Murder and mayhem….
I was taking my undergraduate classes at the University of Texas at Arlington. I ended up gravitating towards classes in the English Department. Up until this time in my life, I only read romance novels. I am not ashamed to admit it. But, then I took a class that changed my reading preferences. It seems like centuries ago when I took the class with Dr. Lacy.
Hard-boiled or traditional detectives, Dr. Lacy taught a class illustrating the difference between the two. I was introduced to the world of mysteries. Dr. Lacy had us compare the hard-boiled detectives in the Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes novels against modern authors such as Sue Grafton, and Elizabeth George. I even read the Maltese Falcon. I would NEVER have picked that up before his class. His class wasn’t easy. However, I will always remember his teaching and test methods.
Dr. Lacy taught us to pay attention to all of the details in a mystery. We played games such as Concentration or Match Game, where we had to know the details of the story and which book it was in. If you got the answer correct, he gave you a tootsie roll pop. His exams were multiple choice, however, they were quite difficult. For instance, what color was the lamp on the table in the living room? We learned to remember those details. The experience is something I will never forget.
Fast forward to 2008. Mysteries are all I read, for the most part. However, because of his class, I was encouraged to read all types of mysteries. I have read the entire Detective Kinsey Millhone, alphabet series by Sue Grafton. The series works of lawyer Ben Kincade, by William Bernhardt, or the gruesome works of Patricia Cornwell. The Inspector Linley novels of Elizabeth George, which takes place in Great Britain, and the Cat Who books of Lilian Jackson Braun. However, lately, I am reading Harlan Coben.
His mysteries are keep you at the edge of your seat. You NEVER know who did it and how it is going to end. I love his work because as the reader, you spend your time reading the book just positive you know who did it! The latest book that I read by him is The Woods. Some very bad things happened to several young adults during summer camp. As the reader you get so involved in the lives of the characters that you are trying to figure out what happens too. He has a new title out Hold Tight. I can’t wait to read this new title—even though I work at the library, I have to wait my turn just like anyone else.