Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mysteries to Get Non-Mystery Readers Hooked

Crombie I’ve frequently found that there are many people who don’t think of themselves as mystery readers. But because there are so many different types of mysteries—police procedural, thriller, private investigator, cozies, etc.—there’s really a little something for everyone. If you’re interested in stretching your genre boundaries, think about adding some of these novels to your summer reading list.

Here are a few elements of a good mystery and some books that embody them.

A protagonist you can care about: Water Like a Stone. Detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James seem like real people, not the police stereotypes we all get tired of reading about. Jill McGown’s Detective Chief Inspector Lloyd & Judy Hill Mysteries also has a winning detective team that the reader will enjoy spending time with.

An interesting setting: I love M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth series which is set in the Scottish highlands. Beautiful dialect and fun characters really make the series a stand-out.

Suspense: Try John Hart’s King of Lies. Elizabeth George’s Thomas Lynley series is also full of tense moments as the police attempt to solve the mystery.

A puzzle: Try P.D. James’ Adam Dalgleish series or Ruth Rendell’s psychological suspense tales.

Something unique: For something a little different, you can’t beat Nancy Atherton’s Aunt Dimity series. Any time a ghost figures prominently in a book, it’s bound to be different.