I totally second The Moonstone, super good…I haven’t read a ton of mysteries so looking forward to some from this topic!
The “puzzle fiction” books Robin Sloan mentions seem great. Gnomon has been on my list for a while, and The Westing Game is a classic YA mystery, would be fun to re-read that at some point.
He also talks about a related genre in another newsletter:
This week I’ve been reading books in the shin honkaku genre … These are the kinds of mysteries that a clever reader can solve ahead of the detective, with
- characters introduced fully and fairly,
- a clearly circumscribed stage (think: snowbound chalet), and
- no vital information withheld from the reader.
Locked room mysteries basically…and apparently these ones are particularly “meta”. See the full post for some specific recs / links. Great genre for anyone who loved books like this as a kid —
One old favorite I haven’t read in a long time but remember being fantastic is actually a nonfiction mystery! Kind of an old school computer hacker cat and mouse game…very fun: