Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The changing face of traditional mystery fiction

Publishers Weekly reports on how traditional mysteries continue to thrive -- and are adapting to the 21st Century -- some 90 years after Agatha Christie introduced Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles:
Readers continue to crave the classic whodunit, a puzzle they try to solve along with the protagonist, who may be a professional like Poirot or an amateur sleuth like Miss Jane Marple, one of Christie's other creations.

Violence is never absent from these tales -- they are, after all, murder mysteries -- but there's a definite lack of gore and gratuitous carnage. Louise Penny, whose award-winning Chief Insp. Armand Gamache series is set in the tiny Quebec village of Three Pines, likens the suspense in her novels to that of famed director Alfred Hitchcock, who "knew that less is more." Says Penny, "My books aren't about murder—that's simply a catalyst to look at human nature. They aren't about blood but about the marrow, about what happens deep inside, in places we didn't even know existed."
The article includes comments from several authors, plus info about upcoming books. Read the whole story here: Some Like It Mild: Cozy Mysteries
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Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction


A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at Watch the trailer on YouTube.