Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rereading Elderly British Mystery Novels Is Good For The Vocabulary

pertinacity - persistence

intransigent - uncompromising, inflexible

infra dig - below one's dignity

compunction - guilt, moral scruple felt after doing something bad

callow - inexperienced, immature

serried - crowded or pressed together, esp. in rows

The last two I was shaky on but the first four I flat out went and looked up. I had a much better vocabulary when I was in school. Somehow Dorothy Sayers and Josephine Tey go together well. Some research shows that they were born three years apart and Sayers only had a couple of years head start on the mystery novel writing game, I wonder why I always assumed Tey was of a later era? Maybe Lord Peter will just never be a modern character to me. It may also be his trappings of old-fashioned English aristocracy. There is nothing old-fashioned about Inspector Grant, and I am almost as fond of him as I am of Lord Peter.

Any other fun brainy mystery-writing ladies I should be reading? Also, is it interesting or just a sign of their times that both of these ladies had male protagonists to solve their mysteries? Barring Miss Climpson, of course.


Kerry said...

Look for Patricia Wentworth--Miss Maud Silver is very much like Miss Marple, but I liked her stories better.

Colleen said...

Ngaio Marsh has a long and enjoyable series. Also, the Flavia deLuce novels by Alan Bradley are wonderful (recently written in that older style).

Anne At Large said...

I am off to the library in the a.m. Thanks ladies! I am also excited to see somebody alive continuing this style of mystery writing!