“Whodunit” thriller crisis

image credit: read52booksin52weeks.com

There has been a noticeable absence of well-plotted whodunit thrillers. Very few can agree otherwise. I’ve been, for a long time, a follower of great and classical detective stories, and I tell you, Lou Habash can surmise rather smugly that we seem to be in an age of great deficiency in masterful storytelling.

Although it would be unfair to expect the spawning of a new breed of crime literature masters, it is still puzzling to observe the dismal showing of the current crops of detective stories. It’s not about the lack of imagination. The slow demise of detective fiction as a genre seems to be inescapably connected to the growing focus on characters trivialized to mimic fantastic tales. Crime writers of today seem to goad on their crafts through false assumptions. The products simply have lost that feel of realism, and maybe a little brilliance in twisting plots. Arthur Conan Doyle toyed on the realistic instability of the Victorian England. Agatha Christie, on the other hand, pried on the dark sides of the rich Victorian life. Both effectively reflected an age, its people, and its fears. Ellery Queen creators, beyond their genius in creating a puzzle of plots, also have successfully mirrored the fragile nature of the American upper class.

While sound arguments can be ascribed to such sudden lull in mystery puzzles, it just sad that we’re losing touch on the magnanimous tradition started by great crime writers who happened to give us the brightest canons of the past.

image credit: literaryduckblog.org

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