Although I tend to eschew science fiction I am not without a certain appetite for mystery novels—detective stories, murder mysteries, police procedurals, suspense novels—whether written by such classic writers as Agatha Christie or possibly by newer authors I might not even recognize as writing such entertainments. The fiction of mystery and detection is both entertaining and still it massages the little gray cells. True, it’s generally not high literature but sometimes you just need to take a break from James Joyce and Marcel Proust.
I have been collecting many of the authors of such fiction, authors who tend to develop a consistent series of novels, often with a central character lie Mike Hammer or a central theme like cooking or bird watching. Often I find myself considering reading one of these complete series. I have read the likes of Travis McGee, Spenser, and Maigret, but in most of the mystery series I have only read one or two of the novels … and I want to read more, even if I have to interrupt Thomas Mann or Samuel Beckett.
This month I have loaded the reading list with novels in various genres of mystery fiction.
1. Hide My Eyes — Margery Allingham
2. Lullaby — Ace Atkins
3. The Black-Eyed Blonde — Benjamin Black
4. Monsieur Pamplemousse and the French Solution — Michael Bond
5. Nightfall — David Goodis
6. Murder Is My Business — Brett Halliday
7. An Unsuitable Job For a Woman — P. D. James
8. Badge of Evil — Whit Masterson
9. The Frumious Bandersnatch — Ed McBain
10. The Cater Street Hangman — Anne Perry
11. A Rare Benedictine — Ellis Peters
12. Snatch — Bill Pronzini
13. A Study In Terror — Ellery Queen
14. The Circular Staircase — Mary Roberts Rinehart
15. The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu — Sax Rohmer
16. Unnatural Death — Dorothy L. Sayers
17. Maigret’s Dead Man — George Simenon
18. Polar Star — Martin Cruz Smith
19. My Gun Is Quick — Mickey Spillane
20. The League of Frightened Men — Rex Stout