Being a reader…

Many female mystery writers speak about how it all began when they read Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden or Cherry Ames.  I must confess I read none of those as a child.  Instead I read the Hardy Boys and thus began my long-standing crush on Frank Hardy.  He was the older brother with the dark hair.  My friends growing up may remember I never yearned for the popular tv stars like Michael Landon, Lee Majors or Bobby Sherman.  I went for the “older” ones:  Pernell Roberts, Peter Breck and whoever played the oldest brother on Here Come the Brides (sorry, sir).  When I wasn’t plowing my way through my brother’s Hardy Boys books, I was reading about Henry and Ribsy’s antics along with their friends Beezus and Ramona.

When did I catch on with female sleuths?  During my freshman year of college I succumbed to a rather nasty bout of mononucleosis.   I missed the entire second semester that year.  What was a girl to do when she wasn’t sleeping?  Read.  I’d been turned on to Agatha Christie the year before in a high school Detective Fiction course.  I devoured the entire Christie collection during that semester.  Tommy and Tuppence were fun, Hercule was a pip but I loved Miss Marple.  She was so innocuous, yet she didn’t miss a thing.  She showed me what an individual could accomplish if one paid attention to details, conversations and observation of people’s behaviors.  That was all I needed.

I’ve never looked back and continue to discover more and more in the way of strong female detectives in fiction.  Yes, yes, I still read guy stuff.  And I still develop “crushes” on male protagonists.  In fact, the dog in my novel in progress is named after one of my all-time favorites:  Tommy, after Tommy Lynley in the P.D. James series.  I look forward to each new adventure with Elvis Cole, Joe Pike, Alan Banks, Lucas Davenport, JP Beaumont and a bevy of other fictional male protagonists.  But I also delight in the activities of Kay Scarpetta, Temperance Brennan, Ali Reynolds, Stephanie Plum (and Grandma Mazur), Kinsey Milhone, VI Warshawski, and scores of others.

I’m a reader, plain and simple.  Reading teaches me so many things.  It gives me a rich vocabulary; it teachest me to wonder and dream; it takes me places around the world for just the cost of the book.  Most of all, it shows me women can be a strong force in the world and respected.

Isn’t it sad that so few young people read these days…

Pick up a mystery and read.  Let it transport you.  There are so many sub-genres within mystery, there is literally something for everyone.  If you’d like a recommendation, please ask.  I’m more than happy to “hook you up.”

About thequarryschild

A self-described forensic junkie, Beth Anderson spends her days shaping young minds to ask critical questions and wonder “whodunit.” Beth resides in the Capital District of New York and spends her free time reading and solving the great mysteries. Her love of swimming, tennis and sports provides the basis for one of the lead characters in her new book The Quarry’s Child. Beth is one of the founding members of the Upper Hudson Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime (aka Mavens of Mayhem), a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, a survivor of a visit to an active aircraft carrier while it was at sea, and a published poet in Soundings, a literary journal. Beth continues to instill a love for mystery fiction in her students as she has for over twenty years. Photo credit: Quinn Mulvey
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