Nine Mysteries for Literary Snobs: A Compendium

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snooty[1]A while back, I did a post on the Poisoned Pen Press blog about the challenge of convincing literary snobs that there are indeed great works of literature that meet all criteria of that lowly genre known as Mystery. As I explained, there are 3 basic requirements of the genre:

  • (a)  A mysterious murder or missing person or thing of value (such as a Maltese Falcon);

(b) A lone protagonist; and

(c) A single point of view (either that of our protagonist or of a sidekick, such as Dr. Watson).

Satisfy those three criteria and–voila!–you have a mystery. I then set out, in a series of subsequent posts, to identify 9 mystery novels that our literary snob can locate in the Literature section of the bookstore.

At the suggestion of friend and blogger extraordinaire Alanna Kellog, I am gathering links here to my separate posts on each of those 9 novels:

  1. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  2. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
  3. Labrynths by Jorge Luis Borges
  4. Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
  5. A Murder of Quality by John leCarre
  6. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  7. The Real Life of Sebastion Knight by Vladimir Nabokov
  8. The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
  9. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler


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