Welcome to the second stop on the blog tour for Mystery & Mayhem: Twelve Deliciously Intriguing Mysteries, a collection of crime short stories by some of my favourite authors. For my stop on the tour, here’s part one of The Crime Club’s favourite childhood mysteries!
The book that really got me hooked on mystery was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. My father gave me a copy when I was 12 and challenged me to solve it. I thought I knew everything about the rules of mystery novels – and all my expectations were destroyed. Of course, Agatha Christie outwitted me completely. I put down the book knowing that when I grew up, I wanted to be a murder mystery writer.
As a child, my favourite mystery was The Hound of the Baskervilles. The Sherlock Holmes stories were my gateway to detective fiction, and got me hooked. I remember reading The Hound of the Baskervilles while perched at the top of the huge ladder that stood against my parents’ bookshelves.
As anyone who’s read Pea’s Book of Holidays might guess, I was a huge Enid Blyton fan. My absolute favourites were The Barney Mysteries, featuring Roger, Diana, Snubby and Barney the circus boy. I loved The Rockingdown Mystery: smugglers, secret passages, and that scary moment where Barney’s locked in the nursery in the big mansion – gasp! Thank goodness he had pet monkey Miranda to tip off his friends…
I loved reading about children from another time and place, like the young detectives in The Famous Five. It was a time when everybody was terribly posh, had jam sandwiches for tea, freedom to roam, and REALLY ANNOYINGLY, mysterious adventures every school holiday. I mean, why weren’t my school holidays filled with solo moonlit trips in rowing boats, or discoveries of secret passageways, or encounters with smugglers? Books like The Famous Five tuned my childhood imagination into the potential mystery that could be lurking around every corner. That is what is SO great about mystery stories for young readers – the feeling that you could be as daring as the young detectives you are reading about.
Check out the rest of the stops on the tour! Mystery & Mayhem is out 5th May – find out more about it here.
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