I think I’ve mentioned this before but I was very struck with Josephine Tey’s Daughter of Time, which is the story of a detective who examines a historical mystery while stuck in hospital: did Richard III kill the Princes in the Tower?
Oddly, I've read this book twice, because I get it confused with Elizabeth Peter's The Murders of Richard III, which is about a series of copy-cat murders of Richardists.
My favourite re-imagining of Sherlock is Neil Gaiman’s Lovecraftian short-story A Study in Emerald, which is collected in his Fragile Things.
It's also a board game I really, really want.
I love mystery fiction, even when the writing is not always brilliant (I love Agatha Raisin, but this is one example along with M.C Beaton’s Hamish MacBeth books where the tv adaptations are better than the books).
Quoted for Truth.
Whatever your biggest recommend is Emma, I double it!
This may have just found a home on my Kobo.
Christmas is a time of year that reminds me very much of my mother, and not just because that's when she died. Every year, her kitchen would turn into a factory for making Christmas mince pies. Hundreds of them, I swear. When I lived at home, I was SO sick of them. Now I can't look at one without thinking of her. I miss the smell of them baking.
Wreck the Halls, Purl Up and Die, Chamomile Mourning, Peach Cobbler Murder, Darned if You Do, The Cereal Murders, The Body in the Vestibule, A Brew to a Kill.
Heh. They're awful, but in a really endearingly sweet kind of way. You can usually find a couple on the sale tables outside bookshops.
Ponytail. As a stand-in for all the “oblivious” nasty sexist bullshit this year, all the way from Ponytailgate through the Roastbusters reviews to “supporting the rapists".
Yep, those ones. Bridge of Birds, Story of the Stone, Eight Skilled Gentlemen. Apparently Hughart intended to write seven, but had a 'falling out' with his publishers, so there are only three. I used to own them, but I'm pretty sure they belong to my daughter now. They live in her room, anyway.
So much gold on this thread. You know I basically only do these to get book recommendations.
Two I haven't mentioned. Barry Hughart's ancient-mythic-China detective novels, and Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries, set in turn of last century Egypt. Both get a good deal of dry, gentle humour from fallible narrators. Peters (Barbara Mertz) was an Egyptologist, but unlike several authors mentioned here (and Anne Perry), her knowledge is never obtrusively shoved in your face.
So Emma – are you taking Laura out for another spin soon?
I look forward to the back story of Laura finding love in the time of ‘collar-up’
Man, I walked around with Laura in my head for so many years while I was writing The Isis Knot. It's not possible for her to exist as she does in "Bodies", twenty years later, but the idea of her carrying on, an undercover class warrior with an ideology and no compunctions, was simply irresistible.
Kerry Greenwood for good wry mysteries (I enjoy reading her Corinna Chapman novels more than Phryne Fisher although I love the TV series).
I have just discovered the TV series and it's my current binge-watch. I'm loving Essie Davis doing Diana Rigg.
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis is technically a time travel comedy but there’s some decent stuff in there involving classic mysteries.
This is also a favourite book of mine. I think we might have similar senses of humour. And I'm pondering now how many of my non-mystery favourites nonetheless involve unravelling What Actually Happened.
Not even tempted by the Machete order?
If I HAD to watch them all again, this is how I'd do it. But I can't fathom what would make me sit through I and II again.
Have you read Dan Simmons’ ’Drood’?
Oo, no I haven't. I may have to get myself a Christmas present then.
Is Jane Ayre the one what goes,
“I wish I’d looked after me wife, and not locked her upstairs for life…”?
All the names I spell-checked so carefully for this column, and I missed that. Eyre.
I bought Chandler’s The Big Sleep to keep me sane on a work trip, and was very pleased to find rich veins of humour and snappy repartee alongside the hardboiledness.
The Big Sleep is my favourite, still. I have a lovely old battered green Penguin copy that was given to me by David Haywood at the very start of our friendship.
One of the hazards of older SciFi is the problem of current technology making the futuristic SciFi tech look old hat.
Last weekend, we binged-watched the three existing Star Wars movies with friends, and we were all struck by the way they kept talking about the Death Star plans as if they were, like, a physical roll of paper.