Armchair mysteries, a term many people have heard and maybe even used. But, what are they? Where did this term come from? That’s what I’ll explain here.
In the first heyday of mystery novel writing, the 1930’s and 1940’s, mystery books were written purely for entertainment. They weren’t meant to be literary classics. They were meant to be enjoyable to read. These mysteries were written in common everyday language, no fancy English was used, no complex sentence structure. That meant a reader could curl up in her favorite armchair and read away, usually finishing the book in one or two sessions.
Agatha Christie is probably the most famous author of armchair mysteries from that heyday. The name seem to stick and created something of sub-genre in the mystery novel world.
Today’s armchair mysteries are built pretty much the same way. They are entertaining, often humorous, but always easy to read.
Armchair mystery novels may be entertaining and easy to read, but they are also well-wrtten. The plots are compelling, the characters are fully fleshed out, and the mystery is plausible. The twists and turns of armchair mysteries are just as intriguing as any literary mystery could hope to be. The cast of suspects is not large, but they are definitely interesting people to get to know.
So chose a favorite mystery novel and curl up in your favorite armchair. Take a few hours to immerse yourself in a world of who-done-it.