The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group discussion

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General Chat > Why do you like mysteries?

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message 1: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) | 2063 comments Mod
Always a good question!

I love them because they appeal to my desire to have things in order (and I am so disorganized!). In the story there is chaos, and then someone comes along and puts everything right, the bad guy (or girl) gets caught and sent to prison and everyone lives happily ever after... well almost.

How about you? Why do you love them?


Fiona (bookcoop) I'm quite new to them - I think tend to go more towards the darker morbid side rather then comfy little whodunnits.

I have always liked crime dramas, even comfy whodunnits though I never much likes Morse.

I liked Midsommer Murders (quite silly but so good lol) and Waking the Dead and Silent Witness and any other series or one off crime dramas out there.

I grew up on Agatha Christie's Poirot and Miss Marple on TV. My mum loves crime mysteries and that's why I watched a lot of them. She stopped me watching more darker psychological thrillers unfortunately.

But I never thought of actually READING them until lately. I have decided to read more crime in the past year. In part that's why I created this group. Not because I'm a crime-geek but because I wanted a group that I liked, with people in it that I liked and there wasn't one really. Not that suited me.

I'm interested I suppose in crime, in why people do it and how it is solved. I like the characters, I like the propulsion of the storyline, usually fast moving and page turners. I like the suspense.

I have yet to read one I don't like actually which is a good sign. I like the character dynamics and the darkness and ominous story lines.

It's even better reading them then watching!

I can't wait to read more forensic novels like Cornwell and I think Kathy Reichs is another one... or was it Slaughter I can't remember.

And I think I like historical-er ones like those by Andrew Taylor and I want to read C. J Sansom's Dissolution.


Kercelia | 3 comments My love affair with mysteries began when I was a child. I was given a set of the Nancy Drew Mysteries and they really excited me. I quickly learned to follow the clues and "finger" the suspect before the end of the book. My reading tastes have matured over the years and I now read a lot of authors like John Sandford, Jeffrey Deaver, Jonathan Kellerman, and James Lee Burke.


Fiona (Titch) Hunt (Titch) | 443 comments My father got me onto this kind of genre and its stuck since. I absolutely love it when ur heart is racing to find out who did it. Also it makes you feel like its you that is in the book and ur that character.


gina~* | 17 comments I was what you call a 'troubled teen' in highschool. Needless to say, I got very close with the school principal. One Day, she lended me 1st Degree by James Patterson, I've been reading ever since. My tatse went to romance though and after reading so many I realized that I tend to need a murder plus romance. I love reading. Its so good for the mind and soul!!!


Kandice YoudontGnomie wrote: "I was what you call a 'troubled teen' in highschool. Needless to say, I got very close with the school principal. One Day, she lended me 1st Degree by James Patterson, I've been reading ever since...."

May I suggest the In Death series by J.D. Robb. Very spicy romance in those!




gina~* | 17 comments I have Innocent in Death on my TBR.. I'll pick it up and give it try.. Thank YOU!!!!


Jeane Just like Fiona I was always watching those tv series...Midsommer murder, silent witness, MORSE (rewatched them so many times but would rewatch them all over)....and police series like The bill, unit 13 (dutch), ...... love rebus (ian rankin stories) but from the beginning I was completely in love with Agatha Christie books. I don't know WHY I love them, I just know that when reading crime, mystery books of my favourite writers I feel an extra pure love on top of what I feel when I am reading different books.


message 9: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 1984 comments Mod
Like a number of others on this site my love of mysteries began with Nancy Drew and quickly expanded to Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Reinhart. Like Hayes, I like order and the solving of a mystery puts things in order.

I also like the "why" of mysteries - why did they do it? Human nature is amazing and always interesting.

Finallly, I like to learn new things. Mysteries can be set in different time periods and different world locations expanding my knowledge of world culture and history and with all the new forensics techniques you can get a science education as well.


message 10: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) | 2063 comments Mod
I loved Dick Francis' books for that reason too, Donna. I love horses and was fixated as a young girl, so his books were heaven to me. And then he started branching out into other fields, like photography and wine, and every time I felt I had learned something.


Theweebarrell | 30 comments my dad and brother always read crime books so if there was any lying around i would pick them up and read them and have been hooked since .


Kathy  (readr4ever) | 236 comments You know I stated in another discussion that my love of mystery started with Agatha Christie, but that isn't really where I started. Like some others here, I started with Nancy Drew, and there was also Trixie Belden. When I was in elementary school a friend and I were allowed to put on a production for the school of a mystery play we wrote. I sure do wish I still had a copy of it. The who-dun-it and why did they do it of mystery has always appealed to me.


Lobstergirl I guess I don't think of myself as an unimaginative person, yet I think I like mysteries because they're formulaic. I read them to be surprised, and yet not surprised. I don't know what's coming, and I do know what's coming. There's a comfort to the familiarity of the formulaic, and this is why I tend to read mysteries (and watch PBS mystery) when the world is going to hell and I need to turn away from its horrors.

I used to read almost exclusively nonfiction. I didn't want to read plots and narratives, I wanted to learn information. Reality. I think my turn from nonfiction to escapist fiction and mysteries was a turn away from the horrors of the real world (largely, the Bush administration) and what felt like powerlessness to do anything about it. At the end of a mystery, the mystery gets solved. In a true crime, we find out who did it. Our sense of powerlessness in the face of the real world is mitigated.


Catamorandi (wwwgoodreadscomprofilerandi) I like mysteries because they are fun. I like to try to put my brain in the detective's head and see if I can figure it all out before he does. I have a few times, but not very often. It is fun to try, though.


Kellie (acountkel) | 33 comments When I was a kid, I loved the show Ellery Queen and Quincy and I liked to read Agatha Christie
I love everything about reading a mystery, the suspense, the unknown, the clues, the Red Herring.
I also enjoy the variety of plots and settings from all the different mystery writers...English setting from George, LA setting from Connelly, NY setting from Deaver etc.
Nothing better than a great mystery you can't put down!



Heidi  | 98 comments I was another Nancy Drew recruit-- and I had a beloved relative who was a big reader-- her shelves were filled with all kinds of mystery novels and she welcomed me to read them throughout my youth... now we trade favorite authors, however her taste runs to English detectives and I've become quite fond of hard-boiled American detectives.

The main reason I fell in love with them was my love of a good puzzle... a great mystery is one where I never see the ending coming or the author keeps my solutions twisting and turning.


Starling I read a lot of different genre, including mysteries. I don't think they are all formula books although some, of course, are.

And I'm not reading for the puzzle either. Mostly I like books that are ABOUT SOMETHING. It is one of the reasons I've never really enjoyed most contemporary novels. And why most literary novels just leave me cold. Which is why I read science fiction, paranormal, romance and yes, mysteries.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

I received the Nancy Drew inoculation early on too, then Sherlock Holmes and took off from there. My mother loved mysteries, and we'd read them together when I was a kid.

Now I like a wide range of mysteries, from Harlan Coben to James Lee Burke to Jo Nesbo and Shirley Rousseau Murphy. I love reading the why, the reasons people do the things they do, their motivations.


Paula (pauldajo) I stopped reading books for two or three years a while back and decided that I needed to start reading again. I chose mysteries because they were less expensive than literature and women authors because I thought I'd be more in tune with them. Not necessarily true and I read both female and male writers now.

I guess in a mystery there is a defining moment (dead person usually) that brings all sorts of people together. I enjoy the interplay/relationships between these people. I don't try to figure out 'who done it', though I often know before the end of the book. I'm just so darn comfortable with and loyal to the core mystery series that I buy.


Carol Pontalba wrote: "I received the Nancy Drew inoculation early on too, then Sherlock Holmes and took off from there. My mother loved mysteries, and we'd read them together when I was a kid.

Now I like a wide range ..."


I to started out with the Nnacy Drew books ,they evolved into Agatha Christy . I think we all have a little sherlock in our hearts.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Absolutely Carol, no doubt about it. I still haven't read all of Christie by a long shot, but I do love the Hercule Poirot film adaptations with David Suchet. Very well done.


message 22: by Carol (last edited Oct 06, 2009 05:47PM) (new)

Carol Pontalba wrote: "Absolutely Carol, no doubt about it. I still haven't read all of Christie by a long shot, but I do love the Hercule Poirot film adaptations with David Suchet. Very well done."

I'm sorry I don't get to watch much tv, so I am unfamiliar with that series. Is it available I wonder on netflix?


Carol They are available from netflix added some to my queue. Thanks for the recommendation


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

carol (akittykat) wrote: "They are available from netflix added some to my queue. Thanks for the recommendation"

Oh good! Suchet is undoubtedly the best Poirot I have seen. Ever. They used to broadcast them on the local PBS station, I finally had to go out and buy a few of the sets. :)




Carol I added all they had.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

David Suchet also reads several of the Christie stories in audio book version - they are excellent readings (you can't imagine he has a voice other than Poirot's but he does it brilliantly).


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Bernadette wrote: "David Suchet also reads several of the Christie stories in audio book version - they are excellent readings (you can't imagine he has a voice other than Poirot's but he does it brilliantly)."
LOL I haven't heard those, but was totally blown away when I happened on D.S. in another role. Egads! :)



Michèle LEBRETTE | 14 comments All Agatha Chistie's Book are wonderful and very interesting. Currently Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are on the french TV




Kathy  (readr4ever) | 236 comments Jumping in here on the Agatha Christie train. I have read all of Christie's and loved them all. The great thing is that I kept all the paperbacks and plan on someday re-reading them all.


Michèle LEBRETTE | 14 comments I'll was like you but like I saw them on the TV with a
very good actor like Poirot player by David Suchet, it's better for me because I can take a face on the person. Sometime it's another actor, but I prefer David Suchet So sometimes i need read a new time those book


Jaxj | 3 comments I love them because of all the minute details of unscrambling the clues. The more complex the better especially if the story ties in every thread to perfection. Just started reading the Wallender books the very first one written of short stories and love it!


Ananth Subramanian | 23 comments An interesting question.

I like them because it is a break from serious non fiction reading.There is suspense in it and there is a lot of rational thinking involved in solving the mystery and you get involved in the process as you proceed with the book.


Jaxj | 3 comments Reading last night Long Lost Harlan Coben a twist I never thought would happen I love this author! Not even finished had to put it down though too tired.


Jeane I love Agatha Christie stories and this afternoon I went to see int heater Spider's web, based on one of her stories. It was great, done so well and great actors. One moment you thought the kilelr was the girl, then the friend...


Jonathan (Jonathan_Maberry) | 9 comments Second book I ever read was LADY, LADY I DID IT by Ed McBain. The blend of intense human emotions and almost clinical police procedure was immediately compelling to me. I was eight or nine. I gobbled up McBain and gravitated to Sherlock Holmes. Then I discovered Travis McGee. I never looked back.


Jan C (woeisme) | 17831 comments Of course I started with Nancy Drew.

Then, years later when I was in college, one of my history professors recommended reading Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time (which I am getting ready to re-read shortly) and explained how historical research was like a mystery - you follow the trail wherever it leads. I've been reading mysteries ever since.

Most of my research now is just legal research for work. But, even so, sometimes there is still a trail to follow.


Lauren (lmorris) | 19 comments There are 2 main reasons I like this genre:
1. I love puzzles-some of them are obviously more comples (or convoluted) than others but I enjoy it anyway. I want to see if I can catch something before the detective.
2. the bad guy gets caught-justice!

I started reading Nancy Drew as a youth and have found many authors in this genre that I enjoy since then.


Vanessa (Vanessamc) I am into the puzzles also. They are a great way to relax and stimulate your brain at the same. I grew up loving books and like so many others, started with Nancy Drew. My mother was into Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt and Agatha Christie. There are so many great levels that a mystery lover can choose from. I love the FBI ones, the cop ones, the ones with romance, the serial killer ones. The fun never ends!!


message 39: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) | 2063 comments Mod
I'll dust this thread off, but I'll change it a little:

Which kind of crime fiction do you prefer and what is it exactly that you love about it?


message 40: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (last edited May 06, 2010 09:10AM) (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) | 2063 comments Mod
I said in my original post that it is my desire for order in the world that sparks me to read mysteries.

I tend to the cozy variety, no sex and violence. I don't like blood and gore or grisly moments with psychotic serial killers.

I like my mysteries to be intelligent, with likable characters. A dose of humor is always good. I really loved this month's group read, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, for example. And I love Dorothy Sayers and Janet Evanovich.


Kathy  (readr4ever) | 236 comments Hayes, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and its sequel The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag are just the best! Humor, especially witty repartee is an element I always enjoy, too. That's why I can't believe I haven't read Dorothy Sayers yet. I do have 3 of hers ready to go very soon. The new Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes novel, The God of the Hive, continues the great series by Laurie R. King. Russell and Holmes always have some great, witty conversations. Sue Grafton's ABC series is excellent, too, with her latest one, U is for Undertow, being one of the best so far. It's gratifying to see that an author can sustain the level of excellence in a long series. Of course, I've already raved about Agatha Christie, so I won't do that again. Another favorite series, with 4 so far, is the Adelia Aguilar (Mistress of the Art of Death being the first and A Murderous Procession being the latest). In the more cozy department is the Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton and the Lily Bard series by Charlaine Harris. Speaking of Charlaine Harris, the Southern Vampire series with Sookie Stackhouse is a top favorite of mine, qualifying for mysteries as they are, just with a vamp and supernatural theme.

I guess, Hayes, that I do read and enjoy some of the more violent ones, as I love Tess Gerritsen's Jane Rizzoli/Mara Isles series. It's not too bad, but I think it is definitely a step beyond the above reads. Val McDermid can have some rather more graphic parts, but really not too bad. McDermid's The Grave Tattoo was a great book with an old manuscript of William Wordsworth entwined into the mystery. Which brings me to another favorite type of mystery, the literary mystery. In fact the literary mystery and the historical fiction mystery are my two favorite types.


message 42: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 1984 comments Mod
I too have the desire for order and a sense of right and wrong that probably draws me to mysteries plus I have always liked all sorts of puzzles and brain teasers.

While there really is no substitute for a good cosy and a cup of tea - especially when you are under the weather - like Kathy I do enjoy some of the more violent and psychologically challenging series but I am not to proud to admit that on occasion I skim pages here and there to get to the solution of what makes people tick.

In the last few years I have really enjoyed works by international authors which are now being translated into English. It is very interesting to me to see the world from another perspective.


message 43: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (last edited May 06, 2010 10:08AM) (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) | 2063 comments Mod
I wonder what it is about the darker, violent stories that turns me off. I love the Russell-Holmes books, but King has written some other stand alones, Folly being my favorite (about woodworking, depression and madness) and is just splendid as well as being a really good mystery.

That's another thing I look for in a mystery, it has to be about something else as well. I loved Dick Francis' books for that reason, horses or photography or glassblowing was always mixed in with the story.

Keeping Watch is almost a sequel to Folly, but it was just too grisly for me (child terror). It was good, but just too dark.


Kathy  (readr4ever) | 236 comments Hayes wrote: "I wonder what it is about the darker, violent stories that turns me off. I love the Russell-Holmes books, but King has written some other stand alones, Folly being my favorite (about w..."

I have read a couple of King's stand alones and enjoyed them, The Art of Detection and Touchstone, but I haven't read Folly yet. I actually have it. I, also, shy away from child terror or crimes against children type of books. I just cringe at the thought of it. However, the first Adelia Aguilar book, Mistress of the Art of Death, does involve solving the mystery of missing and dead children. I was able to read that one and love the series, not sure why, but I did. Maybe because it was set in such the distant past.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 285 comments Kathy - Dorothy Sayers is wonderful. I have been a big fan since I was a teenager.


Kathy  (readr4ever) | 236 comments Susanna wrote: "Kathy - Dorothy Sayers is wonderful. I have been a big fan since I was a teenager."

I can't believe I haven't read her mysteries yet. Working on it.


Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 1083 comments I began, like so many others, with Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, and that was like eating one potato chip. I moved on to Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple, and they left me hungry for more. In college, I read "The Purloined Letter," the original modern detective novel. I was hooked and so lucky that mystery/detective novels became popular after I graduated. I like mysteries because I enjoy solving puzzles but, even if I don't solve the puzzle myself, there's always a solution, and that restores order. If only life's mysteries and conflicts could be so neatly resolved.


message 48: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 1984 comments Mod
Hi Scout, I read somewhere that mysteries increase in popularity during times of general difficulty, like the Great Depression or in wartime, because they allow conflicts to be resolved and order restored.


Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 1083 comments So true. In these troubling times, where ambiguity reigns, and where we feel helpless in the face of events and situations over which we have no control, it is good to read a mystery and find out "who done it" and to know that he or she will be punished.

I live close to the Gulf coast, and the oil spill is so depressing.


message 50: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) | 2063 comments Mod
Oh, Scout. The pictures I've seen are just so awful. Yet another blow to the Gulf, the ecosystem, the economy. Are they making headway with the new procedure?


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The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (other topics)
The God of the Hive (other topics)
Mistress of the Art of Death (other topics)
The Grave Tattoo (other topics)
A Murderous Procession (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Jo Nesbø (other topics)
P.D. James (other topics)
Erle Stanley Gardner (other topics)