Thursday, December 29, 2011
Miss Lemon's Mystery Roundup, 2011
Miss Lemon had many quiet moments to pause and reflect on these small quirks of inclination. So as the year 2011 draws to a close, she leaves her readers with just a few of her very favourites -- for their own reading and ruminating pleasure:
1. The Blackheath Poisonings (1978), by Julian Symons. In this Victorian-styled mystery, the twisted branches of the Mortimer family bear strange fruit indeed. Readers will find no shortage of suspense and sensation in this case of poisoning that is teased out in a cache of letters.
2. The Documents in the Case (1930), by Dorothy L. Sayers. Speaking of epistolary accounts of poisonings, one doesn't have to search too far to find a Golden-Age model for Symons' excellent mystery.
3. Three Blind Mice (1947), by Agatha Christie. While it is difficult to choose just one work by Agatha Christie as a favourite, Miss Lemon likes this one for its well-drawn set. When the snow begins to fall outside, this is just the book to have by your side.
4. Master of the Moor (1982), by Ruth Rendell. Having made quite a name for herself as doyenne of the psychological novel, there is no book that better shows off Ruth Rendell's virtuosity than this moody mystery. If you've not yet read it, delay no longer!
5. Lonelyheart 4122 (1967), by Colin Watson. One might think twice about trolling the lonelyhearts column for love after reading this satirically delicious romp through Flaxborough with the delightfully devilish Miss Teatime. It saddens Miss Lemon that Colin Watson is a mystery novelist largely forgotten today.
Here's to reading many more excellent mysteries in 2012!