P.D. (Phyllis Dorothy) James included one chapter about four women authors who we might choose from at a later time (our group reads books by or about women). They were Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh. I believe the first three are British and Marsh is from New Zealand.
I suggested that we invite a mutual friend, Eve (pen name, JoAnna Carl), who is a professional mystery writer. We had a lively discussion about the differences between detective and mystery fiction. Eve talked about the importance of character and the setting of the story. She surprised us all by bringing many books from her private library and giving us the chance to borrow some of her favorites.
The book I borrow was in bad condition, with some of the pages about to fall out of the first signature. So I put some lace around the paperback and went to the library to borrow the same title, only a hardbound copy! The book I chose was written by Agatha Christie and called The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. It was written in 1926 and was one of her earliest novels (she began publishing in 1920 with a book called The Mysterious Affair at Styles). The detective in my story was the famous Hercule Poirot, who has appeared in 33 of Christie's novels and 54 short stories. I didn’t know that Poirot was Christie’s famous detective (though I was familiar with the name) when I began reading, and thought the doctor in the story was actually an amateur detective. Was I wrong!
I finished reading the book last week. And it was so much fun! Very unlike the other books I usually read...that is to say non-fiction! I’ve always enjoyed detective movies and television shows (one of my favorite is Monk), but I’ve never gotten into reading detective books.
Our book club all agreed to skip the summer months, so I started one of Eve's books that she gave me - The Chocolate Pirate Plot (from her chocolate mystery series). In September, we will all get together and meet again. Title: A Jane Austen Education, by William Deresiewicz. A man! It was published this year but is already in paperback .
This post is linked with my friends over at Inspire Me Monday.