Friday, July 07, 2017

Five top mystery novels that are “Howdunnits”

At B&N Reads Jeff Somers tagged five great mystery novels in which the authors "tell you exactly who did it up front, and precisely why—and spend the rest of the book explaining how," including:
A Kiss Before Dying, by Ira Levin

This classic noir is evergreen; no matter how many decades pass, the core story remains chillingly plausible. Bud Corliss meets Dorothy, the young daughter of a wealthy tycoon, and begins a secret romance with her, seeing a comfortably wealthy future for himself. When she becomes pregnant out of wedlock, however, he knows her father will disown her. He tricks Dorothy into writing what could be taken as a suicide note, then throws her off a roof. He arranges to meet and woo her sister Ellen, which goes well—until Ellen’s conviction that her sister wasn’t a suicide forces him to murder her, too. He moves on to the third sister, Marion—who he successfully seduces and becomes engaged to. None of this is a mystery to the reader; the only mystery is whether Bud will be exposed and punished before he manages to get his hands on the family fortune. The skilled depiction of a sociopath remains a powerful reading experience, even without the mystery element.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue