Have you checked out our various Features pages lately? Julie and I are all about Features posts. (Who doesn’t need an occasional break from reviews?) In this feature post, we will be discussing What Books Taught Us. And no, we don’t mean cooking, crafting, or organizing. We are talking about serious, useful skills. Like how to solve a mystery. We want to make sure all of our readers are prepared!
Whether your sleuthing skills are more on par with Sherlock Holmes or Shaggy and Scooby, everyone eventually needs to solve a mystery.
Here are some books to help you solve that murder. Or you know, find your keys.
Fake it til you make it: I don’t know about you, but I am an accident waiting to happen. Granted, I haven’t blown up as many cars as Stephanie Plum, but I think if I were a Bond Enforcement Agent, I’d probably have about as much success as Stephanie. What I’ve always enjoyed about this series of books is that Stephanie has her priorities straight. Empty gun. Low maintenance lifestyle.
My body is not designed to run.
I had an alarm, I had nerve gas, I had a yogurt. What more could anyone want?
Stephanie also has the support system of secondary characters who are always there to bring on the laughs, like Lulu and Grandma Mazur. She also has 2 completely hot guys who mostly want to keep her safe.
I like the way you’ve let your hair go curly,” he finally said. “Suits your personality. Lots of energy, not much control, sexy as hell. <Joe Morelli>
There’s me and then there’s you, and you aren’t ever going to be as good as me, Sweet Thing. <Ranger>
There are more than 20 books in this series. What are you waiting for! Check them out!
Fight the patriarchy of male-dominated detectives: In these two series, we have smart women solving crimes. Often in spite of the fact that the men around them aren’t willing to accept the help or knowledge these women bring to the table.
Lady Kiera Darby is quite happy to live away from society. But murders keep finding her. Her forensic skills could be useful in helping solve the murders. But she’s been disgraced by her late husband, and anyway, most men aren’t interested in listening to her ideas. At least until Sebastian Gage arrives on the scene. He’s enlightened enough to know that Kiera has knowledge and skills that will help him solve the crimes. Plus, he’s excellent at flirting!
I’m not a rogue, Lady Darby. I’m a rakehell. … A rogue implies that one is a scoundrel. A villain. Taking what he should not and shirking the law and his duty. A rakehell may be debauched in the intimate sense, jumping from skirt to skirt. But never where it is unwanted. And never with an innocent.
Anna Blanc is a socialite moonlighting as a police matron. She may not be able to type or make coffee, but she’s whip-smart and noticed a trend in a series of murders. But as the victims are all prostitutes, the men around her chock these crimes up as suicides. It’s only through Anna’s perseverance, with a little help from Sargent Joe Singer, that the crimes are solved. And like Gage, Joe is also great at flirting!
The last thing he wanted was to be caught alone with Anna in a dressing room when she was in her underwear, and he didn’t want to leave her because, well, he was alone with Anna in a dressing room and she was in her underwear.
Collaboration makes for quicker results: Eve Dallas is one of the strongest, self-reliant characters I’ve read. She’s also not a very good team player – which I can totally support. However, as the series progresses, Eve is assigned Delia Peabody as an aide. What I love about the relationship between Eve and Peabody is that they are complete opposites who compliment each other. Eve helps Peabody become a better detective; Peabody helps Eve trust and open up to other people.
Do little pink fairies sing and dance in your world, Peabody?
Sometimes, when it’s very quiet and no one else can see.
Peabody, you never cease to amaze me.
One day I’ll tell you about my granny and her five lovers.
Five lovers isn’t abnormal for a woman’s lifetime.
Not in her lifetime; last month. All at the same time. Peabody glanced up, deadpan. She’s ninety-eight. I hope to take after her.
Don’t discount the youth contingent: From her inception in 1930 through today, Nancy Drew has been a formative influence on many strong women, myself included. She’s a cultural institution!
Independent, adventurous, and respected, Nancy Drew is the kind of person girls could strive to be. Here are some great quotes!
If a guy’s hunch results in a dead-end, don’t flaunt your better judgement and intuition in front of him. Smirk secretly to yourself.
Beware of who you give autographs to – your signature might later be used to forge checks.
How about you? Have you learned any valuable skills from reading mysteries?