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Speculative Mystery Fiction

What is Speculative Mystery fiction and are you a fan?

Speculative Mysteries are a blending of the mystery genre with fantasy/science fiction.
One of the earliest examples is the classic 1953 novel, The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester. This novel mixes a murder mystery with a futuristic setting where some people have psionic abilities. It won the very first Hugo award.

A high profile recent example is Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris, which is about vampires, psionics and a murder mystery. Released in 2001, this title continues to be extremely popular among our library patrons. Not surprisingly, this lighthearted romp of a novel has spawned a new series, Sookie Stackhouse mysteries.
Here are a few other reading suggestions for fans of Speculative Mystery Fiction:

Children of the Night, by Mercedes Lackey. Combining vampires, witches and other occult elements with a murder mystery, Lackey has created a strong heroine in Diana Tregarde. A reluctant romance writer by day, Tregarde has her hands, and her mind, full when the sun goes down. The first of a three part series.

Fatherland, by Robert Harris. A story of alternate history, where Germany won World War II. Detective Xavier March gets embroiled in solving a murder that implicates the highest brass of the Nazi party elite. His better judgement tells him to bury the case, but he can’t stop until he knows the truth.

Thirty-three Teeth, by Colin Cotterill. A 72 year old forensic coroner must battle the natural and the supernatural to solve a bizarre murder case in Laos. Dr. Siri is nobody’s fool and often rails against the communist bureaucracy hindering his progress, but he is deeply committed to achieving closure for both the living and dead.
Many more speculative mystery reading suggestions can be found in a great new readers’ advisory reference book, Strange Cases: a selective guide to speculative mystery fiction, by Jill H. Vassilakos and Paul Vassilakos-Long. We have copies at the following library locations: Spring Garden Road, Alderney Gate and Keshen Goodman

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