Mystery is my favourite genre of literature.  Which is why the novel I am working on is a murder mystery.  (I write what I like!)  I got my hands on my mom’s copy of  The Hidden Staircase – the second Nancy Drew mystery – when I was 5 or 6.  I was hooked!  My wish lists for birthdays and holidays consisted of Nancy Drew books.  I bought as many as I could afford from the book sales at school. I’m talking about the yellow-spined hardcover books – not these new fangled paperbacks!  One Christmas I hit the jackpot!  I received a parcel that included about 6 new Nancy Drews.  I was in heaven!  I read Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, Dana Girls – all the young adult mysteries I could get my hands on.  I read other stuff – mostly science fiction and fantasy – but, mysteries were still my favourite.  Then, one day, I picked up my mom’s copy of A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton.  I might have read some ‘grown-up’ mysteries before that one, but I really remember my first Kinsey Millhone story.  She was a strong woman – flawed in all kinds of ways – yet smart, independent, tough, funny, and just enough like me for me to want to be her.

I have since read dozens of mysteries – some of them great, some of them good, some that made me wonder how they got published.  Still, I love them.  I’m reading stuff from the 1920s and 1930s to get a feel for the era – the language, the culture, what was acceptable in literature.  I found Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man a little hard to follow actually.  A little too much dialogue and not enough description for my liking.  However, it is a good study in 1930s mystery.  I am interested to read Red Harvest and The Dain Curse – two novels whose main character is the Continental Op, a character with no other name.  I will move on to Raymond Chandler and others soon.  Though on some level I think I have the hardboiled style well engrained in my mind as it is my favourite.

I’m looking forward to my summer as I plan to do as much mystery reading and writing as possible!