Librarian: BHG

Christie, Agatha

Representative Title(s):
The Murder at the Vicarage; The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Major Appeals:
Intricately plotted, suspenseful, compelling, cozy mystery, fair play
Writing Profile:
Christie is known for her clever, complex plots. She writes “fair play” mysteries where no clues are hidden from the reader, so with careful attention it is possible to solve the mystery. Her investigating characters are intelligent and often underestimated, finding their way into social spheres that might not typically be open to them. Typical of cozy mysteries, violence and gory details take place off-stage. Justice usually prevails and in almost all cases there is a clear resolution to the mystery.

Author: John Dickson Carr

Read-a-like Title(s): The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes; He Who Whispers

Corresponding Appeals: Compelling, intricately plotted, ominous, atmospheric

Writing Profile: Carr writes atmospheric and intricately plotted mysteries. Most often he writes “locked room mysteries” where the crime seems to be unexplainable. His investigators make keen observations and don’t let seemingly supernatural forces fool them. His writing is characterized by an ominous tone, slow-simmering suspense, and complex puzzles.

Author: Margery Allingham

Read-a-like Title(s): The Tiger in the Smoke

Corresponding Appeals: Cozy mystery, intricately plotted, ominous, atmospheric

Writing Profile: Allingham’s writing is witty and atmospheric with a vivacious flair. Her sleuths are unassuming and unobtrusive, but keenly observant.  Her stories are engaging and full of tension, often with characters challenging society’s notions of propriety as they investigate each mystery.

Author: M.C. Beaton

Read-a-like Title(s): Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death; Death of a Gossip

Corresponding Appeals: Cozy mystery, intricately plotted, amusing, upbeat, fast-paced, strong sense of place

Writing Profile: Beaton writes eccentric characters, vividly detailed settings, and intricate plots with a strong measure of humor. Like Christie, Beaton makes use of fair play so that readers can try to solve the mystery along with the sleuths. Her well-constructed plots are creative and well-paced, but her quirky characters and strong sense of wit steal the show.

Study Of: All | Mystery