Of Mysteries & Detectives

This is a guest post by my wise and erudite friend, MusEditions!

Do you like detective novels? I read them a lot, although I have mixed feelings about this. After all, in almost all of them there is at least one murder! Another name for these is “Murder Mystery”, and they are labeled with a skull and crossbones at my local library! Why do I want to read murder after murder after murder? Most of the stories aren’t very grisly, even if the murder is. I think the reason for that is they’re really about the detective process, rather than the details of the crime. The “murder” is really just a construct to enable a “case” for the detective to solve.

I’ve read some series of this genre. Among my favorites are the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton, and the Mrs. Murphy (she’s a cat!) series by Rita Mae Brown. I can relate, somewhat, to both of the detective/heroines in these series. They are strong women, not too girly, who can take care of themselves. They’re smart, wily, and independent.

Recently, I started reading a new series by Richard Yancey. His hero, Teddy Ruzak, has always wanted to be a detective, so when he acquires a little money, he rents an office and sets up shop. The thing is—that’s all he does! He has no clue about how to be a detective, other than reading Sherlock Holmes novels. He doesn’t know he needs a licence, and he hasn’t had any training. This all seems destined for failure, but the way he works his way into the profession, and takes on his first case, is quite entertaining, and almost believable. Teddy seems somewhat of a cross between Kinsey Millhone (from the Alphabet novels mentioned above) and Adrian Monk, of the television series Monk, but without the skills! If you like a good crime story with more than a little tongue-in-cheek humour, you may become a fan of Teddy Ruzak.

Haha, I love the premise of this Teddy Ruzak story. I’ll try to get this book in my hands! I should venture beyond my favourite Agatha Christie classics. 🙂


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lovelyloey
    Dec 21, 2008 @ 21:08:34

    (for the longest time I couldn’t locate the button to press to leave comments – bah)

    Anyway Agatha Christie rocks. I love the Miss Marple and Poirot series (and not so much that one with the couple). Miss Marple is sassy at old age, kudos. Am still trying to work my way through all her work. Not too far away I hope.

    nylusmilk: haha, glad you found it in the end. 😉 yup, agreed! i’m almost finished but i don’t think i can, since the bulk of her books i managed to get back in my secondary school and i’m very much not at school anymore. 😦 oh well, i’m sure i’ve read all the good ones already, hehe!


  2. museditions
    Dec 22, 2008 @ 15:20:47

    I agree with you both. Miss Marple rocks. I also like the most recent BBC series of her, better than the last one they had.
    Thanks for putting this up, nylusmilk! 🙂

    nylusmilk: i sure wish i could watch all the tv remakes of agatha christie mysteries! i should thank you for helping me out here at the literary pursuit. 😀 so… much thanks!


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