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Hello!

 

I'm looking for some great 'puzzle mysteries': that is, detective novels where the primary focus is on the whodunnit aspect, as opposed to a broader plot, deep characterization, etc. I like putting the book down periodically to work out my own theories (ex: suppose the killer were Mr. Smith...and he slipped out of the party an hour before he claimed he did, and then...but wait...that would mean...of course! etc.)

 

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie) was just about right (the specific layout of the house, the manageable list of suspects). The Nine Tailors (Dorothy Sayers) was excellent, and featured some puzzle-like aspects, but had decidedly larger themes and longer digressions. Then there was The Big Sleep (Raymond Chandler). Again, I enjoyed the novel, but there was hardly any puzzle at all. To me, it was more like an action film than a detective story, with constant activity but very little in the way of logic to work out.

What would you recommend? I've heard The Five Red Herrings (Sayers) fits the bill. What else?

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I'd stick with the Dorothy L Sayers 'Lord Peter Wimsey series' and Agatha Christie for classic who-dunnits. I would especially recommend Agatha's 'The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd', although do avoid ANYTHING related to the book until you are done, as the ending is worth the read.

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The Falco series by Lindsey Davis might by worth looking at, Falco is a private detective in ancient Rome and they keep you guessing until the end as to who dun-it and why. The author gives you all of the characters and there motives and you can't help but try and figure out who it was. I really love these books and have read nearly the whole series. Hop that they are close to what you are looking for.

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The most famous one in the Netherlands are the Baantjer books (by A. C. Baantjer, series De Cock), but I don't know if many have been translated into English, to be honest. I've also been enjoying Wycliffe books by W. J. Burley. Agatha Christie is on my TBR and wishlist.

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Hello!

 

I'm looking for some great 'puzzle mysteries': that is, detective novels where the primary focus is on the whodunnit aspect, as opposed to a broader plot, deep characterization, etc. I like putting the book down periodically to work out my own theories (ex: suppose the killer were Mr. Smith...and he slipped out of the party an hour before he claimed he did, and then...but wait...that would mean...of course! etc.)

 

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Agatha Christie) was just about right (the specific layout of the house, the manageable list of suspects). The Nine Tailors (Dorothy Sayers) was excellent, and featured some puzzle-like aspects, but had decidedly larger themes and longer digressions. Then there was The Big Sleep (Raymond Chandler). Again, I enjoyed the novel, but there was hardly any puzzle at all. To me, it was more like an action film than a detective story, with constant activity but very little in the way of logic to work out.

 

What would you recommend? I've heard The Five Red Herrings (Sayers) fits the bill. What else?

I agree with Chrissy, the Lord Peter Wimsey series are great. Have you read any Sherlock Holmes stories? I have recently  been reading the short stories, and they are superb. 

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