Murder, mystery, writing

My bedtime stories are murder mysteries. It started with the British writer Dorothy Sayres and her Peter Wimsey series – Lord Peter Wimsey, a debonair style and an easy manner – gracefully transporting a reader back to another era. Because I live in Cuenca, Ecuador, when I reached the last page, I had to rely on a traveler bringing a book into Carolina Bookstore and wanting to exchange it – and hoping that book was written by Dorothy Sayres. One day I almost did a dance around the store when I spied the name Dorothy Sayres; because, yes, there on a bottom shelf was a thick Peter Wimsey hard cover book with a number of short stories. Never mind that I was already carrying three bags of mostly fruit – pineapple, papaya, mangoes, avocadoes, tomatoes, along with a few pounds of onions, I’d no intention of leaving that book behind. It turned out that it was worth the extra burden. I can’t imagine how anyone could write a more gentle murder mystery than Dorothy Sayres did. sayers.org.uk

So then, the time came to choose another mystery writer. And it was when I visited Otavalo that I came across a small shop with a smattering of books, and only a few written in English. Though there stood out one book by the writer Dorothy Gilman – one book from her Mrs. Pollifax series. I always need a book – not just any book –  so I took a chance on Mrs. Pollifax, and she was a delight. Well, imagine a widow in her sixties, bored with garden clubs, and one day becoming so utterly bored that she somehow manages  to get a job with the CIA. Dorothy Gilman has Mrs. Pollifax traveling around the world (this writer  was a world-wide traveler) as a CIA special agent. And that she has a brown belt in karate adds to her charm. Neat, eh? And so, little by little, I managed to find five Mrs. Pollifax books at Carolina Bookstore in Cuenca. Good bedtime murder mystery reading! But, all things come to an end, and the getting of more Mrs. Pollifax books, or any book by Dorothy Gilman, in Cuenca reached that end.  mrspollifax.com

And in lieu of not finding any more of Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Pollifax, I decided on the well-loved and respected murder mystery writer P.D. James., and her Inspector Adam Dalgliesh series – it was time I introduced myself to him. She, P.D. James, is a descriptive writer, and every step of the way, a detailed one, and very quickly the reader gets pulled into Inspector Adam Dagleish’s life and . . . job. P.D. James, I like her style! randomhouse.com

I’m now on the hunt for another murder mystery writer – one having that certain indescribable something. Here in Ecuador I’m slowly developing the fine art of patience! – but, when it comes to finding a great murder mystery writer, patience thins quickly!  ; – )

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