I am a pretty eclectic reader and among the genres I read is detective fiction. A variety of sub-genres appeal to me, from the psychological detective story to the police procedural to the historical mystery. There are a few popular mystery writers I can't stand (Agatha Christie, for one) but a lot more I really enjoy. I also enjoy some of the lesser known mystery novels and some sub-genres like lesbigay mysteries and scifi mysteries. I read two mystery novels recently by two authors who both do a lot of research for their novels They represent very different approaches to how they use that research and that's most of what I wanted to talk about here.
The first of the two books was Anne Perry's Buckingham Palace Gardens. It's one of her Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mysteries. Perry writes historical detective fiction, set in Victorian England. She's a pretty prolific author and I've only read a small portion of her work, perhaps 10 books altogether. This is the latest book in this series.
My original interest in her was not because of any recommendation of her books or reading any reviews. It was kind of a morbid interest, in fact. ( Read more...Collapse )
I do see those as major flaws, but I still find her books diverting, the main characters interesting. The mysteries themselves are pretty good, as well, with the right level of clues dropped that the reader catches on just before the detective. So I'm not a big fan of Perry, but when I see one of hers in the library that looks interesting I take it and generally find I enjoy it in spite of the flaws.
Dick Francis is kind of the anti-Perry. He's an author who does research right.
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That's how it should be done.