BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

drosdelnoch from The Falcata Times talks about why we love a mystery

Today we have droselnoch from The Falcata Times visiting and giving us his take on why we love to read mysteries. dros reads (Oh man, does he read! I swear the man never sleeps. He reads a couple books day, I think.) and reviews at two blogs that he owns and runs - The Falcata Times, which reviews mysteries & thrillers, fantasy in all incarnations, science fiction and art books plus graphic novels; over at Tatty's Treasure Chest he reviews childrens books and young adult books. I've been acquainted with dros for several years, we met at Kelley Armstrong's discussion board. My first book review for a blog was for dros at The Falcata Times.  When I decided to focus on mysteries this month, I immediately thought of dros as I know he reads a lot of them. I hope you enjoy his post and stop by his blog some time to check it out.


   There’s nothing grander than a mystery or thriller when you want to get the blood pumping and try to relax from the stresses of the real world after a hard days slog.  Whether it’s high octane murder mystery like Rizolli faces or you prefer the more sedate and Victorian singularity of Holmes, there’s nothing finer than a glass of your favourite tipple, a snug place to relax and a book to keep you guessing to the last. 

     Partly I suspect that it’s one of the reasons why we all feel so drawn to it, another part is that we all seem to have a fascination with the darker murderous aspect of the macabre that keeps us wanting to see more of things that leave us disturbed.  After all, we’ve all be raised on stories of death, murder and bloodshed in one form or another, whether it’s the fairy-tales that were read to you as a child or perhaps even the lessons learned from Sunday school (which all it feels like it taught me was “Do unto others as they would do unto you” with the modern addition of “But do it first.”) 

     Personally I love a story where I get to walk on the wild side, to dance with the devil without the risk and I suspect that deep down it’s the simplicity that usually has the villain getting their comeuppance in a world where too often they get away with it.  There’s always a reason, perhaps possibly a prevented sense of logic to our modern mind but we always love to be bamboozled to the last which happens so often in crime books where it feels like it’s us (the reader) against the author who try their magical tricks out on us, the slight of hand directing us one way whilst doing something with the other.  We like to test our mental power against the logistics and almost feel disappointed when we beat the writer to the punch.

     Or perhaps it is the darker side of our psyche as we slink into the background with the killer, stalking the victim and then admire their macabre art as each scene is discovered.  Whichever reason you pick there’s probably a whole psychological course out there available.  Yet, over the years, the crime novel has evolved from the simplistic Three Apples (as told by Scheherazade in One Thousand and One Nights) through to modern tales by authors like Chelsea Cain where we get the book from mostly the serial killers point of view, right through to the almost tributary Faber titles by Craig Russell who weaves mysterious murders into his own modern Police thrillers (almost Doylesque in their own way.)

     Personally I love a book that takes me on a journey, I love to be driven slightly mad as I figure out the solution to a mystery or the identity of a murderer and perhaps best of all the only real victim of the tale are trees or electrons (depending on your medium of choice.)  Crime is often said to not pay, apparently whoever said that was very wrong, as to be honest it has been and will continue to do so for a great many writers in years to come.


  1. Wow, Bea, I don't know what to say! That was one of the most insightful and deep reviews I've read in a long time.
    I do love a good mystery and I haven't read enough of them lately. Coming from this view point it is most definitely interesting and intriquing.
    I'm glad you not only read this book but shared it in such wonderful detail in your review.

  2. When ever I read your posts Dros I think, now that's man who knows good stories! I adore mysteries. I love it when you never know until the end, my fav series is an odd lot, Dick Francis. But man I've read almost his entire lot of books (which is huge!) and they stump me every time. Mysteries have to be 'smart', they are either really great writing, or a total flop. Not much room for error there.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let;s talk!