Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Revisiting Old Haunts

When I was younger, maybe high school, I discovered detective novels. Not modern ones. The old-school, hardboiled detective thrillers like Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and Agatha Christie -- crime fiction fraught with drama. I was immediately addicted.

My book heroes moved from the curious teens of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew storylines to the grizzled detectives, the private eyes with snappy wit, the keenly observant yet horribly vain inspectors. My love for a good chase led me deeper down the suspense rabbit hole to Gothic mysteries where I discovered the deliciously brooding Victoria Holt and Du Maurier.

My husband and I recently started on another reading aloud kick. We previously went through a few of Connelly's books. But this time I was in the mood for something nostalgic. Something that elicited the forlorn notes of a lone jazz trumpet or visions of hot steam rising off a dark street. So, we're reading The Maltese Falcon. My husband has never read it or seen the movie and I'm excited to see how he reacts to the twists and turns.

As a suspense writer myself, I love to see genuine surprise or worry at a turn of events in any story, not just my own books. We're having a blast!  I wonder what other books are worth another read through...and another. What are your favorites that you return to again and again?

Or better yet, what books do everyone love that you just couldn't get into? I'd love to know.