I have been reading mystery novels since I was a teen. After being introduced to Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories (a favorite of my mother when she was a girl), I was hooked. I grew up on these as well as Dorothy Sayers' Peter Wimsey novels, almost everything by Agatha Christie (but especially the Miss Marple tales), and later Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series. These days I am a big fan of the mystery novel subgenre called the "cozy". While there is no hard and fast definition of the term, to me these stories revolve around an average person, often female, who leads an ordinary, everyday life until fate forces them to investigate a crime. From then on this person cannot stop running into murders wherever they go, and their detection skills keep improving as they continue to investigate. The protagonist usually either works from home, for example as a writer, or runs a small business, often revolving around some domestic art such as cooking, gardening, or interior design. For a much better description of the cozy mystery, and a very detailed list of the works of authors publishing in this genre, visit Cozy Mystery. This amazing site tracks a number of works by many authors -- I use it to keep up to date on what my favorites have published recently. Movie and TV mysteries are also covered, and a blog has been added as well.
Next week I will start to introduce some of my favorite authors. "The game is afoot", my friends, so keep reading those mysteries and use those "little gray cells"!