Three detective stories

I seem to have been reading and watching a number of detective stories recently. Here are three recommendations; all very different, all very good.

1. The Mystery of the Yellow Room – Gaston Leroux

One of the first ‘locked room’ murder mysteries from the author of The Phantom of the Opera, this was a straightforward classic detective story, very good and very clever.

2. Storm Front (Dresden Files, Book 1) – Jim Butcher

Recommended to me by someone who knew I liked the River of London series, this contains the same core elements or urban crime fighting fantasy, albeit in Chicago rather than London. The protagonist is ‘hard-bitten PI with a heart of gold’ rather than ‘plucky young English copper’ but is fundamentally decent and likeable, while the plot and world building are both enjoyable. So far I’ve read and enjoyed the first two in the series.

3. Shakespeare and Hathaway (BBC series)

A gentle detective series featuring PI partnership Frank Hathaway (former detective inspector) and Luella Shakespeare (former hairdresser) in Stratford upon Avon. Characters are warm and likeable, plots are good (and don’t always involve murder), scenery is quaint and there is somewhat more quoting of Shakespeare, using Shakespearian idioms and characters coincidentally named Marlowe, Portia and so on than one might otherwise expect.