After hearing Peter Wimsey say, in the TV adaptation of The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club (he did not say it in the 1928 book), that in mystery novels the butler always did it, it struck me that I have never read a mystery novel where this was true. And I have read a lot of mystery novels. [more inside]
I recently saw the first episode, "Hammer of God," of the 2013 BBC adaptation of Father Brown, with Mark Williams as the priest. Although I would swear that I had not watched the series before, I seemed to have seen this episode. I remembered it in great detail, except for two: I had not a single memory of Father Brown in the story, and in my memory the villain killed himself instead of turning himself in. Is it possible that the adaptation could have been used in another series? [more inside]
I'm looking for great mystery novels and stories, but I'm more into puzzles than crime and I'm looking for something.. unconventional. Solving perplexing conundrums, untangling the illogical or bizarrifying the seemingly mundane-- people who find the hidden meanings and patterns behind ordinary or extraordinary chaos. Forays into the surreal, the meta, or even slightly supernatural are welcome. [more inside]
In my blog, I've been running analyses of the length of mystery novels and have found that the short mystery novel has waned as an art form, the fall-off seeming to begin in the 1980s. Does someone know why? [more inside]
I came across this cute metal thing in a closet and have no idea what it's used for. It's like a three dimension capital I. A magnet doesn't stick to it. Dimensions are about .75"x.75"x1". It weighs 1.5oz, which seems heavy for its size and the fact that part of it is hollow. Photos inside! [more inside]
The final episode of Serial will be released this Thursday, and I fear that there will not be any sort of satisfying conclusion to the central mystery of what, exactly, happened to Hae Min Lee. So, as an antidote to the frustration that I'm likely to feel soon, I'm looking for real (non-fiction) mysteries that do get resolved in an unambiguous way. [more inside]
Last night my friend parked her car and went inside briefly. When she came back out to the car 5-10 minutes later, the car was not where she parked it. It was across the street against a rockery. How did the car get there? More details inside. [more inside]
I'm looking for good mystery novels with protagonists who are not cops, not PIs, not lawyers, etc., and who are not really working with those sort of professionals, and who may also be in over their heads. They may accidentally fall into the mystery, or they may bring it upon themselves. The point is that they are "civilians" who must investigate a mystery. [more inside]
I'm a huge fan of Susanna Moore's 1995 thriller, In the Cut, and have been looking for books that remind me of it in some way. [more inside]
Trying to understand what IT is doing with my workstation right now. Near-constant prompts to log in to Outlook (I am already logged in) and suddenly, for the first time, most websites (but oddly, not social media) are being blocked with EdgeWave iPrism. What's going on, and should I worry? Details inside. [more inside]
I like dark and/or intriguing television shows. I like shows with interesting characters and long pay offs. What I do not like are any sudden scenes with violence against women or children. I have access to all counties of Netflix but no other streaming services. What can I watch? [more inside]
Today we saw a mysterious flag. It had a white background with two light blue vertical stripes, one on each side (not all the way on the ends, but towards the ends). Between the two stripes was a yellow (and red?) sun or star symbol. What is this the flag of? We've scoured Wikimedia. [more inside]
I'm on the hunt for puzzle mysteries, any art form, any style. Details within. [more inside]
I'm not usually a mystery reader, but I recently read In the Woods and The Likeness, by Tana French, on a friend's recommendation. I loved them, but I'm not familiar enough with the genre to find others like them. What I like about them: strong characters, suspense that is mainly psychological in nature, clear prose. I also enjoyed the Stieg Larsson books; other Scandinavian mysteries have been hit or miss. Any recommendations, MeFites?
Give me your true stories, your unhappy endings, your mysteries. I really enjoyed this question, but the answers I found the most compelling were the true stories about people. Give me links to investigative writing that I can get my teeth into.
TVTropes describes the trope of the closed circle: "A stock plot designed to force the characters or players to stay in a location and get involved in the adventure... and not be able to leave until it's done." Familiar, right? I am looking for examples of novels that employ this trope, but with a twist: the primary crime they're trying to solve took place in the past, before they were enclosed in the circle. [more inside]
In an attempt to be all healthy and virtuous, I tried to make kale chips in the microwave. I nuked a small plate of plain, unadorned kale. The kale WENT UP LIKE A FREAKING FIREWORK (sparks, flames, scary noises). Multiple times (hey, I learn by doing). WHY?! [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations for literary crime novels. (Examples within.) [more inside]
What should I do with a large collection of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries? [more inside]
I think I'd like to begin following an author who writes mysteries featuring a regular protagonist and cast of recurring characters, but I have some d'ruthers. Can you help match me up? [more inside]
I'm looking for new mystery series with a strong, atmospheric setting. [more inside]
I'd like to get some good mystery movie recommendations from the 80s on. It's OK if they veer toward the thriller, like Michael Clayton, ridiculous like Ford Fairlaine, noirish like Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, or are a more standard outing with a strong, interesting, well developed detective lead like Zero Effect. Drawing room mysteries totally A-OK too. Super bonus points if I can stream them now on Hulu plus or Netflix.
I recently read The Last Policeman by Ben Winters and really enjoyed it. I also really liked Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I liked the settings (basically the real world but at its end,) and the easy nature of the writing (I read both quickly.) I don't think of myself as a mystery fan, but both of these are mysteries of sorts. I'm looking for fun rather than serious books. What else should I read?
When you read Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin what did you know, and when? And also, can you recommend books with similar techniques? Spoilers inside. (Presumed Innocent and Defending Jacob are also mentioned in a way that may be spoiler-y to some.) [more inside]
What are the best non-Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories, collections, and novels?
What the heck is this mysterious fruit/vegetable? Pics inside. [more inside]
I want to read a good mass market crime series featuring the same investigator(s). Of course, I have no idea what's "good" per my taste and the huge bookstore mystery section totally overwhelms me. Please help me figure out where to start? [more inside]
I love "discoveries" that add to seemingly-cold stories. Misfiled negatives unearthed, unlabeled photos finally identified, new connections made. Stuff like the identification of the first photo of Phineas Gage, or the recently-uncovered Lincoln inauguration photos, or to a much lesser extent (because it's "soft"), this TED talk about finding the face of Leonardo da Vinci. What other incidents/discoveries/ideas like this will enthrall me? And can you point me to a book (or at least a Wikipedia page) about it? [more inside]
What Sherlock Holmes books should I read, and in what order should I read them? [more inside]
Recently, I've become a die-hard fan of the comic book series Locke & Key. This, for various reasons, has made me want to design my future house full of strange wonders and mysteries... [more inside]
Please recommend books: urban fantasy and mysteries, no thinking required. [more inside]
What can people do* with ground beef that does not require bread or pasta? [more inside]
I need mystery novel recommendations! Looking for good mysteries with unconventional characters as the lead. [more inside]
It's a mystery, it's a romance: help me figure out what to read next. [more inside]
I've read everything by my favorite mystery authors. Help me find new favorites! [more inside]
My six-year old daughter demands to be told of the world's real mysteries! I've exhausted those I know from the top of my head, like the Mary Celeste, the Antikythera mechanism and those vent channels in the pyramids. I'd like your help, because I'd like to stay fact-based, and Google feeds me an endless supply of conspiracies, UFOs and paranormal phenomena. Solved mysteries are also good, as we can speculate and then "cheat" and look at the answer.
Spoilers for The Tricking of Freya, please [more inside]
Please recommend mystery/thriller novels with incredibly complex plots. [more inside]
Is it worth it to now watch all of Lost? (No spoilers please) [more inside]
Help me solve a minor conundrum. Gay man here, had lots and lots of sexual encounters over the course of 14ish years. And in all that time, I've had exactly one guy pull a sex toy on me to use in the bedroom. (I was 18, it was a butt plug bigger than a raccoon's head, and yeah was never gonna happen). So just who is using all the sex toys? [more inside]
I'm looking for recommendations for some books for my dad, who likes Tony Hillerman, Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, and John LeCarre. [more inside]
How does rifle cartridge brass end up on the sidewalk in Brooklyn? [more inside]
I'm looking for a short mystery stories book I read in a library. One of the stories is where a character comes up a flight of stairs and thinks he sees something (a murder?) in someone's apartment, but it's actually some kind of mirrored reflection of a mirrored reflection of someone through a window across the street. The book/collection was published before 1996 and if I remember correctly, was all short story mysteries of 5 to 20 pages.
Old Movie Filter: This is the question I joined MeFi to ask. I remember seeing a movie, on actual reels, when I was about seven at school. It has haunted me for the last twenty-two years. [more inside]
My geometry teacher in high school in 1984 showed us this puzzle. I was only half paying attention, but I believe the goal was to draw a line that intersected each segment only once. [more inside]
I need a list of "unexplained mysteries" for a group theme costume. What else is there besides UFOs, Bermuda Triangle, Nessie, etc.? [more inside]
I was at a business hotel a couple of days ago, sitting in the Business Center, when an employee came in with a key or something and touched it to a small metal circle on the casing for the (metal and glass) door. Then he split. What did he do and why? (WAGs are OK but knowledgeable answers preferred.)
Why do gnats fly into my eyes? [more inside]
Book suggestions for a 13-year-old. [more inside]
Solve This! I love mystery novels and have a hard time finding some that I like. What do you recommend? [more inside]
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