Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Bright Young Detectives

If you pay any attention to the cozy genre you'll have seen an adjacent subgenre that's been making itself more and more prominent in recent years, the famous author as sleuth. Yes, there are more "literary" ambitions thrown in like Arthur and George by Julian Barnes, but for me, when they hew closer to the cozy they are more fun. A complete fantasy versus something mired in reality. Josephine Tey, Dorothy Parker, Daphne Du Maurier, and even Agatha Christie herself have solved crimes at the hands of modern day authors. What speaks to me about these books is their meta nature. It's a fun what if! What if these writers, especially those who wrote crime fiction, had some real life inspiration? What if they stumbled on a crime and had a compulsion to solve it? What if said crime inspired them to write? A completely and wonderfully absorbing fantasy. But I also love it when popular literary figures who are in no way connected with crime solve mysteries. One of my favorites in this very niche genre is the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries that has that ever so chic of twenties authors Dorothy Parker solving crimes, often with the likes of Houdini and Conan Doyle! Then there's the Mitford Murder series by Jessica Fellowes. While none of the Mitfords who took pen to paper actually wrote mysteries, the six sisters were a staple of twenties gossip columns so it makes sense that they would fictionally turn to solving crimes. Or at least it does in my mind. So join me in experiencing the roaring twenties through the prose of modern authors envisioning the past through the eyes of some of the twenties most interesting literary and historical figures.      


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