Those words, of course, signal the beginning of a mystery. According to History of the Mystery, mysteries have been around for more than 150 years. Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue was first published in 1841. Since that time, we've been thrilled by thousands of mysteries, from such classic writers as Dorothy L. Sayers and Arthur Conan Doyle to modern authors like Mary Higgins Clarke and Stephen King. The Web offers plenty of clues for novice and seasoned mystery readers, from information on favorite authors and characters to the full text of classic works.
Your first stop should be MysteryNet.com, "the place for everything mystery." This site functions as a virtual community just for mystery fans. It offers discussion areas and information about books and characters, TV listings, awards, organizations, events and more. Be sure to check out the mini-mysteries they post daily, as well as special listings for kids. The ClueLass Homepage is another popular site. It lists resources for mystery readers and writers, including "Skeleton Keys" for mystery writers and the "Magpie's Nest," a listing of magazines, newspapers, and electronic publications for mystery lovers.
Where to next? Investigate what's going on in the industry at The Gumshoe Site. Check out what's new and cool, award nominees and winners and an incredibly comprehensive collection of links, including those to the official Web sites of hundreds of mystery authors.
For a more scholarly approach to the mystery, check out the Classic Mystery homepage. This educational site contains reading lists and essays on classic mysteries. The site is all text, making it not very attractive but still extremely useful. It's a great place to learn the background and literary theory surrounding the mystery.
Ready to stop reading about mysteries and delve into the text?For classic mysteries, check out Project Gutenberg. It provides the text of thousands of books in the free domain. You can browse titles by author or title, or type "mystery" into their search engine for a sure hit.
Shopping for Mysteries
If you want something to hold onto, explore a few mystery bookstores. Pandora's Books is a mail order bookstore specializing in out-of-print science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery. They stock about 80,000 titles of paperbacks, hardcovers, and magazines, and if you don't see what you're looking for, they'll gladly accept requests and want-lists within their specialty areas. For great prices on a more mainstream selection of mysteries, try 1 Mystery Street. You can save up to 40% on new hardcovers and paperbacks. They carry a nice selection, and the mystery book quotes and factoids scattered around the site make it a fun place to shop.
With all the resources the Web has to offer, it's no mystery whether you can find great mystery-related resources online!