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The mystery genre is often thought of as detective stories; however, they don’t always need a Sherlock to be a mystery. Usually, there is a crime or murder that needs solving, a slew of suspects with grudges, and plenty of opportunity for misunderstandings. Enough clues are required for the reader to feel like they are solving the crime, but also enough misdirection, known as a red herring, that throws the reader off; otherwise the reader will solve the mystery too soon, ruining the climax of the story or book.

This all sounds rather complicated to write, and perhaps I should have chosen a different first genre, but onward I say! It will be fun to try and craft a story with so much complexity.

Per the requirements of my challenge, I need to select two short stories and one novel in the category of mystery.

There are plenty of famous fictional detectives, and one of the most beloved is Sherlock Holmes. However, I have already read all the Sherlock Holmes series and stories that I could get my hands on; thus he won’t be my main man during this challenge. But this will be my main lady…

Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
I have never read Agatha Christie’s work, and she is a classic example of a favorite mystery writer. In fact, she is the most successful of mystery writers, so I need to read some of her work this month! After a quick google search, it appears that one of her 60+ novels stands out as a favorite: The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd. The book of the month —ladies and gents.

For one of the two short stories, I am going to read a Poe Tale, but not the one with a guilty beat playing beneath the floorboards. The one I have selected is “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” I love myself a good Poe story, and I have his entire works sitting on my bookshelf, so this was an easy choice to make.

And finally, for the second short story, I have chosen “The Problem with Cell 13” by Jacques Futrelle. This work appears high on many people’s ‘best of mystery’ lists, and, some have even claimed it as their absolute favorite short story of all time. It sounds like it is worth a gander.

So in review, this is what I am reading for Mystery Month:

  • Novel: The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
  • Short Story #1: “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Short Story #2: “The Problem with Cell 13” by Jacques Futrelle

Please feel free to join me in the reading and leave comments of any short murder stories you think I should put on my list.