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Reflections on the #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I discussed different book genres/categories. Each day, I gave a few details about the genre/catego...

April 15, 2024

M is for Mystery #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber

#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter M

For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the genre/category and an example or two. I would love to know your thoughts on the genre/category and if you have any reading suggestions. Be sure to check out all of my A to Z posts.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site.

Mystery is a subgenre of Crime Fiction along with Suspense and Thriller. A mystery usually features a detective or sleuth who is attempting to solve the mystery. Almost always the mystery is murder but it can be other crimes such as kidnapping. 

The mystery genre didn't get its start until the early 1800s. Edgar Allen Poe wrote one of the earliest known mysteries The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841). My mystery book club read The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868). But it is Arthur Conan Doyle who is credited with making the genre popular when he introduced Sherlock Holmes in 1887. Dime novels and pulp fiction magazines spurred on the genre at the turn of the century. The 1920s was when the genre solidified its mainstream status. The development of juvenile fiction novels The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, written by Edward Stratemeyer under pseudonyms, added to the popularity of the genre. The 1920s gave rise to perhaps the most famous and loved mystery writer Agatha Christie. Her 1939 novel An Then There Were None is the world's best-selling mystery according to Wikipedia

Mysteries are often realistic fiction, but there can be fantasy mysteries and science fiction mysteries. I really enjoyed The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal which is set on a spaceship but has a 1940s vibe. My book club read the fantasy mystery The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton which is a time loop novel set in a mysterious prison. At Halloween, I often read paranormal cozy mysteries that feature witches, vampires, ghosts, etc. I actually read a lot of cozy mysteries - I don't think I could name all the series that I read.

The first several months of the mystery book club we sampled different types of mysteries. In addition of the fantasy and sci-fi mysteries, we've read hard-boiled, noir, true crime, cozy, and even a translated mystery. 

I'm reading two mysteries right now. One is for this month's mystery book club and the second is a book I'm reviewing.

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

book cover of Australian mystery The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland. They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old, no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

Buy The Lost Man at Amazon

Death and Glory by Will Thomas

book cover of historical mystery Death and Glory by Will Thomas

Private Enquiry agent Cyrus Barker, along with his partner Thomas Llewelyn, has a long, accomplished history - he's taken on cases for Scotland Yard, the Foreign Office, and even the crown itself, fulfilling them all with great skill and discretion. None of those cases, however, are as delicate and complicated as the one laid before him by a delegation of men who, thirty years before, fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. These men want to revive the Confederacy with a warship promised to the Rebels from the British Government in 1865. To get it now, they're threatening to reveal the long-secret treaty with the Confederacy. Barker is hired to use his connections to discreetly bring their threats to the Prime Minister.

With a web of prominent, if secret, supporters throughout England ready to through their support to their efforts to wage war anew on the United States, the delegates are just waiting for the warship to begin their plans. But some of the men are not who they claim to be, and the American government has their own team watching, and waiting, for the right moment to take action.

As this fuse on this powder keg of a situation grows ever shorter, it's up to Barker & Llewelyn to uncover the real identities and plans of these dangerous men.

Buy Death and Glory at Amazon 

If you like listening to books, I prefer listening to the audiobook for this series. Death and Glory is book 15 of the series, but it is only the 4th book of the series I've read. You can check out my review of the previous book Heart of the Nile.

Do you enjoy mysteries? Do you have a certain type of mystery you prefer or a favorite author?

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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  2. I'm not sure I have a favorite author in mysteries, because I seem to read different authors according to different moods. I love thrillers, but I also love mysteries with the literary edge. I love young adult ministries. I love Edgar Allan Poe. I love Agatha Christie. I love Harlan Coen, Dennis Lehane, John Grisham and Michael Connelly. I love most of Colleen Hoover's books (not all).
    I love mysteries, and I really enjoyed your article telling the different types and history of the mystery genre.They both sound interesting, but I'd probably enjoy The Lost Man the most. Thanks for introducing them to us.

  3. I enjoy a good who-dunnit. I don't have a favourite author, as I read whatever I can get my hands on.

    Ronel visiting for M: My Languishing TBR: M