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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Top Ten Mystery "Classics" I Haven't Read....And Might Want To



I've decided to try the weekly event hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where bloggers share their "top ten" of a certain topic.  Looking at the list of upcoming topics, I predict this will not be a weekly event for me - maybe a couple of times a month.  In any case, this week is "top ten books you can't believe you haven't read or want to read from a (blank) genre".  That should be easy enough.  And I pick mysteries.  Shocking, I know.

I took a look at a couple of "Top 100" lists for "Classic" or "Most Popular" mysteries and selected 10 books that may be considered classics or may be very popular.  Some of these are from yesteryear and some are pretty recent.  All are well known.  And I haven't read them, have thought about it, and might...only might...read them in the future.  Some are also series and not individual books.


The Adam Dalgleish series by P. D. James - The first book is Cover Her Face.  I know that this author died this last year.  Have heard good things about the series, but never got around to it.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins - Have I shared that I have a little bit of an attitude about classics?  Actually, that relates more to High School Honors English, a nasty little old man teacher, and William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying.  Pushed me way in the direction of my calculus class.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt - I enjoy books in academic settings and I'd probably like this one.  I'm going to try to read this in 2015.

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco - I saw the movie adaptation with Sean Connery and remember liking that very much.  I don't have a lot of luck with reading books after I've seen the movie.  Often, I find I like the movie better.  Anyway, this is a maybe.

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey - Did I know this one was part of a series?  I knew it was about Richard III and the Little Princes in the Tower.  One of Elizabeth Peters' Jacqueline Kirby books (have you read any of those - great books) is about this mystery - the little princes, I mean.

The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart - Indeed, any book by this author.  One of my favorite Carolyn Hart books, A Little Class On Murder, has Rinehart as a big part.  Loved that book.

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane - Or any other book by Lehane.  Saw the movie.  It was depressing.  Never read the book or any of his series or Shutter Island.  Why?  Why?

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote - Seriously, Capote's voice.  Creepy deluxe.  Did you ever see the movie Murder By Death.  He played Lionel Twain.  Maybe this one might work as a book group selection.

The Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo - First book is The Bat.  I know lots have read these and loved them.  Another series I plan to at least start in 2015.

Strangers On A Train by Patricia Highsmith - I think I've seen the movie, maybe.  I do know the storyline.  And I think I've read her first Ripley book.  Don't like Ripley.


So, what do you think?  Have you read any of these?  Any I should absolutely not miss?  Tell, tell and thanks for reading this very long post.  Told you this won't likely be a weekly event.

62 comments:

  1. Well now let's see... I too have not read The Woman in White but am 'definitely' going to read it this year as part of a Vict. Lit challenge. Cover Her Face is good, as is The Secret History. I've read several of Josephine Tey's Alan Grant books but not got to that one yet. I liked the ones I've read very much. I too have seen the brilliant movie of The Name of the Rose (that library!) and want to read the book one day. Anything by UE to be honest. Some interesting books you've listed there, Kay.

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    1. Good to know about COVER HER FACE and I can see that I need to read THE SECRET HISTORY. :-)

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  2. I was wild about Secret History when I unexpectedly read it shortly after it first came out. I haven't reread, but I emphasize wild about it.

    Here's my Top Ten.

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    1. So you're saying you recommend THE SECRET HISTORY, Deb? Wildly? ;-p

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  3. The Secret History looks intriguing I hope you enjoy it when you read it.
    My Top Ten Tuesday!

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    1. I'm betting I will. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Good list! Daughter of Time was really good, as was Cover Her Face. I have not read The Woman in White (it made last week's list), but I really enjoyed Moonstone. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Ah and MOONSTONE was also a Wilkie book wasn't it? Need to put it on the list.

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  5. Excellent list, Kay... I'm going to save this one. I loved The Secret History, The Woman in White (almost as much as The Moonstone) and was impressed with In Cold Blood.

    I sort of want to read The Name of the Rose, but understand it is very long and complicated. I'd like to read most of the other authors are your list, too.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the ones you've read, JoAnn. I might just watch the movie of THE NAME OF THE ROSE again.

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  6. We read In Cold Blood for book club and it made for a great discussion. It's creepy though since it's based on real events. Good creepy. Informative creepy but walking through a murder scene and noticing the beauty that can even be found in death is a little unsettling.

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    1. I need to see if my library has enough copies of IN COLD BLOOD for our book group to read. We have a problem with not enough copies and too many members. But...looks like I need to read it regardless.

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  7. I read In Cold Blood years ago. Started the Harry Hole series with The Bat and need to read more.

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    1. Yes, I'm seeing a trend here. IN COLD BLOOD and THE SECRET HISTORY are leading the pack. LOL

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  8. I really enjoyed In Cold Blood becasue Capote had such a unique way of writing. Its super creepy and spine tingling, despite you knowing who the killer is the whole time.

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    1. Capote was an interesting person and I'm sure his writing reflected that. I think that people put IN COLD BLOOD into the fiction category, but it was actually a true crime book, wasn't it?

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  9. These are all to me! Although I have heard of In Cold Blood and my English teacher praised it and said that it was absolutely fantastic so I might need to pick that up sometime soon. The Woman In White looks really interesting too :3 A great list!

    Here's my Top Ten

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Nattie. Well, if you don't reach many mysteries, you likely wouldn't know some of these. That's my preferred genre and so...there you go. I'll stop by and take look at yours too.

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  10. I've read The Name of the Rose, which I think I loved, and The Bat. I haven't read The Woman in White, but I did read Collins' The Moonstone - another great one.

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    1. I'm going to keep THE MOONSTONE in mind too, Carol. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  11. To be honest I rarely read classical mysteries but I might just want to try one. I feel like I'm mostly sticking to the YA (and NA) genre even though there are so many awesome books outside of it. Your list is a great start to give a chance to other genres so thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. You are very welcome, Veronika. It's good for us to step outside of our normal reading at times. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. As much as I love mysteries, I haven't read most of these either. The Woman in White is a spectacular Gothic mystery!

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    1. Good to know - and love the Gothic part.

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  13. Great list, Kay! I see Strangers on a Train made both our lists. :-) I've only read the first two books in P.D. James' series and really liked them. The Woman in White is sooo good! I love that one. Mystic River was another one I really liked. I don't mind depressing though--the book and movie aren't too different in that regard, I'm afraid.

    In Cold Blood is one of the few true crime books I have liked. It reads like fiction (and I'm sure Truman took plenty of liberties), and that's probably why.

    The Secret History, The Name of the Rose and Jo Nesbo's series are all ones I hope to read at some point.

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    1. I think that I'm going to try to read THE SECRET HISTORY later this spring. And maybe IN COLD BLOOD as well.

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  14. I'm saving this post for the next time I'm at the library. I've been craving good mysteries lately so thanks for the recommendations! - Maggie @ macarons & paperbacks

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    1. Well, I hope they are good recs, Maggie. Since I haven't read them, not so sure, but many stopping by here are chiming in with their experiences.

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  15. I've only read a couple of these. I read WOMAN IN WHITE in a college English course and really enjoyed it. IN COLD BLOOD I read a few months ago and, meh, didn't love it. I'll be interested to hear what you think of all of these!

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    1. Well, we'll see if I get to a couple of them anyway. Think I am going to try IN COLD BLOOD.

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  16. I think the only mystery classic I've ever read was And Then There Were None, and I found it a bit underwhelming. I clearly don't know much about classic mysteries since I think the only one of these I've heard of is In Cold Blood!

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    1. Not all these are classics, but they are at least popular. AND THEN THERE WERE NONE is a bit different. It's definitely not to everyone's taste. Not my favorite Christie book.

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  17. The only one I've read out of your list is Cover Her Face, and I really enjoyed it. I haven't read many mysteries but I want to check out some more, especially Truman Capote's works.

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    1. I'm impressed that you've read COVER HER FACE. Good luck reading Capote!

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  18. Go read Daughter of Time now! I love Tey in general though that and Bratt Farrar (sp?) are my 2 favorites. I have mixed feeling about PD James. She can get very long winded and detail oriented and very very British. I liked Cover Her Face and just recently listened to Shroud for a Nightingale and liked both but I detested An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. Circular Staircase is good too. That's one I need to reread.

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    1. Thanks for the great suggestions!

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  19. The Daughter of Time is one of my favourite books! I also liked The Woman in White (but not as much as The Moonstone), The Secret History and I loved The Name of the Rose, much better than the film! You have some good books waiting for you!

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    1. Appreciate hearing which books are your favorites, Margaret!

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  20. I've had The Secret History and The Woman in White on my shelves for YEARS! They never seem to call out to me, though. Wonder why.

    I did read In Cold Blood several years ago and gave it a very high rating. (Reviewed here) I was very surprised I liked it as much as I did!

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    1. There are just too many books, Les. I need to read at the speed of light to get through of all of them. But I won't. So...I'll just enjoy what I can read and enjoy the anticipation of the others. That's half of it, right?

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  21. Loved The Woman in White, The Daughter of Time, and The Name of the Rose. Didn't care for The Secret History. When I read In Cold Blood (decades ago), I found it chilling. Haven't read the others, but know I should read Highsmith.

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    1. So you didn't like THE SECRET HISTORY. Interesting. I got it for my Kindle yesterday and I guess I'll see what I think about.

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  22. The Name of the Rose was really good! It was years ago that I read it and saw the movie, but I remember loving both.

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    1. It's been a long time for as well. Still thinking about whether I actually want to pick up the book. It's a chunkster!

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  23. I've heard of only a few of these. Since I stick mostly to YA and I rarely read mysteries, I wouldn't even know where to start! I hope you find some you love, if you do decide to pick any of them up!

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  24. I've only read In Cold Blood on this list and it was so interesting. The thing about the book was there were times when I felt like I was reading a novel, not a true story. That was a bit unnerving but it made for a really good read! I hope you enjoy reading it if you get to it in the future!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT.
    Alex @ The Book Banner

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    1. Alex, I've heard that about IN COLD BLOOD. I plan on trying it soon.

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  25. Great list! I've not read anything on your list but I did enjoy Shutter Island; both the book and the film adaptation.

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    1. I think I need to at least try the movie of Shutter Island soon.

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  26. I haven't read any P.D. James yet either, but I intend to! I haven't read The Secret History or The Woman In White either, but both are on my list. Great picks this week - and I hope you participate in TTT whenever the topic appeals to you, it's a fun link-up!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I plan to attempt to do TTT when I can think of something to say. LOL

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  27. Mystery books are some of my favorites! I highly, highly recommend Mystic River and In Cold Blood! I also recommend watching the film adaptation of Shutter Island - it's pretty fantastic.

    Random Ramblings

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    1. I've been meaning to watch the movie of SHUTTER ISLAND for a long time. Thanks for recommending your favorites!

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  28. I really need to read In Cold Blood and I have Wilkie Collins on my TBR and plan to read it this year. Adam Daglish is a fantastic creation, P.D. James' books are well worth a read.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation, Cleo!

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  29. Kay, I'm with you, if I've seen the movie version it's hard for me to read the book afterwards. I hope you get to read The Secret History. Very good book. I have The Goldfinch by Tartt sitting on my shelves and can't wait to read it but it's such a chunky book! Oh and I saw that your book club is also reading the Ben Winters book - too cool! Do you guys meet on Saturday? I think I saw that. I have a friend in town that weekend so I may not make it but who knows maybe I just might :)

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    1. Iliana, we don't meet on Saturdays. We meet the 1st Wednesday of each month. Our next meeting will be 7PM on March 4th. I know that would be a long way for you to drive at night, but you'd be most welcome to come visit. We're having a potluck that night, so there will be food. :-)

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  30. If you read In Cold Blood, you may want to watch the most excellent film Capote with Philip Seymour Hoffman. And I've seen Strangers on a Train many times and am wowed every single viewing. A masterpiece. You'd like it. I know.

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    1. Good suggestions, Nan. And I think you'd be right about my liking Stranger on a Train. Need to put that one in my queue.

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  31. Great list! There are several that are on my reading wishlist too. I listened to The Secret History on a road trip when it was first released. I rember liking it but being surprised by all of the accolades. That was way back so my tastes may have changed. In Cold Blood was another one that disppointed a bit but maybe because I'm not a true crime lover?

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    1. Yes, there are several here that I have heard people rave about and then heard other people give so-so responses. I'm sure I'll get to them at some point or maybe listen to them?

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!