I used to read lots of mysteries as a kid. You know, Nancy Drews, Trixie Beldens, that sort of thing. Loved living those characters’ lives. For me, it was always more about the people, places, and situations than the mystery plot. But, that could, of course, be quite compelling, too.
As an older person, I haven’t been into them as much. But now I seem to be getting back in. One reason is, perhaps, the new mysteries that Sourcebooks (a publisher that truly seems to put care into its beautiful paperback covers) have released. Seems like there’s 3 different series started, all female detectives. I’ve read only Radha Vatsal’s A Front Page Affair, but I enjoyed it a lot. Again, we have an engaging female detective, young, privileged, smart, who conveys an enviable sense of freedom in a time long ago. There are very authentic-feeling tidbits liberally inserted seamlessly throughout the book telling us about life at the time. The author surely had great fun researching everyday life from primary sources! Vatsal has a fanstastic blog, too, showcasing bit of random wonderful historical information from the early twentieth century era of her novel. As readers know, it’s great fun to go behind the scenes of a novel with its author.
I’m hoping this attention to and fun documenting of nostalgic miscellanea is a new literary trend. It differs from other writers’ attention to historical detail in the delight that seems to be taken in peppering and highlighting the narrative with distinct and distinctive glimpses of the past. Hooray!
And, there are two other series starting that promise engagine female sleuthing protagonists. Haven’t started them yet, but I did amble over to the author websites: I think this love of various and sundry unburied historical delights might, indeed, be a trend. Here’s hoping….