October 19, 2009

Welcome Mystery Novel Enthusiasts!


Who is this blog intended for? I created it for you, the mystery novel reader, and for you, the readers’ advisor who helps library patrons find the perfect book. The problem with mystery novels is their sheer numbers and variety. Do you prefer novels with police detectives, private investigators, or amateur detectives? Do you like hard-boiled mysteries or cozy English ones? Are you looking for a comic, historical, or psychological mystery? Do you like mysteries set in rural villages, glamorous settings, or exotic locales? How, in fact, do you find a novel suited to your tastes? As an avid reader myself, I know firsthand the frustrations of finding a mystery story suited to one’s interests.

What is the purpose of this blog? To help you find that perfect mystery novel! I will discuss a variety of mystery stories – some contemporary and some classic – but all highly readable. With each discussion of a book, I will address the following questions: What is the book’s appeal? What is it about this book that distinguishes it from others and makes it popular? What does the author do best?

I will label each blog with the elements that distinguish it – what Joyce Saricks calls its “appeal elements” (2005). These labels will also appear in the sidebar. Clicking on one of them (e.g. “rural setting,” rich/famous characters,” “plot driven”) will retrieve all books with this label, and help narrow down the field of mystery books. Labels will also be used to identify different types of mysteries such as “private investigator,” “hard-boiled,” or “golden age.”

Saricks, Joyce G. The Readers' Advisory Service in the Public Library. Chicago: American Library Association, 2005.