1920s Mysteries: An Overview

The 1920s saw the emergence of some of the most iconic mystery books of all time, and it remains a period that continues to captivate readers even today. This era saw a rise in crime fiction, with writers such as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Edgar Wallace among others, leading the way. These writers produced a wide range of books that explored different facets of mystery, from whodunit novels to classic detective stories.

Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles is an excellent example of the classic whodunit mystery. The novel was published in 1920, and it is the first book to feature the famous detective Hercule Poirot. The story follows Poirot as he investigates the poisoning of wealthy heiress Emily Inglethorp. The novel is full of red herrings and plot twists that keep the reader guessing until the end. Christie’s writing style is straightforward and uncluttered, making it easy to follow the plot and the investigation.

Dorothy L. Sayers’ Whose Body? was published in 1923 and features her famous detective Lord Peter Wimsey. The story follows Wimsey as he investigates the discovery of a naked body in an architect’s bathtub. Sayers’ writing style is more complex than Christie’s, and the book is full of witty banter and wordplay. The story also explores issues of class and privilege, which adds depth to the narrative.

Edgar Wallace’s The Four Just Men was first published in 1920 and is a more politically charged mystery. The book tells the story of a group of vigilantes who take the law into their own hands to punish corrupt politicians and public figures. The novel explores themes of justice and morality, and it is still relevant today, given the current political climate.

In conclusion, the 1920s were a golden age for mystery books. The books produced in this era remain popular today, with readers continuing to enjoy the intricate plots, memorable characters, and the exploration of issues of justice and morality. Whether you are a fan of classic whodunit mysteries or prefer more complex and politically charged narratives, there is something for everyone in the mystery books of the 1920s.


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