Posts Tagged ‘detective mysteries’
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
I think most of us can admit that there’s a certain amount of sexiness we’d like to exude when we’re older.
No, not the weird cougarish kind of sexy that your distant Aunt Lulu radiates in her velour sweat suits and creepy show tune dresses. I’m talking about the type of sexy that says, “Yes, I knit. I garden. I drink tea in the face of danger. And I can kill things with my bare hands if needed.” The kind of sexy that Dorothea Taylor is. Did you see that news article on her a few months back? She’s an 85-year-old, 100 pound woman who saved her husband from being stomped to death by a huge Alaskan moose. She scared the poor animal away with a shovel. A SHOVEL, people.
Yeah. Don’t tell me that’s not awesome.
It’s the kind of sexy I attribute to three of my favorite older ladies in literature. And by “older” I mean, they’re not the usual young adult or college age heroines we so often see.
The first being:
Mrs. Emily Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
Oh the dear Mrs. Pollifax. I adore her flamboyant hats and sweet karate moves and discontentment with little old lady things like Garden Clubs and tea obligations. Not that she neglects those obligations (cuz she’s quite responsible, you know), but when she’s not doing them, she’s a CIA operative traveling the world and catching bad dudes. And she does it all while being charming and seemingly innocent, which is the best kind of old lady-ishness to be. I read these books in high school, and to this day, I still think fondly of their old school, easy breezy appeal.
Precious Ramotswe by Alexander McCall Smith
Okay, so Precious is totally my kind of feminist. Fat, savvy, and full of good humor–she is a hot mama and she knows it! I absolutely love this woman. In her culture where marriage and babies are the preferred, this single woman with a dying father needs a business to bring her financial security. So, of course, she starts up the Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency (for all confidential matters and enquiries) through which she solves mysteries ranging from missing people (crocodiles anyone?) to suspected marital affairs. If you’ve not read this series, I suggest you do so immediately. And pour yourself a giant mug of rooibos tea. Not only will you fall in love with Precious, but with Alexander McCall Smith (ohmygosh his writing is beautiful) and Africa as well. Plus, I *might* be in the same age bracket as Precious. Ahem.
Finally, I give you:
Jane Marple by Agatha Christie
No book list is ever complete without Miss Marple! She’s one of my all time favorites! Unassuming and inquisitive, her insight into human nature makes her brilliant (as does her “I’ve got my eye on you” style of intimidation). I adore the small village where she lives as well as the police she’s constantly meddling with. Even more, I love that she has opinions on EVERYONE, and she’s always right whether you like it or not. Which is something I think all older ladies have earned. Just by the sake of being older. ;0)
So, what do you think, my Preciouses? Who are some other sexy older ladies you love in books? And what type of older person do YOU dream of being? (Cuz, you know, “older” is any age beyond the one you’re currently at.)
*all cover pics from Goodreads
Thursday, March 4th, 2010
If you don’t know who Lord Peter Death Bredon Wimsey is then you’re in dire need of some better British reading material. And if you do, well, chances are you’re in need of a little air to cool your cheeks because, as any proper Brit can tell you, Lord Peter Wimsey is a delectably yummy chap! (Which is truly saying something considering the old man emerged into fictitious existence in the primordial year of 1923.)
Ahem. Um . . . my husband has just snuck a peek over my shoulder and is requesting to know what exactly I mean by the term “yummy” in regards to Wimsey. I tell him it’s simply all the same things I think about him of course–handsome, witty, mysterious, brave, and careless in a roguish-yet-safe-sort-of-way.
He snorts and informs me he once named his dog Lord Peter Wimsey.
I tell him this is not helpful as it really isn’t the sort of post I’m going for, to which he smirks and goes back to finishing some sort of engineering calculations he’s been working on. Leaving me to confess to you, dear reader, that ever since my teenage years, Lord Peter Wimsey (the literary character, not the dog) has been greater to me than Sherlock Holmes (don’t gasp, I can’t help it). This is mainly due to the fact that Wimsey employs irresistible wit and charm in place of the opiates and morose moods so customary of Holmes. And although I will concede that Sherlock Holmes’ mind is by far more brilliant, as is—one could argue—his genius at solving crimes, Wimsey excels at cricket, which is also pretty hot in my book.
Plus, his middle name is “Death,” okay?
But the absolute sheerest beauty of these Dorothy Sayers’ mysteries? Their ability to bequeath upon the reader an aura of dirt being dished on half of the old English upper-crust whilst cheerily slinking around with a few dead bodies. And this usually comes after we’ve been allowed to watch our hero in action as he enjoys his morning tea and bath a bit too immensely for the ease of most modern, normal men. (A quick side note on our author for those of you interested—Sayers was a contemporary of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, argued theology with a quick wit, and, among other things, did a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy.)
Hmm . . . a thought has just struck me. I wonder if my Lord Peter Wimsey obsession had any influence on my marrying a tall, dark man by the name Peter W? I mention this to my husband who finds it curious and then goes back to his reading with the calm request that from now on I reference him only as “Lord.”
So here’s my question for the day (to which I already know the answer because I’m biased, but you can disagree if you like). Be honest now. Who would win in a monkey knife street fight—Holmes or Wimsey?
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