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Old 06-27-2011, 11:48 AM   #31
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What it is with Christie is that, while today her writing appears conventional and she is of course often copied, she actually originated many things - such as her original novel "And Then There Were None", which we know the general framework of has become a standard "type" of story now.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:50 AM   #32
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Patricia Cornwell is a good (contemporary living) writer in the genre I think. Christie is a classic writer in the genre especially with her "10 Little Indians" and "Orient Express."
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:07 PM   #33
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Yes, you are right about Agatha Christie, but for me she was the one to invent the detective with funny personal habits that is still one of the trademarks of the genre. I am not sure if this perception is valid, there could have been earlier rolemodels as those by Agatha Christie (Poirot, Miss Marple) but hers seem to be the most influencial ones on the genre.

Or am I mistaken?
Agatha Christie herself said she was basing her Hercules Poirot character -the private detective with the quirky methods, the great deductive powers , and the loyal sidekick- on Sherlock Holmes .
What's interesting is that if you take one road from Holmes and Watson, you end up with Poirot and Hastings.
IF you take another road, you end up with Easy Rawlins and Mouse-and Spenser and Hawk!
You take still another road , you end up with the "scientific method" and the police procedural
Finally , if you start from the Sherlock Holmes of "His Last Bow" you end up with the spy thriller.
In the mystery genre, all roads lead back to 221B Baker Street!
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:10 PM   #34
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I preferred Patricia Cornwell's early books. I have become very tired of some of her regular characters. I really don't like Mario and Lucy.

I think Kathy Reichs produces similar books (no doubt originally inspired by Cornwell) but I find hers more readable than Cornwell's later books.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:21 PM   #35
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What it is with Christie is that, while today her writing appears conventional and she is of course often copied, she actually originated many things - such as her original novel "And Then There Were None", which we know the general framework of has become a standard "type" of story now.
And of course, "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" was the first example of what's become another classic genre (which I won't spoil by saying what it is ).

Last edited by HarryT; 06-27-2011 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:43 PM   #36
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And of course, "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" was the first example of what's become another classic genre (which I won't spoil by saying what it is ).
Roger Ackroyd was MURDERED???? Now I am shocked! Does the know about it? They have to the perpetrator ASAP!

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:57 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonetools View Post
Agatha Christie herself said she was basing her Hercules Poirot character -the private detective with the quirky methods, the great deductive powers , and the loyal sidekick- on Sherlock Holmes .
What's interesting is that if you take one road from Holmes and Watson, you end up with Poirot and Hastings.
IF you take another road, you end up with Easy Rawlins and Mouse-and Spenser and Hawk!
You take still another road , you end up with the "scientific method" and the police procedural
Finally , if you start from the Sherlock Holmes of "His Last Bow" you end up with the spy thriller.
In the mystery genre, all roads lead back to 221B Baker Street!
But Edgar Alan Poe blazed the trail that became the road that led to 221B baker street.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:19 PM   #38
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I think that Dashiell Hammett deliberately rejected Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:01 PM   #39
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Hammett and Chandler clearly rejected the English cozy mystery tradition , which they thought sissified and unrealistic . They embraced the side of Holmes who was expert in the ancient fighting art of baritsu , who had a sidekick who was a former soldier who carried a gun, and who had his street sources- the Baker Street Irregulars.
They clearly saw themselves as moving beyond Holmes in a more realistic direction. But the ghost of Holmes stands behind all mystery heroes.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:16 PM   #40
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Quote:
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Hammett and Chandler clearly rejected the English cozy mystery tradition , which they thought sissified and unrealistic . They embraced the side of Holmes who was expert in the ancient fighting art of baritsu , who had a sidekick who was a former soldier who carried a gun, and who had his street sources- the Baker Street Irregulars.
They clearly saw themselves as moving beyond Holmes in a more realistic direction. But the ghost of Holmes stands behind all mystery heroes.
If Hammett and Chandler had heroes who had sidekicks and were martial arts experts, I must have missed those stories. What were they?
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:18 PM   #41
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If Hammett and Chandler had heroes who had sidekicks and were martial arts experts, I must have missed those stories. What were they?
Well, of course they didn't COPY Holmes. To that extent, I suppose you could say they rejected him. They did follow Holmes insofar as Holmes was a private investigator, who picked and chose his own cases, who lived close to the street, and who could get physical if necessary. Heck, Holmes was a drug user- how's that fora flawed hero?
There are a lot of differences in tone, language and mileu between Holmes and Sam Spade. But there are definitely some continuities.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:07 PM   #42
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I happen to like the Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series by Tess Gerritsen.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:21 PM   #43
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I happen to like the Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles series by Tess Gerritsen.
Shame the TV series is so bad really.

Such a large genre, with so many off shoots - can we even contemplate comparing Christie to McDermid?

Personally, I keep returning to writers such as Reginald Hill for Daziel and Pascoe, John Harvey and his Resnick books, Peter Robinson and his Alan Banks series and Val McDermid for the Hill and Jordan series. I also dip into the odd Barbara Vine, P D James and R D Wingfield.

I guess due to being able to relate to UK-based narrative and locale, I find these have more depth for me than US writers and generally find the characters are fleshed out more.

A single book to pick.........probably The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid, has everything I enjoy.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:12 PM   #44
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Berlin Noir

I have read most of the mysteries in this thread, All should be read by anyone who enjoys the genre. I am surprised no one has mentioned Rex Stout or Nicholas Blake. The Scandinavian authors are also very good. A lesser known author, Reed Farrel Coleman, is very complex. But my current personal favorite is Berlin Noir by Philip Kerr.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:53 PM   #45
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Hammett and Chandler clearly rejected the English cozy mystery tradition , which they thought sissified and unrealistic.
Chandler spent many of his early years in England. His spelling is at times more British than American. I wonder if his years in rainy England brought his experience of California into stellar relief.

In any case, Chandler gets my vote. He is F. Scott Fitzgerald with bullets and just as much liquor. Must one be an alcoholic to be a genius author in America (or anywhere)?

I think the Long Goodbye takes the prize. I must try Hammett, but I find it hard to believe he is in the same league as Chandler. He transcended the genre. His characterization and description are sublime. Bloody dense read at times.
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