I still remember the day we first met. It was my mother's idea. After 6 intense years of required reading I yearned for a new literary experience. Could mayhem and murder provide a welcome diversion from days filled with pleadings and briefs?
At my mother's suggestion I began with one of her favorite authors - you. From a shelf full of your books at the Downtown Indianapolis Library I selected The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and began that very night. I was confused. Who was this man with the mustaches and little gray cells? Did I miss some of the clues?
Still, I was smitten. You were my first red herring, my first locked room full of suspects, my first summing up. Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence, the stand alone novels – I read them all. Years later I learned The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was infamous for breaking the rules of mystery writing. It also broke through my doldrums and into my heart.
You were the yardstick by which I measured other mystery writers. You were the gateway to a lifetime addiction to mysteries: Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Ellis Peters, P D James, Ruth Rendell, Tony Hillerman, Sue Grafton, Elizabeth George, Donna Leon, Michael Connelly, Louise Penny, Daniel Silva, Camilla Lackberg, Nevada Barr, Helene Tursten, Spencer Quinn, Jacquelin Winspear, Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown and so many more. I am a mystery maven because of you.
I long for the day when I can once again visit Miss Marple in St Mary's Mead. I miss my friend. If you could please use any influence you may have on your side of the the veil to inspire someone to pen a new adventure for her, as Sophie Hannah has for Hercule Poirot, I will be forever grateful.
Thank you, dear Agatha, for so many enjoyable hours spent in your presence.
I remain your devoted reader,