Re: RARA-AVIS: Why Are You Here?

Date: 25 Jan 2000

I had a conversation last evening that I've had several times before. My acquaintance mentioned that she liked mysteries and we started comparing notes. Turned out she was definitely a "cozy" fan and was surprised I was into more hard-boiled stuff.

That got me thinking about the reasons for my preference. This may be something you all discussed to death long before I got to this list, so I won't feel bad if you ignore the question, but I am curious: what appeals to you about hard-boiled mysteries? Do you read only hard-boiled or do you also like some cozies and some medium-boiled? I'm not sure where the line is drawn, but suspect my preference is along the medium-boiled lines, with occasional forays into hard-boiled. (I'll confess here to liking the silly Cat Who mysteries as well, but then I like most anything with animals.)

My conclusion was that the "boiled" mysteries move a lot faster, keeping my attention. On a more psychological level, I think they come closer to portraying the real world. I also find it easier to relate to and believe in survivors than in winners. I'm fascinated by the villains, too, especially when the author can walk the fine line that has a villain capable of horrifying evil (as I believe we all are if pressed), but still somehow likable. Some of the characters in the Scudder books fill this bill, as well as many of the villains in the Robichaux books. I am also not alone I know in being fascinated by the hard-boiled sidekicks of more civilized detectives, such as Hawk and Mouse.

Other reasons I came up with: the economy with words, which makes the more literary books fit with my tastes; the cinematographic (is that a word?) quality; the humor; the fact that most of such books I've read are very American in tone, setting and language.

So, how about you? Ever given any thought to why you're on THIS list and not another?


# To unsubscribe, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 25 Jan 2000 EST