Hallo, Hallo Ms Pasciuto!
I must admit, just before I became a book blogger I was enjoying a new branch of my local library wherein I started to dig back inside my favourite genre as a child "Cosy Mysteries"!! I read an eclectic mixture of stories as a child and youth reader, except to say I grew up on Agatha Christie who set the standard for me! Yes, I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys equally enough, but with Christie you simply knew you'd 'arrived at the master of the craft'. To have been a part of the new Christie release authorised by the estate of her heirs was a privilege I never expected to have as a book blogger, but whilst I read Sophie Hannah's new spin on Poirot I saw echoes of Dame Christie coming centerfold into the story! I loved being able to be a book cheerleader for a new writer who has stepped up to the plate to honour an original canon with such clarity and tenacity as Ms Hannah!
Outside of this love of my mine for the genre itself -- it wasn't until my late twenties I started to notice I could handle "hard-boiled this side of cosy" mysteries! The revelation arrived when I picked up my first Cleo Coyle mystery: "Holiday Grind", which was unusual for me to do, because I would never normally read a series out of step with the sequence it had established! This was a foreshadow as now that I'm nearly a 2nd Year Book Blogger, I can attest, sometimes you have to bend your own rules on such things! lol That first book, gave me a wicked joy for Coyle's series (and the recipes she shares on her foodie minded blog!) but also, a clue into how I've come out of my shell with mysteries!
I'm still the Cosy girl at heart, but I can handle a few 'harder hitting story-lines' as well. I think partially this is due to my love of tv serials like: NCIS, the Mentalist, Perception, The Ghost Whisperer, Rizzoli & Isles, Foyle's War, etc. I'm not into CSI or half of the others on air, so I do draw lines!
My best discovery since I was a book blogger are the Cosy Historical Mysteries! These beautiful gems of a stories with a wicked historically enriched background to the narrative and a keen sense of awareness for the time, setting, and scope therein! I cannot fathom how I did not uncover them sooner!
My top favourites thus far are:
([if you visit [my Story Vault] you will find the reviews])
The Study of Murder by Susan McDuffie
Inscription by H.H. Miller
Murder by Misrule by by Anna Castle
Claws of the Cat by Susan Spann AND Blade of the Samurai by Susan Spann
The Spoils of Avalon by Mary F. Burns
Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd
Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd
They are eclectically diverse in their stories structures as much as their era of background! I never thought I could travel from 17th Century Japan straight into the heart of the Medieval Era and swing back into the 19th Century as readily as I have with Cosy Historical Mysteries! My upcoming reviews for Anna Lee Huber's Lady Darby novels will showcase just how much I have become anchoured into this area of literature, because her writings and those of Byrd are on similar veins of thought: both have Gothic Lit roots but they are more cosy than hard-boiled; except to say, Huber is a bit of what I spoke of earlier "hard-boiled this side of cosy".
I am reading the Maisie Dobbs series for the first time this year, as well! If you think I have an epic TBR for YA Lit, my TBR for mysteries is equally diverse and long! I love recommendations, so if you love cosies, hard-boils this side of cosy (my own way of expressing it!), cosy historicals, OR psychological suspense and/or Gothic Lit Suspense -- do let me know the titles and authors!
*apologies on my delay to post this from April! I have picked up a few new wicked new to me authors since I wrote this originally but wanted to let it stand as it was written.