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Whodunnits

I've enjoyed mysteries -- sometimes called "Whodunnits" or crime novels -- from about age 11 on. The Randolph Township library (in the village of Heyworth, Illinois, where I grew up -- described in the science fiction section of this site) had a fair selection of mysteries by a number of authors. The young adult section was especially well-equipped with such series as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but I avoided the young adult mystery section entirely (except for a collection called Alfred Hitchcock's Solve 'Em Yourself Mysteries, where the conclusion was segregated off behind a page summarizing the evidence and listing the suspects), and concentrated on the adult mysteries. I remember an omnibus collection of stories revolving around various obscure poisons, titled A Manual for Poisoners. My family owned a partial set of Sherlock Holmes adventures (I think it was one of a two-volume set picked up at a moving sale) and I read through those, supplementing the volume with books from the library. I read a few Agatha Christie novels (these never really grabbed me), but the two authors that dominated my mystery reading from the beginning were Rex Stout (primarily his Nero Wolfe series) and Evan Hunter (writing the 87th Precinct series under the pen name of Ed McBain).

In general, I find I like the type of story called a "Police Procedural" best of all, and this is probably why I was drawn to the 87th Precinct novels early on. My interest in history, of course, means that I also enjoy historical mysteries, of which there is an ample supply.

Sadly, I don't get to read as many of either these days as I used to.

 Procedurals

 Historicals

 Miscellaneous