The Dan Brown books are great. I particularly like the character Robert Langdon. He's not the typical hero but someone who is scholarly, loves dealing with his students and then happens to get thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Through his quick thinking and inner gnosis of a situation, he manages to solve the puzzles presented and stay alive. (He also relies on the expertise and knowledge of others who are in the story. That's sort of awesome.) I like, also, that this hero can and does make errors and when they are pointed out, is gracious (and sometimes even thankful) that they are pointed out -- and then resumes his sleuthing with even more determination!
Agatha Christie - I read The Man in the Brown Suit
and never looked back. The mystery of the story was great and I loved the settings of it. It read like she had actually been in those locations, and had such a feel for the country and people. Then I found out that she was, indeed, a traveler and had been to most, if not all, of the places in which she set her stories. One of my favorite set of people in her stories is Tommy and Tuppence. They are great and I enjoy the stories in which they are featured. Hercule Poirot ... yes, indeed, to Murder on the Orient Express
. I watched only the first movie made of it, with Albert Finney playing the Belgian detective, and it was totally wonderful. Awesome cast, and so perfectly cast. I read the book, watched the movie and then read the book again. Such a pleasure! As for Miss Marple, at first I did not like her in the books. The stories were great but somehow the character just was sort of 'nope' for me. Then I saw some shows with Joan Hickson as Miss Marple and YES! That I can see, and feel, as Miss Marple. She resonates with a determination and, somehow, gentleness, to find out what is true. As said in one of the movies - "Head up, nose down!" She WILL track down the answer! From then on, whenever reading a Miss Marple story, I simply put Joan Hickson in it, and everything was great.
Another favorite author of mysteries is Rex Stout - with his Nero Wolfe stories. There was a copy of one of his books in my parent's house and I read it maybe a zillion
dozen times as a kid. (I read everything they had, including the encyclopedias ... what do I say? I like to read.) This book, In The Best Families
, introduced me to a whole other world, one of detectives and mysteries and, yes, Archie Goodwin.