by Fran Haraway
Boulder City Library
Alleyn, Whimsey and Wolfe
If you’re a fan of mystery fiction but the current crop of offerings has too much blood and gore or, in the case of the cozy novel, is just too cute for words, let me introduce you to some old (and I do mean old) friends of mine who have been patiently waiting for you to discover (or rediscover) them.
Boulder City Magazine®
|First is Dame Ngaio Marsh’s urbane, not-to-be-ruffled Superintendent Roderick Alleyn of Scotland Yard and his sidekick, Inspector “Br’er” Fox whose adventures are set in England between the World Wars. In addition to the mystery, the reader gets a sense of a country trying to forget its horrors while, as the Nazi threat makes itself known, anticipating horrors to come.
Next we have, thanks to Dorothy L. Sayers, Oxford-educated Lord Peter Whimsey and his lady-love, the notorious and intrepid Harriet Vane. Lord Peter, who solves crimes as a hobby, is always aided by his indispensable butler, Bunter. Harriet, who also graduated from Oxford (when that achievement was considered suspect by many who felt that educated women were downright dangerous), helps Peter solve crimes while refusing his marriage proposals.
Finally there is the literary love of my life - Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe, whose enormous girth is exceeded only by his intellect and who solves mysteries without leaving his brownstone on W. 35th Street, New York City. He is aided by his amanuensis and “legman extraordinaire,” Archie Goodwin, a gentleman who powers of deduction are surpassed only by those of his employer but whose chutzpa goes far beyond that of the orchid-loving, agoraphobic, irritating epicure back in the brownstone.
What all these gentlemen and the lady have in common is that they solve the most difficult mysteries with little or no fanfare, using civility, intelligent deduction and no small amount of quiet wit. I must warn you that cleverness and dry humor are habit forming. These crime solvers are so engaging that, having read one of their adventures, you might have to resort to interlibrary loan services or friends’ attics in order to find them all. This fiction is - to use Wolfe’s statement of highest praise - “very satisfactory.”
If you are interested in this book or would like to learn more, contact me at info@bouldercity magazine.com.
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