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You can call me Hal.

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The Science of Mysteries and the Love of Mysteries
When I need a brain break at work, I read science blogs. When I'm lazing about at home, I read mysteries. So I was excited to find this series of articles investigating some of the science in classic mysteries by some fantastic science writers. (Bonus 1: the science writers are all women. Bonus 2: the mystery writers are all women.)

Total Eclipse of the Heart (Jennifer Ouellette at Discovery News on Jane Langton's Dark Nantucket Noon)

Instructions for a Deadly Dinner (Deborah Blum at Speakeasy Science, on Dorothy Sayers' Strong Poison)

Watch Where You Fall In (Ann Finkbeiner at The Last Word on Nothing, on Josephine Tey's To Love and Be Wise)

For Whom the Bells Toll (Jennifer Ouellette at Cocktail Party Physics, on Dorothy Sayers' The Nine Tailors)

Of Granular Materials and Singing Sands (Jennifer Ouellette at Cocktail Party Physics, on Josephine Tey's The Singing Sands)

These were all great articles, but I think my favourite was the one on Strong Poison.

I'm re-reading Tey's The Man in the Queue right now -- I love her whimsical style. Here's a favourite passage:

...the waiting room was panelled in oak that extinguished the last valiant ray of light as it fought its way past the old greenish glass of the window-pane. The light died on the window-sill as the last survivor of a charge dies on the enemy parapet, murdered but glorious.

I had never heard of Jane Langton before, so I will have to check her out. Besides Sayers and Tey, I am v. fond of Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh. I have tried Margery Allingham but her books feel more thriller than mystery to me. More recent authors I love are P.D. James and, of course, Sarah Caudwell.

Who are your faves? Any recommendations?

Crossposted: http://prillalar.dreamwidth.org/491587.html

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Ellis Peters. Brother Cadfael, but also the George Felse books, which I really like.

I read a bunch of Cadfael years ago but I've never tried the Felse books, so I'll put them on the list. Thanks for the rec!

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I do the same thing except instead of the Psychological Aspects of Neurology Journal it's Sweet Valley High.

I am so tracking this post, because I've always been a Christie and Sayers lover, but never really branched out much beyond them. Thanks for the recs!

Definitely give Ngaio Marsh a try -- she's my favourite of the Big Three!

Edited at 2011-12-30 03:25 am (UTC)

I should start from Agatha Christie... I can't recall reading much mystery/detective stories, if you exclude Sherlock Holmes and the Philip Marlowe books by Raymond Chandler, which I enjoyed a lot.

You should! She is delightful. :)

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