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March 20, 2014

13 Things About the Mystery Genre


Today, in honor of the contest below, my TT is all about mysteries and mystery writing.

Thirteen Things About The Mystery Genre

1. Mysteries as we know them, weren’t available to the reading public until Edgar Allen Poe introduced his fictional detective, Auguste C. Dupin in 1841.

2. His book, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, is an example of a locked room mystery. This is where the murder victim is discovered inside a sealed enclosure of some description.

3. Katherine Anne Green became the first woman to write and publish a detective mystery in 1878. Her book featured a detective who investigated a murder that occurred within a small group of people.

4. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced Sherlock Holmes and his friend Doctor Watson in 1887.

5. The golden age of mystery fiction arrived in the 1920s.

6. Agatha Christie is probably the most famous mystery writer with 50 plus books to her name.

7. Police procedurals entered the market in the 1940s.

8. Some of the most popular mysteries have been written for children such as the Nancy Drew Mysteries, the Hardy Boys, Famous Five and Secret Seven.

9. The mystery genre is a popular one, and there are many subgenres including cozy mysteries, hard-boiled detective, police procedural, whodunits, capers and some mysteries drift toward thrillers.

10. It’s said that the lack of mystery fiction before the 1800s occurred because there was no organized police force.

11. Fictional detectives usually fall into four categories: amateur, private investigator, police detective and forensic specialists.

12. Sherlock Holmes is very popular at present with two television series featuring modern retellings. There is Sherlock and Elementary. Other detectives such as Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple have also made our screen.

13. My favorite on screen mystery show is Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries featuring Phryne Fisher. It’s set in the late 1920s and is based on Australian Kerry Greenwood’s books.

Are you a mystery reader, and if so, which type do you prefer? Do you have a favorite series?

Sources: http://kids.mysterynet.com

CONTEST: Whether you’re a mystery reader or not, I hope you’ll enter the Not Your Usual Suspects mystery contest below. Complete the rafflecopter below to enter the draw to win a mystery.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Ron.

    Read a lot of Sherlock when I was younger, have read pretty much all of Dick Francis. smatterings of lots of others.

    • Shelley Munro

      I enjoy Dick Francis too. They’re good on audio.

  2. Journeywoman

    I like mysteries but I have to be in the right mood for them. I love Agatha Christie and both new Sherlock Holmes tv shows.

    My favorite right now, because of sucky things, is rereading early Stephanie Plum by Janet Evanovich. It is funny and engaging.

    • Shelley Munro

      I have to agree with you like the early Janet Evanovich books. Very funny.

    • Shelley Munro

      I’m glad you learned new stuff :)

  3. sandy

    air of mystery so compelling even this ship when the answer is probably quite mundane

    • Shelley Munro

      Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. LuAnn Braley

    New subscriber from Thursday 13. Mystery is my favorite genre. I love puzzles and things that need to be figured out. Have not really watched the Sherlock series that are out there, but I did enjoy Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett and (surprisingly to me) Robert Downey Jr on big and small screens.

    • Shelley Munro

      I thought Robert Downey Jnr was very good in the Sherlock movies. The Sherlock TV series are both very good. If you liked the movie you’ll probably enjoy the TV series.

  5. CountryDew

    I enjoy mysteries. I like Sue Grafton’s books, and Janet Evanovich’s (though I don’t really consider those mysteries myself). I took a course in detective & mystery stories when I was working on my masters and really enjoyed it. While we were watching a film in class one night, the lights flickered and the professor let out a kind of screech. He thought he saw somebody outside the window of the room. Later we learned that one of the English professors had died about that time. Mysterious, eh?

    • Shelley Munro

      Ooh, that is creepy!

  6. Alice Audrey

    I had heard before that Poe was the father of the modern mystery, but I never knew why.

    • Shelley Munro

      I learn all sorts of things while doing TTs :)

  7. Heather

    You know I love the mystery genre, whether it be a good suspense or a cozy, and have many favorite series – as my most recent two Thursday Thirteen posts support. Number 4…two of her contemporaries are worth noting: Mary Roberts Rinehart in the US (who published years before Christie), and Dorothy L. Sayers in the UK. And number 8…you missed one of my personal favorites, Trixie Belden. Cozy Mysteries to Catch up On

    • Shelley Munro

      Ah, I’d forgotten about Trixie Beldon. I read a few of those when I was younger.

  8. Jennifer Leeland

    Oooh I’m going to have to look up #13 now! This is awesome, Shelley! I didn’t know that Katherine Ann Green was the first female mystery writer.

    • Shelley Munro

      It’s really good, Jennifer, and the clothes she wears – to die for. I want one of each in my wardrobe.

  9. Sandra Cox

    Learned all kinds of stuff today. Thanks:)

    • Shelley Munro

      Thanks for visiting.

  10. Maria Zannini

    Wow! #10 really took me by surprise.

    Fascinating list, Shelley!

    • Shelley Munro

      It makes sense when you think about it. Readers seemed to like scary stuff back then.

  11. Sandra Van Coevering

    The list has given me some new books to look for. Thank you.

    • Shelley Munro

      That’s great. Glad to help :)


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