to reading them. I'm still working on some classic mysteries mostly. 1920's are my favorite, but I'm open to all kinds. I have actually read Dean Koontz but I didn't really care for him, or it coulda been he scared me too much. :P

  5. Ditto, ditto. Mysteries are my fave too. Dean Koontz is not for me but TBG loves him. Go figure!

  6. I read so all over the board... I just like variety.

  7. Koontz never did it for me .. but I am very much a reader like you .. if you ever want to attempt SciFi .. check out Ender's Game .. I occasionally stray into SciFi having cut my teeth on Robert Heinlein and being madly deeply in love with Connie Willis' books ..

  8. I do love a good mystery. I've been reading them since I first grabbed Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.

    Nowadays, I mix them in with others, as described here in MY MONDAY MEMES POST and

  9. see, I don't find Koontz that scary. Not like King scary. I find his stories more like odd morality stories. it is all about good and evil with him and that, like mysteries, is appealing to me.

  10. I love mystery novels, but haven't read nearly enough.

    I'll definitely have to check those authors out.

    I also like suspense though, which is lighter than mystery.

    Here's my link. I love mystery/suspense novels with romance mixed in.

    I love certain types of sci-fi, but wouldn't say I'm a hardcore fan.

    Romance is always good.

  11. I haven't read many mysteries lately, but I do enjoy a well written one.

    Thanks for stopping by today :)

  12. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog!

    Lovely answer! As you know we have almost identical tastes. I love mystery but I often try to expand my horizon.

  13. haha "provide specific examples" it sounds like one of my exams.


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