Monday, October 22, 2007

What's Your Favorite Today?

by Julia Buckley

Everyone loves mysteries. At least this was my assumption when I did a little informal poll with the query “What’s your favorite mystery?” These are results from real people who also happen to be related to me.

My twelve-year-old son said he enjoyed the Chet Gecko series of mysteries by Bruce Hale, with titles like The Big Nap and The Malted Falcon. (Both of my boys got to meet Hale last year, as pictured above. Note the cool Gecko pin on Hale's lapel.)

My nine-year-old son chose the Nate the Great series by Marjorie Sharmat; in honor of the season he chose Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt.

My husband loves The Judas Goat by Robert B. Parker.

I, as ever, would choose a title by Mary Stewart, as would my mom. She is currently reading Nine Coaches Waiting.

But beyond my family, I wanted to open this up to the Deadly Daughters and to mystery fans. Granted, your answer may change from day to day, so I’ll ask it this way: What’s your favorite mystery TODAY?


Keith Raffel said...

Wow! Your twelve-year old has quite a beard already!

Jackie Houchin said...

What a cool query! favorite mystery has to be "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. But I LOVE Mary Stewart, and of hers, I like "This Rough Magic." My very first mystery ever read, when I was about 12-13 was "Madam, Will you Talk?" That sold me on the author. I've collected all of her books since, although I wasn't so happy with the Merlyn trilogy. Jackie

Jackie Houchin said...

Ooops, I forgot! Thank you for the kids' choices too. I love the Sammy Keyes series by Wendelin Van Draanen. (I think boys would like it too.)

Rick Bylina said...

Best mystery of 2007: "The Virgin of Small Plains"

Best mystery movie: "The Maltese Falcon" or "Double Indemnity" or "Momento"

Best mystery twist: "Murder on the Orient Express" (I won't give it away, but I suspect most already know it.)

I don't think I have a favorite mystery novel of all-time. I've only come to mystery novels as of late. But here's a link to a list of the ten best.

Sigh. So many books; so little time without eye strain.


Sofie Kelly said...

The Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais. PJ Tracy's books about the Monkeewrench gang. Marcia Muller's series about PI Sharon McCone. Lynn Viehl's Darkyn books.

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

I might be able to get it down to 5: Janet Neel's DEATH'S BRIGHT ANGEL, Josephine Tey's BRAT FARRAR, Marcia Muller's BROKEN PROMISE LAND, Dorothy L. Sayers's GAUDY NIGHT, Margaret Maron's THE BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER.

Julia Buckley said...

Wow! What a great response.

Keith--yes, the boys do grow quickly. :) I know they're getting big and I'm getting old now that they both have bigger feet than I do.

Jackie, I've never read Jodi Picoult, but I'm going to have to give her a try--I've heard many good things. I LOVE Madam, Will You Talk AND This Rough Magic. Also Airs Above the Ground and The Ivy Tree, and a few more. :)

You must also check out Hank the Cowdog if you're looking for more kids' mysteries.

Rick--great selections! I loved Memento, too!

Darlene, I know it's a sin, but I haven't read Robert Crais yet. I have to jot all of these suggestions down.

And Liz, I also count Brat Farrar among my favorites, but I like Have His Carcase better than Gaudy Night.

Sandra Parshall said...

The real test is not whether I loved a book when I first read it, but whether I loved it just as much, or more, on the second read. While moderating a book discussion group for mystery writers, I've reread a number of books that I would have said I loved... and discovered that I didn't like them at all the second time around. I have read A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine more than twice and continue to love it. Same goes for Breakheart Hill and Mortal Memory by Thomas H. Cook. I reread Isak Dinesen's books all the time, in bits and pieces, and never tire of them. Not mysteries, but food for the creative soul. They remind me what writing is supposed to be.

Julia Buckley said...

I have always loved Ruth Rendell, although I haven't read her in years. Back before I worried over writing, I read more!

Unknown said...

Like Sandy, I judge my favorites by repeat performances. If I have to pick my ultimate favorite, I choose Dennis Lehane's Mystic River. Others I read over and over are:

Lehane's Kenzie/Gennaro series
Laura Lippman's Every Secret Thing
Robert B. Parker's Early Autumn, Paper Doll, Mortal Stakes, and Taming a Sea-horse
Cornelia Read's A Field of Darkness (yes, the book is fairly new, but I've still read it numerous times)
Many, many Ed McBains, including The Last Best Hope

Julia Buckley said...

Thanks, Carol! More for the list. I really need to read Mystic River--Lehane is so much discussed these days.

I'm squeamish about it because I don't want to cry. :)

Unknown said...

Julia, Mystic River will probably make you cry, but anyone with your love of language shouldn't miss the experience.