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Golden Age Writing
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If you're interested in Golden Age mysteries you might want to check out two recent reviews by Mary: Ronald Standish, by Sapper at S.T. Karnik's The American Culture. and A Master of Mysteries, by Robert Eustace and L.T. Meade, at Alan J. Bishop's Criminal History.

We have a page with links to all of Mary's reviews on our website and she has also compiled over two hundred links to free online texts of mysteries.

Although Mary is much more of an authority on Golden Age mysteries than I am, I share her preference for old books. Perhaps it is just a case of liking the sort of writing that first drew me to the magic of words, but I still consider the science fiction from the forties and fifties which I devoured as a kid superior to most modern stuff. In fact, I gave up on science fiction back in the early seventies when, it seemed to me, much of it became too self consciously literary.

I enjoyed the intellectual content in science fiction, the wild ideas and extrapolations. Just because critics might consider style or characterization to be the most important elements by which to judge books doesn't make it so.

Like early science fiction, old mysteries, with their devious puzzles, tend to stress the intellectual element over style and characters. It's probably fair to say that the mysteries Mary and I write owe more to Golden Age books than to modern ones. To us style means saying what you want to say clearly and concisely, period. We make sure there is a mystery puzzle to be solved and that clues are presented fairly. Our characters tend to be more philosophical than overtly emotional.

None of which, probably, appeals to the average modern reader, but it is the sort of thing which appeals to us.

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