Questions tagged [mystery-novels]

Questions about a type of novels that typically involves a mysterious death or a crime to be solved, a closed circle of suspects (each with a credible motive) and a detective who solves the crime. Use this tag for general questions about the genre, NOT for any question involving a mystery novel.

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What is the meaning of the cabdriver's retort in Chandler's "The Long Goodbye"?

In Raymond Chandler's 1953 novel "The Long Goodbye" the following exchange occurs: I got into the taxi and we went the three-odd blocks to my parking lot and shifted to my car. I held out ...
Organic Marble's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
63 views

Book where the brutal slaying of an old woman turns out to be the result of a counterfeit quilt scheme

I have vague memories of reading this book while on the train in New Jersey, which would put my reading of it around 2007-2010. The book started with someone breaking into the house of an old woman, ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
190 views

When did detective fiction become primarily about murder?

I was reading George Orwell's essay "Raffles and Mrs Blandish" and came across this quotation, "Some of the early detective stories do not even contain a murder. The Sherlock Holmes ...
IglooMaster's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
84 views

What other recognized detective story categories are there beyond the "locked room mystery"? [closed]

I'm an avid reader of cozy detective fiction (C. Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, &c.) and noticed naturally that certain categories exist (or that's the notion I have) even within ...
Martin's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
1k views

What classic mystery novels and stories led to "the butler did it" becoming a cliché?

"The butler did it" is a common trope indicating a hackneyed solution to a mystery. I have read several classic mysteries from the 1920s and earlier (Poe, Conan Doyle, Christie, Sayers, etc.)...
verbose's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
53 views

Children's historical mystery with carved rose pressed to unveil secret

This has bugged me on and off for years. When I was younger (late 80s - early 90s) I'm sure I read a book from the local library in the UK. I don't remember many details. I think that it was set ...
Claire's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
42 views

Short story - Man transports a dead dog to a field, but gets accused of murder with the blood in his van considered to be evidence

I think I read this in an anthology, probably in the 1980s or 1990s, possibly one of the Alfred Hitchcock anthologies. At the beginning, a man is transporting a dead dog to a field to bury it. I'm not ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
62 views

develop old film, solve an old mystery

This just popped into my head. I think I must have read it in the mid 1990s. I remember very little about it. I'm not even certain it was a novel, it could have been a short story. But I think it was ...
Pete's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
205 views

Crime drama/mystery where a woman suffers a car crash, and searches for a child who doesn't exist

I remember reading this novel about 5-6 years ago, I think maybe as a recent release at the time. A woman is found wandering, dazed, having escaped from her crashed car. She claims she had to leave ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
301 views

Looking for a mystery novel series whose protagonists are two old retired women

I am looking for a series of books, where the two main protagonists are old women, solving crime, much to the dismay of the local police. If I remember properly, they stumble on their first crime by ...
Clef.'s user avatar
  • 201
2 votes
1 answer
116 views

Mystery short story where the owner of a dog is accidentally murdered via strychnine

I solved this one in the process of asking the question, so I'm self-answering. I remember it as being part of an Alfred Hitchcock anthology. The protagonists get pulled into investigating the ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
121 views

Children's book with a lost treasure in a hidden valley only accessible by swimming underwater

Okay, this has nagged me for years. I read a children's book circa 1970, set in the western US in early-mid-20th century. Horses and trucks both. A mystery. Protagonists two boys and one girl. ...
Craig's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
195 views

German mystery novel(s) where stereotypically-German "Johann" works for an intelligence agency with two assistants

My teacher recently told us that he has written multiple(?) mystery novels, but he won't tell us what it's called, and they're published under a pseudonym. This is all I know about the book: It was ...
Equivalent-Exchange's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
153 views

What young adult series involved a club of boys who bought a submarine?

I recall a series of young adult or children book, but cannot find the name about a group of boys who solved a detective club of sorts. They solved mysteries or other problems in their community. In ...
Village's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
55 views

Why do so many mystery series have prequels at the end of the series?

Many mystery writers have a prequel as the final book in their series, usually dealing with the detective's first case, how they became a detective. Sometimes these are written many years after the ...
user24353's user avatar
  • 159
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Kids book from the 90's: Illustrated “solve the mystery” book I can't remember the name of

I remember part of it had the inside of an airplane and you had to look around at all of the people on the airplane for clues. I think another part had a big mansion you were looking for clues in as ...
jimmyplaysdrums's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
62 views

Nero Wolfe novel in which Wolfe describes a perfect, unprepared crime

I read (long ago!) a Rex Stout / Nero Wolfe novel in which Nero Wolfe describes what he thinks would be the perfect crime (i.e., a crime performed without any preparation just taking advantage of ...
Denis's user avatar
  • 79
4 votes
1 answer
605 views

Why did homophobia become a feature of detective fiction in the mid-20th century?

About 10 years ago I read the Maltese Falcon. It was a good read, but I remember being shocked by the blatant homophobia. Raymond Chandler's the Big Sleep was more subtle about it, but definitely ...
Ne Mo's user avatar
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