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Most Satisfying Mysteries
Brandi Larsen
Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 7:49 AM
Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 229

What are the most satisfying mysteries that you've read? Why did they work for you? And, how do you leverage what the author did in your own writing?

Nevena Georgieva
Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 11:12 AM
Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 438

This will sound old-fashioned and not particularly original, but I just love Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple books. I read in a wide range of genres, but Agatha Christie's mysteries are my book version of comfort food. Her books follow a formula that the reader recognizes and feels comforted by; and yet the endings are ingenious and never fail to surprise me. I love that Christie finds a good balance between the dark tone of the (often) grisly crimes and the cozy & full of local color settings. 
Andrea Matthews
Posted: Sunday, June 16, 2013 5:08 PM
Joined: 6/8/2013
Posts: 25

I too love Agatha Christie.  After all these years, I still think her mysteries are the yardstick by which others are measured.  I like the "who done it" part, so the mysteries I find most satisfying are those that keep you guessing right the the very end.  The best are the ones where the murderer is someone I never would have expected in a million years.  I also enjoy those that have recurring characters the most. 

Alexander Hollins
Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 11:43 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

Here's a fourth for Dame Christie. My favorite is her first, An Affair at Styles.  

Tony Hillerman's Detective Chee books. A. because I love the setting and the desert, but B. for the same reason as Christie. He gets PEOPLE, and a mystery is about PEOPLE, and why they do the things they do. 
Gigi Shengero
Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 10:33 PM
Joined: 4/26/2013
Posts: 3

I hate to be repetitious, but for Agatha, I would repeat and repeat! She IS the genre of mystery and I have yet to read anyone who can surpass her. What I love most about her books is that everyone has their own little mystery that eventually leads to the larger mystery at hand. And the character flaws are so real. 

I try, but can't even get close, to use her misdirects in my books. You think you know who the villain, but then surprise surprise, it's the person you least expected. That's the kind of writing that keeps you up til 3am.
Toni Smalley
Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 3:49 AM
Haha, this is great! Agatha is the winner so far, and for good reason.

@Nevena: I agree with everything you said. All the aspects you pointed out are why I love Christie's novels.

I'm most fond of Poirot. I love the intimate settings she creates, especially when she does it within exotic locations, like Death on the Nile. 

I'm such a nerd. I enjoyed these books so much, I jumped for joy when I found Agatha Christie 'hidden object' games online. I don't normally waste my life on video games, but it was so much fun pretending I was Poirot. I think that is part of the fascination of getting lost within her stories. They are so real and the mysteries are so intriguing you want to jump in the book and play Poirot's Hastings...(which I incorporated into a story of mine--the jumping in to play Hastings part).

My favorites are Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express, Peril at End House, Three Act Tragedy and, Halloween Party.

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