Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What Really Influenced my Love of Mysteries

Like many mystery authors I often attribute my love of mysteries to Nancy Drew, but thinking back it was really something else.

Back in my childhood we didn't have a TV until I was in junior high. Our entertainment came from the radio. We had our big standing radio in the living room, and my sister and I each had our own little Philco on our bedside table. I listened to every mystery show I could. Inner Sanctum was scary enough to send shivers down my spine, but among my favorites were I Love a Mystery, Sam Spade, The Shadow, and Philip Marlowe.

Every Monday night, Lux Radio Theatre had a live radio show, though later on they recorded them for later broadcast. Many of them were mysteries.

My very favorite though was Perry Mason. I went to one of the live broadcasts. Afterwards I went to the parking lot and got autographs of all the stars.

 Of course I continued to read Nancy Drew and soon graduated to grown-up mysteries. I loved the paperback detectives like Mike Hammer. I remember making book covers out of paper sacks so no one would know what I was reading at school.

If you like reading mysteries what ones do you remember best? And if you write mysteries, what influenced you to begin writing them?


1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of radio shows, and using your imagination to conjure up everything beyond the voices and sound effects. I remember, post-college, staying up late to watch the black and white re-runs of Perry Mason (with Raymond Burr). Such a great show. I, too, got hooked on Nancy Drew as a kid (and Encyclopedia Brown), and that definitely spawned a love of mysteries. It was Sue Grafton's books much later on that made me want to try to write them. It's cool to think how so many things influence the choices we make.