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Golden Age Mysteries
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If you're interested in mysteries, and particularly in the history of the genre and mystery authors of the past, you might want to check out Steve Lewis' Mystery*File (There's a permanent link up at the top of the blog).

Mary has been reviewing Golden Age mysteries for the site. There is a list of her reviews on our homepage.

Her latest review, of Herbert Adams' Death of a Viewer, bends the definition of "Golden Age" a bit, since the novel was published in 1958, but Mary figured that since Adams had been writing since the 30's this book could be grandfathered in.

Both Mary and I generally prefer older books to newer ones. I don't usually reach quite as far back for reading material as Mary does, but rather into the forties, fifties and sixties. It may be that I most enjoy the sort of books I grew up with, in the same way I still favor the music from my youth. Those books define for me what books are all about.

Then too, a lot of modern novels seem primarily designed to elicit thrills, chills and emotional responses from readers, whereas I've always read more for intellectual stimulation. That's probably why I spent so much time reading science fiction when it was a literature of ideas (and never mind characters, plots and all that) and why I now tend to read older mysteries which were built around puzzles and the search for answers.

This isn't to say that such mysteries could not be about characters. Consider Simenon's Inspector Maigret. He spends his time uncovering the psychological motivations of his suspects. There is a lot in the Maigret books about people, but very little in the way of pushing the reader's emotional buttons.

Simenon was writing the Maigrets in the thirties, so I guess they are Golden Age mysteries. To me they seem modern, but there probably isn't enough gore or sensationalism to appeal to a mass readership today.

Mary has been collecting links to Golden Age mysteries. There are over 270 in The Maywrite Library.

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