Welcome to my first Spooky Saturday! I’m celebrating the countdown to my favorite holiday by sharing some of my favorite spooky tales with you. Check out the spooky schedule here!
This week: Why I Love Mysteries
I don’t know if I read Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, or Hercule Poirot first, but all three fictional detectives persist as some of my favorite literary characters of all time. I love characters who can think, and I love that, thanks to their logic (and sometimes the help of their friends) these characters survive terrifying scrapes. There’s nothing like being safely frightened from your arm chair for a character who you know will, somehow, survive (the wonder of the series!).
Dame Agatha Christie
I am in awe of this woman. Her books are more populous than rabbits, and yet the stories never seem to get old. Murder? Exotic locations? Disturbing pathos in pretty places? Check. My favorite Christie tale is Death on the Nile, but I’ll read (and often, re-read) anything with her name on it.
Although I know now that the author of the Nancy Drew books is actually a wildly successful syndicate, I respected “her” so much growing up. Like Christie, Keen’s stories show no signs of stopping, and even the vaguely supernatural stories always came to a believable (and not ghostly) ending, reassuring to a young reader who was interested in ghosts but terrified at the thought of actually encountering one. The first Nancy Drew mystery I ever read was The Mysterious Mannequin, and I still remember the plot with a smile. Hmm, I’m starting to see a trend…both Mannequin and Nile are set in faraway lands. I guess my wanderlust started at an even earlier age than I realized!
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
What’s not to love about Sherlock Holmes? I don’t have a favorite tale, but I taught “Speckled Band” when I was still teaching middle school, and my student’s reactions (and re-tellings) have made this story stick in my mind. Doyle was a master of creepy stories and outlandish solutions, and I love his snarky detective so much. I will definitely be curling up with these stories this month…now all I need is a dark and stormy night!