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52 mystery authors

(If you’re wondering about the abrupt start to this blog, it’s because I have just moved it from another blogging service. To visit my old blog and see my original reading challenge, essays and book reviews, click here)

I just realised I have a perfect new reading challenge lined up. A while ago I asked the members of my favourite book forum to recommend to me some good mystery authors in the hope that it would yield a good number of “new” authors. The result was a long list of authors, some of whom I was familiar with, some I had only heard mentioned, and many I knew nothing about. I compared the list with the library database and found books by more than half the authors on the list. In addition, I have several books by mystery authors I have not read before in my TBR pile. Since I have this many authors and books lined up, and all in one genre, I decided to make it a challenge to discover new mystery authors (new to me).

I am not going to be strict about the time I give myself to read each book, so although the challenge will cover 52 authors, it will not take 52 weeks to finish like the previous challenge. It will probably take longer, depending on how many other books intrude on the challenge, and how my studies are going (my Master’s dissertation looms up ahead and will take at least a couple of months to finish). I may read more than one book by some authors, if they are available. Whenever I discover a new series, I like to read 2-3 books from that series, one after the other, to get a feel for the author, the development of the series characters and the improving or declining quality of the writing and the plotting.

I will read mysteries from my TBR pile, and fill up the list to 52 with authors from the Reader’s Paradise list that are available at the Reykjavík city library.

The authors are varied. Some are modern, others date back to the Golden Era of detective fiction, and at least one is so old that his books are in the public domain. Several write cosies (mysteries with little or no violence and amateur investigators), others write police procedurals, books based on scientific principles, spy mysteries, futuristic stories or historicals. It’s possible that some of the mysteries may not even be crime related, or not about murder, although that is certainly the most common crime in mysteries. The investigators are a mixture of accidental innocents and amateur sleuths (what I call crime magnets in the case of series characters), private investigators, lawyers, police officers and professional witnesses. I’m sure other kinds of investigators will surface once I start reading.

I will reveal the author’s names only as the challenge progresses, and I will not read them in alphabetical order. I will continue to read and review other books as well.

For my regular readers from Tblog (I’m sure there are still a few, even after my prolonged absence): I am changing the format for the information I give for the books, so that there will be more detail about which mystery sub-genre the book belongs to and what kind of investigator is involved.

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