Your favorite Mystery novels

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krystal.glass

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Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby krystal.glass » March 6th, 2008, 3:31 am

(I just realized I posted this topic in the wrong group..)

I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie's work... and among her books my favorites are:

-Evil Under the Sun (my favorite mystery novel to date)
-Appointment With Death
-Death in the Clouds
-The A.B.C Murders (the first one I read, so it's a favorite...)

All of them are Hercule Poirot.. because he's my favorite detective (I mean, other than Heiji and Conan/Shinichi, that is)

One of my favorite short stories by Doyle (a Sherlock Holmes mystery) is 'The Speckled Band' I don't really know why though..

So what are your favorite mystery novels of all time?
"But perhaps my first mistake lies in trying to find motive, in thinking of humans as rational beings whose actions spring from logical reasons."

~Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, in the short story "The Love of a Good Man" part of "The Unknown Errors of Our Lives"
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Jd-
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby Jd- » March 6th, 2008, 3:57 am

As for just novels...

The Valley of Fear (Doyle/Holmes) [Only putting my favorite of the Holmes novels, though all four rank highly for me]
And Then There Were None (Christie)
The Three Coffins (Carr/Fell)
Murder in Mespotamia (Christie/Poirot)
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Stevenson)
The Body in the Library (Christie/Marple)
The Greek Coffin Mystery (Queen)
The Murder on the Orient Express (Christie/Poirot)

Those are all I feel like listing at the moment, but if I made a comprehensive list... Several Christie novels would appear, as well as all four Holmes (but they need not be mentioned, really).

As for my favorite mystery of all time and not just novels... Definitely "The Speckled Band," but followed closely by "The Red-Headed League" and "The Dancing Men." Of course, who can forget the twist from The Murder on the Orient Express? Christie is really at her best there.

In fact, here's my Holmes top 10 for kicks... (And yes, I intentionally exclude "The Adventure of", as it gets a bit redundant these days :P)

1. The Speckled Band [Holmes is at his best here; no other place in the Canon does he exhibit such mastery over a mystery]
2. The Red-Headed League [One of the all-time classic "what the...?" premises that still holds up all these years later]
3. The Dancing Men [A favorite of mine because of the pacing: Holmes is given a code to solve whilst the story behind the drama continues undaunted]
4. The Six Napoleons [This is probably my favorite re-read story, as it really just brings a lot of elements together. The ending scene with Holmes destroying the [won't spoil it] after buying it and all rights to it is amazing]
5. A Scandal in Bohemia [I guess no real explanation is needed here. Irene Adler has becoming one of the most famous one-time characters of all time. Seeing Holmes match wits with someone of the opposite sex who has little problem besting him is one of the highlights of the Canon]
6. The Final Problem [Though it really must have been tragic in 1883, it's really just exciting to read now. The conversation between Moriarty & Holmes at Baker Street is some of the most famous discourse in all of literature]
7. The Blue Carbuncle [One of the better examples of Holmes's sympathy to the perpetrator, the story really highlights the spirit of the holiday well. And who can forget the classic line: "After all, Watson, I am not retained by the police to supply their deficiencies."]
8. The Devil's Foot [Seeing Holmes act more in retrospect than in his usual active nature makes this story stand out for me. The mystery here is really one of great suspense, considering you have a crime that has caused great horror and claimed one victim--yet leaving you with one key witness. The final exchange between Holmes and Dr. Sterndale is, again, another classic moment. "That is what you may expect to see when I follow you."
9. The Second Stain [likely the best "procedural" in the entire Canon. Seeing Holmes's spontaneous plan work out so well at the closing is really my favorite part of the story]
10. The Empty House [No explanation is really needed here: It's the return. So many things about this story bring the characters to life, especially if you read this and "The Final Problem" back-to-back. Even though I already knew about Holmes's "death" and return before I read the story all those years ago, I still really felt that Sherlock Holmes had really returned.]

If you (or anyone, really) ever wants to talk about the Canon at length, come on IRC and we'll talk all night :P. I do love Christie's works a great deal, but the Holmes canon is my first love.
Last edited by Jd- on March 26th, 2008, 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kaitoukidsama

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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby Kaitoukidsama » March 6th, 2008, 4:08 am

And then there were None
Death on the Nile
Murder on the Orient Express

All Agatha Christie... who, imo, pwns Doyle

My bad... wrong title... It's late at night T_T
Last edited by Kaitoukidsama on March 6th, 2008, 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby cnav » March 6th, 2008, 4:37 am

I only read The FIve Find Outers. ;)
krystal.glass

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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby krystal.glass » March 6th, 2008, 8:17 am

@-Jd:

:P You're totally right.. I don't know how I managed to forget Murder on the Orient Express! Certainly Christie at her best... Evil Under the Sun is still my favorite, though. It had me so gripped I finished it within a few hours while waiting for a flight in an airport...

-

I'm tackling And Then There Were None right now because everyone keeps telling me how wonderful it is but I can't seem to find time for it.

And yes, The Speckled Band is definitely the best Holmes mystery out there... and thx for listing your favs. now I can go check those out!!  ;)

I still think Christie is better than Doyle, but hey - everyone has preferences!
"But perhaps my first mistake lies in trying to find motive, in thinking of humans as rational beings whose actions spring from logical reasons."

~Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, in the short story "The Love of a Good Man" part of "The Unknown Errors of Our Lives"
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http://acrazylilworld.blogspot.com
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby Tsurugi » March 6th, 2008, 12:03 pm

Considering "And Then There Were None" is the only full mystery novel I've ever read, it's automatically my favorite. Got through that thing the night that I bought it. Even though I've known the story behind it for years, it was so well-written that I just couldn't put it down. ;D

I started "Murder on the Orient Express" after ATTWN, but put it down after like 30 pages for some reason. Once I get through these books I'm reading for English class I'll probably pick it back up.

I've also read, by Christie, the short story version of the legendary play "The Mousetrap", as well as the other short stories that came along it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Blin ... er_Stories

I need to read some more mystery <_<
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby Jd- » March 6th, 2008, 12:28 pm

And Then There Were None is what I call "everybody's mystery," because it's pretty difficult not to like it. For those looking for not only a great read but also an exhilarating mystery, check it out. The twist has probably already been spoiled to death for everyone, but it's still worth reading regardless. Yes, it's that good :P.

Of course, I always suggest the Holmes stories. You can start at the beginning or jump around; there's no real connection between the cases in nearly the entire Canon. I would definitely suggest starting with "The Speckled Band," though. Since all of the copyrights have expired on the stories, you can find them online very easily (I think the Casebook--the final collection--expired in 2003).

If you are really interested and have some money to spend, invest in Leslie Klinger's complete annotated versions (3 volumes total). There's almost too much information in those behemoths. If you're looking for something a bit cheaper and not nearly as hefty, the Kyle Freeman editions--without annotations, of course, but with a fantastic introduction and some helpful footnotes--are available in two volumes for pretty cheap. I highly recommend the Klinger works, but be warned they are very focused on "The Game" aspect of Holmenesia and not for passing fans.
Last edited by Jd- on March 6th, 2008, 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
karitaru
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby karitaru » March 6th, 2008, 12:46 pm

Indeed, "and then there were none" is a masterpiece.
I can't but say that "the murder of Roger Ackroyed" is by far my best mystery novel. I prefered it the second time I read it.
I would say that the "orient express" really shows the genious of Agatha Christie.
"Mesopotemia" was excellent too.
When I compare Doyle to Christie, I find that I prefer Sherlock to Poirot, yet I prefer Christie to Doyle. You see the irony there.
"The dancing men," by the way, is stolen from Poe. There is nothing new there. Read Poe's "the golden bug."

As far as overrated Holmes stories. I really hated "the speckled band," no matter how many times I read it.
Same goes for "the hound of baskerville." If I had read that as my first mystery novel, I am sure I would have stopped reading.
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krystal.glass

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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby krystal.glass » March 6th, 2008, 12:56 pm

Haha.. I think the whole world knows about the twist of ATTWN by now... But I read the first chapter and while I wasn't completely hooked, I found the style to be very nice. I'm sure if I find the time, I'll finish it.

"The Speckled Band" was my only favorite Holmes, simply because the mystery was interesting... But the character of Poirot is so much more interesting to me than Holmes, who seemed to me a little too perfect (in a sense). I've met so many Holmes buffs who have tried to convince me otherwise, but I still don't like the guy for some reason...

Anyway, thx -Jd, I will definitely give the mentioned suggestions a glance when I do get to  ;D Your suggestions are much appreciated.
"But perhaps my first mistake lies in trying to find motive, in thinking of humans as rational beings whose actions spring from logical reasons."

~Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, in the short story "The Love of a Good Man" part of "The Unknown Errors of Our Lives"
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my blogs! http://things-i-hear.blogspot.com
http://acrazylilworld.blogspot.com
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby Jd- » March 6th, 2008, 1:16 pm

karitaru wrote:"The dancing men," by the way, is stolen from Poe. There is nothing new there. Read Poe's "the golden bug."


You mean "The Gold-Bug" I think, and it wasn't "stolen" (lol). Poe didn't bring cryptology to literature at all, even though he did popularize it to an extent like he did many things (including the private, cerebral detective). Robinson Crusoe (forgot the author's name at the moment) which was published like 100 years earlier than "The Gold-Bug" has a cryptogram and a method by which it's solved similar to Poe & Doyle's. That would mean basically everyone beyond that copied 'Cruesoe :P (especially since Robinson Crusoe is one of the earliest mass-published works in our language).

Krystal: Heh, don't listen to most self-purported "Holmes buffs." Most of them are too obsessed with pretending they're Holmes fans than actually reading the stories. :P
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby krystal.glass » March 6th, 2008, 1:29 pm

Jd- wrote:Krystal: Heh, don't listen to most self-purported "Holmes buffs." Most of them are too obsessed with pretending they're Holmes fans than actually reading the stories. :P


Yeah, I'll keep that in mind. In spite of my disliking for the character of Holmes, I still read Doyle's mysteries, simply because the  cases are so nice and hard to solve (solving them is exciting). I have a particular liking for his short stories which involve locked room murders... those have always been my favorite, and probably always will be.  :D
"But perhaps my first mistake lies in trying to find motive, in thinking of humans as rational beings whose actions spring from logical reasons."

~Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, in the short story "The Love of a Good Man" part of "The Unknown Errors of Our Lives"
---------------------------------------------------------------
my blogs! http://things-i-hear.blogspot.com
http://acrazylilworld.blogspot.com
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby EpoxElypse » March 6th, 2008, 2:29 pm

All the Encyclopedia Brown novels. hahahaha

Used to love those as a child.
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Heiji

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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby Heiji » March 6th, 2008, 2:50 pm

Well, my favourites are almost the same as JD's, but I would to push The Dancing Men at the Top of the List and add the Pastich The Adventure of the Gloria Scott because I found it very interesting to dig out some information about Holmes past and his first Case.
The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire was quite cool, too^^
The Klinger Books are on my List since the Holmes Bookstore here in Germany has them, but I haven't got the chance yet to buy them :(
What I want to recommend to all of the Holmes Fans out there is the TV Series with Jeremy Brett from England. If Irene Adler is THE Woman, then (I think not only in my opinion) Brett is THE Holmes, he is the best Holmes I've seen so far...and I've seen a lot ;)
But at the moment I'm reading Murder at the Orient Express and after that I want to buy the Book "Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination" by Ranpo Edogawa (I hope this is the english title, I only know the German one *lol*)
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby Jd- » March 6th, 2008, 3:59 pm

Jeremy Brett is the definitive Holmes on screen--won't see any argument from me. I love Brett as Holmes; he's a great character actor and it really shows. Edward Hardwicke is great as Watson, and, in my opinion, far superior to David Burke as the character. Burke just wasn't selling me at all on anything, but he did a pretty convincing run in "The Final Problem," at least.

While the Granada adaptations are amazing for their general faithfulness, I do get annoyed quite a bit with certain episodes. For a number of stories, they completely re-write the endings for no apparent reason. While a good many range from very faithful ("The Second Stain" comes to mind) to mostly faithful, there are a number of situations where they are just re-writing key plots for no real reason. I do have to say that, toward the end of the series' run, they just went out of their minds. Given, Brett was in ill health at the time, but it wasn't a great way to go out. Up until "The Master Blackmailer," they had done a much better job than anyone else. But from "The Master Blackmailer" to "The Eligible Bachelor," they were just wasting time by senselessly adding in much more material for the stories to make them two hour movies instead of one hour episodes. Those were two years wasted that could have been used to film much more of the Canon... But I'm off on a tangent here. That's all from me for now >.>.

In short: Brett is amazing, some of the producers' choices were not. All in all, highly recommendable series if only for Brett's masterful performances of the character.
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Re: Your favorite Mystery novels

Postby karitaru » March 6th, 2008, 5:15 pm

Heiji wrote:... after that I want to buy the Book "Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination" by Ranpo Edogawa (I hope this is the english title, I only know the German one *lol*)


Oh, man, that is a great book. Somewhat creepy, but the nearest I could find to Poe's style in horror. If you are looking for mystery, there are no good mystery stories here.
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