Literary Thanksgiving

Here’s a literary Thanksgiving…

I give thanks for the long and twisted history of mystery fiction. It runs and turns and ebbs and flows from the earliest detective novels to the present crazy mix of paranormal mysteries, historical police procedurals, noir detectives, and steampunk puzzlers.

What was the first detective story? Some literary scholars credit Edgar Allen Poe with his ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’ in 1841 while others say it was Wilkie Collins with his ‘The Moonstone’ of 1868 or Emile Gaboriau’s first Monsieur Lecoq novel in 1866. It doesn’t really matter who went first. To me, the important question is this… Why is the genre enduring?

I think it is its adaptability.

I just read an amusing hybrid of detective fiction, fantasy, and historical mystery entitled ‘Murder in Absentia’ by Assaph Meh. The setting is a fantasy version of ancient Rome, where mythological creatures and magic are real, and where a private investigator can be hired by a wealthy merchant to unearth the events that led to his son’s mysterious death. It was fun and reminiscent of the many ‘private dick’ novels that follow a detective through a dark corner of the world in search of a sordid truth. Does it matter if it’s L.A. in the 1940s, New York in the 1970s, Medieval England, or the future? Not really. The detective follows clues, asks questions, and ultimately solves the mystery.

Searching my parents’ bookshelves, I found the copy of Sherlock Holmes that I read as a child. It’s battered, but well worth saving. Maybe I’ll read a story or two on Thanksgiving and follow the consummate detective as he tracks criminals down?

What is your literary Thanksgiving? What genre, period, or author inspires you to give THANKS?


A much read and loved copy of Sherlock Holmes' adventures.

A much read and loved copy of Sherlock Holmes’ adventures.


  1. Jules Verne? lol – you know it has to be sci-fi for me! I do enjoy the odd mystery though. Not sure if The Blindman of Seville counts as a mystery but it’s definitely one of my favourites.

    • Candy Korman

      I think we should ALL be grateful for Jules Verne! Without him, where would science fiction be? My childhood would have been bereft of fantasy movies and daydreams of distant places & times.

      Not sure if Thanksgiving registers at all in Australia. There are days of thankfulness in many cultures, but the U.S. version is a peculiar edition, a response to the Pilgrims and Native Americans one shining moment before it all went south. Still, it’s celebrated with food, family & friends. No presents, no need to shop & wrap gifts, but plenty of motivation to cook & eat and be grateful for the people in your life. Not a bad way to spend a day!

      I’ll add the BOOKS and storytellers in our lives to that list.

  2. Deborah Duran

    I have always been an Agatha Christy and a Sherlock Holmes fan. Today I like Paul Lawrence Who writes The Chronicles of Harry Lytle in a Historical setting in London 1664, Melvin R. Starr The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon in Medival England, and Annelie Wendeburg”s Anna Kronberg Thriller series st in Victorian London at the turn of the 19th century.

    • Candy Korman

      Agatha Christie alone is a lot to be grateful for, so your list is full of storytellers worthy of admiration and thanks! It’s important to recognize the appeal of long ago settings. I love a good Victorian backdrop or a turn of the 19th Century venue for a mystery. Grounding a story in a particularly interesting time/place makes it an appealing read.