Mystery + Thriller Author

Guilty Pleasures

Guilty Pleasures

My work keeps me on the road several days each month. Driving across the southeast, I find myself staying nights in hotels, motels and AirBnB rooms more often than I’d like. I also catch myself stopping in thrift stores, vintage shops, salvage yards and estate sales simply for the thrill of the hunt.

A few weeks back in a shop south of Cartersville, I came across a book from my childhood. Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators in the Secret of Terror Castle is an awfully long title for an awfully short book. As a young reader, I devoured mysteries like these — the Handy Boys and Nancy Drew were some of my closest friends. The book was only $1, so what did I have to lose?

Two hours and a scant 178 pages later, I had to be honest with myself. No, the book wasn’t as good as I remembered. What from childhood ever is? The terror the book promised was more of a mild discomfort. It did, however, give me a few hours of enjoyable reading. So, I then picked up Nancy Drew and the Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes. Turns out the whistle was just a loose drone reed. Anticlimactic? Certainly. Regardless, I was hooked.

A few dozen more adolescent-appropriate adventures later, I’m still enjoying the nostalgia trip. What is interesting, however, is the craft evidenced in these mysteries. They adhere to very specific formulas in pace, characterization, structure, language and plot. Like modern cozies, they have rules they rarely break, or even bend. It’s a similar framework applied to a different audience. Are they masterpieces? Of course not. Are they well-crafted, harmless diversions? Most certainly.

In a later post, I’ll discuss one of the books I recently rediscovered that still holds up.

Want to chat about mysteries? Drop me a line — I’d love to hear from you.

Love a good murder? Be sure to take a stab at Thou Shalt Not Kilt, a traditional Southern cozy with Scottish flavor. For my latest news and book updates, follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and sign up for Mondays Are Murder, my weekly mystery newsletter — plus, you’ll get a free downloadable copy of Masters of Murder, my guide to the detectives and authors of mystery’s Golden Age!

Ceud mìle fàilte!

Mystery Author Liam Ashe

Just in case we haven’t met, I am Liam Ashe, author and outspoken fan of Golden Age mysteries and edge-of-your-seat thrillers. My books feature Scottish historian Elle Mackay, former spy Mafalda Marchand and curiosity merchant Emery Vaughn. My first book, Thou Shalt Not Kilt, is available on Amazon.

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Love classic mysteries? Enjoy getting free books? Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Mondays Are Murder, and you’ll receive a complimentary copy of Masters of Murder, my guide to the essential authors and mysteries of murder’s Golden Age. Each week I’ll also send you mystery reviews, news on new releases and chances to win free books and other amazing stuff.

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Love classic mysteries? Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Mondays Are Murder, and I’ll send you a free copy of Masters of Murder, my brief guide to mystery’s Golden Age. You’ll also get news on my new releases and chances to win other amazing stuff.

Masters of Murder by Liam Ashe