I love mystery novels. They’re my favourite genre after speculative fiction, and I like nothing better than getting lost in a good whodunnit.
Funnily enough, despite the fact that I love mysteries I can’t read true crime. Just knowing that the book is about real people—usually being murdered—takes away that layer that allows me to suspend disbelief. The layer that says, ‘this is a story’. Instead, I find myself thinking, ‘this happened to real people’.
I had a similar experience recently reading, of all things, a regency romance, where some of the things that happened to a woman in a story came a bit too close to how women really were treated in that era and how they were became, technically, a husband’s property. The story had a happily ever after, it was a regency, after all, but … just, no.
Going back to whodunnits, however.
I watched a movie the other day on Netflix called Knives Out. It came out in the cinemas in 2019, and because of Covid I completely missed it, but it was what I would call a British whodunnit transferred to US soil. There were shades of Hercule Poirot—the detective is even called Benoit Blanc—and story is of a dysfunctional, monied family swirling around in a luxury mansion after the death of the patriarch, with everyone expecting to inherit.
In the tradition of those British whodunnits, it had a star-studded cast. Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Christopher Plummer, and others. And, of course, it had a few twists to the story.
I enjoyed the story (once I got used to Daniel Craig’s southern accent, not sure I ever want to hear him do an Australian one) and I see there’s a second movie coming out, with another star-studded cast which I’ll watch as well. Right now, though, the US seems to be doing two types of television/movie well that was once thought of as quintessentially British. The whodunnit, if this is anything to go by, and period romance. Anyone watching Bridgerton?
6 replies on “Whodunnit and other things”
I am not generally a movie watcher, but I heard such good things about Knives Out that I watched it on video with my husband. I recall describing it to friends as campy but fun.
I’m not watching Bridgerton, but I did read all the books back in the day.
Campy is a good word.
I’ve read a lot of Julia Quinn books, but I never read the Bridgerton series.
I had hoped Knives Out would be as good as Clue (the 1985 dark comedy with Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Eileen Brennan, etc) but it didn’t quite hit that mark for me – Clue is a cult classic in my circles, though, so the bar was set very high. I didn’t realize there was a second one coming out – I definitely enjoyed enough that I want to see it! I have to agree on Daniel Craig with the accent, though… 😂
I haven’t seen Clue. I’ll have to see if I can find a copy.
Have you read any books by Barbara Nickless? (Mysteries) She has several out now and I have enjoyed all.
I also wanted to thank you for your book ideas/recommendations back in October. I discovered and enjoyed many of them!! I hope you will share more of your favorites.
I haven’t read Barbara Nickless, no. Not yet, anyway. I’ll check her out.
Thanks for the rec. I find most of my books to read now through recommendations nowadays.