Do you prefer reading “classic” mysteries or contemporary mysteries?
I’m delighted to be joining this group – but rather dismayed that the first question I have to answer is so challenging. Thanks, guys! ;-) To be honest, the answer is “Both – and which, or when, depends on me, rather than the book!”
As a relatively new mystery author (my first book was published in 2012) I have been a reader for a good deal longer than I’ve been a mystery writer. So what did I discover during all those decades of reading? Books are never just words on a page—they allow me to feel, travel, learn, think, argue, laugh and even cry. So, even when I know what type of journey a particular author is likely to take me on, I still have to decide my general destination before I embark.
I’m a serial monogamist reader – only one title on the go at a time – but my bookshelves will tell you I am fairly happy to contemplate many reading “partners”. (They might even suggest I have more than one personality.)
Sometimes I enjoy the comfy slippers provided by Agatha Christie rather than the scrubs I mentally don when entering parts of Kathy Reichs’ world. Other times I long to tramp the streets of Edinburgh with Rankin’s Rebus, when I’m not hand in hand with Donna Leon’s Brunetti in Venice, or with Camilleri’s Montalbano in Sicily. The works of Ngaio Marsh offer frothy Golden Age entertainment and I also like to revisit the worlds created by Dorothy L Sayers when I’m feeling glum. When I’m happy enough in myself to dive into dark waters, I allow Ruth Rendell and Val McDermid to be my guides.
Thus, possibly the most revealing answer I can give you is not what I choose to read, but which volumes I choose to keep on my bookshelves. I must admit, therefore, to owning a copy of every book Agatha Christie published. They are the red books in this photo of my writing room. Comfy slippers are good!