Thank you for visiting Solving the Mystery of Murder. This blog is something of a manifestation of one of my greatest hopes: heightened awareness of the classically-styled crime story and in turn, hopefully, a genre renaissance.
My facination with detective fiction goes as far back as my childhood, when I was enamored by animated incarnations of Sherlock Holmes in the Alvin and the Chipmunks episode “Elementary, My Dear Simon” and Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes, as well as my first great love, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. However, it was reading A Study in Scarlet and The Mysterious Affair at Styles my freshman year of high school, as well as video game series like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Professor Layton, that finally set me down the path of the passionate literary sleuth.
My tastes aren’t particularly eclectic. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they’re more or less homogeneous. My passion is mysteries that hail from the Golden Age or respect the traditions thereof. I’m a proud proponent of the so-called “humdrum” school of mysteries that emphasize, well above the characters and their drama, the crime’s puzzle — not only of who committed the crime, but also the complex methods they used to do so and subsequently avoid detection. All of my favorite authors can be considered humdrums of some sort, from Christopher Bush to Brian Flynn to John Dickson Carr to J. J. Connington.
My other passion and, perhaps, my area of hyperfixation is the so-called “Grandest Game in the World” of impossible crimes and locked room mysteries. Murders which occur under circumstances in which there’s simply no way for a human to have committed them — and yet, by the end of the novel, the feature detective will explain how a normal human killer has been deceiving you all along!
I’m learning Japanese to pursue reading (shin-)honkaku mysteries (Japanese mysteries in the modern world that respect the traditions of the Golden Age), the renaissance of which inspired me to pursue a similar turnabout in the west.
This blog’s goal is simple: on top of reviewing mystery novels that I’m actively reading, talk about the conventions and mechanics of writing, plotting and cluing a Golden Age-styled puzzler that I’ve observed in my own writing and reading. Through this, I hope that awareness of the genre can redouble and we can see more authentic classical mysteries in the anglosphere that fans clamoring for a modern disciple of the “humdrum” can appreciate.
I hope, even if the blog doesn’t achieve something as grand as that, it can provide some fun reading for anyone with an interest in the genre.