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Friday, January 7, 2011

Channeling Agatha

By Jody Worsham November 2010

All right reserved to pay for 1-800-Psyic phone bill


Clean G rated murder mysteries? Now that may seem like an oxymoron, a contradiction of some sort, but out there somewhere there has got to be more writers like Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Perry Mason, and John Gresham. I'd read Matlock if it were a book. I'm so desperate for a good clean story about stabbings, shootings, poisonings, or strangulations, I've started to watch "Murder, She Wrote" reruns.

I've seriously thought about dialing that California psychic hotline to see if there is another Agatha on the horizon. Surely there is a writer/mystic out there who is capable of channeling Agatha's creative spirit and give us a clean G rated murder mystery.

This all started when as a child I began reading the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy boys. I don't remember any murders in their books, but there was always a puzzle, a mystery to solve. In the summertime, I would read a book a day. Television did not start broadcasting until one o'clock in the afternoon (I know, hard to believe) and if the book was very intriguing, I would read right up until the last page or I fell asleep, whichever came first.

I crave good mysteries with interesting characters, plausible plots, twists and turns without the R rated language, bedroom sex, or the depraved. I just want a good clean murder, not nightmares. Where are those writers?

JoAnn Fluke puts a neat spin on her mysteries, a who-dun-it with recipes thrown in along the way. The main character runs a cookie shop. Not the most challenging mysteries but then there is a wholesome love-triangle and the recipes are my kind of cooking. "Just pack the flour down in the measuring cup". The little cooking footnotes are also fun. "Don't have any chocolate chips, just chop up the leftover chocolate Halloween candy or grab a couple of Hershey bars, the more chocolate, the better." That's my kind of recipe.

I'd go back and re-read my favorite mysteries but even at my age, after a few pages, I remember who-dun-it, even if I can't remember the plot exactly. So I say "Rise up you decent G rated murder writers and give us a good mystery I can sink my rapier sharp bookmark into!"

Oh, Agatha, I do miss thee!



Sharon said...

Yay Jody! You said it so eloquently. I have the same issues. Nevada Barr writes the Anna Pigeon, National Park Ranger series. Not quite as genteel as Agatha, but much less graphic than most. Carol Higgins Clark's (daughter of Mary HC)mysteries are clean, a little romance and humorous.

Marti said...

I sent you a link to cozy mystery authors. Have you ever read Nero Wolfe? I watched it when it was made into a TV series and they are great stories! Clean and funny with a good mystery playing out.

All the best to you!