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Golden Age Mysteries
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A reader once remarked to Mary that she had enjoyed some of our mysteries in Mike Ashley's Mammoth collections but had assumed, judging from the style, that they were penned during the first half of twentieth century. She was surprised, and pleased I guess, to find out we were still alive and writing.

I can't speak for Mary, but I've never cared about keeping up with literary fashion. My tastes were formed when I started reading in the late fifties and early sixties. Most of the books I encountered -- the great majority of them from the library shelves -- dated to a still earlier era. My aesthetic sense hasn't changed much and it certainly no longer matches that of today.

I know I ought to be educating myself with this year's Edgar nominees but instead, last week, I read The White People by Arthur Machen (from the 1890s) and several essays written around 1910 by Max Beerbohm. The newest piece I read was an article about the law of actions in Justinian's Institutes. The article was recent, but the Institutes were compiled back in 535.

Mary at least reads classic mysteries. Now she's begun to collect links to a selection on online golden age whodunits which I've posted at our website in the Maywrite Library. There are familiar classics in Mary's library but also quite a number of titles from authors who've been largely forgotten.

The styles may be what some consider stodgy. The authors may break every modern rule. But people liked them at the time they were written and a lot of people still like them today.

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