What I Learned After Reading 3 Mysteries Set in the UK - I enjoy mysteries and love all the charming small towns in the UK, but 3 in a row might have been a little too much

What I Learned After Reading 3 Mysteries Set in the UK

I’m a huge fan of fantasy, but I also enjoy a handful of other genres. Like mysteries and thrillers. My absolute favorite book series for the past 15 years has been a cozy mystery series, The Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle, which is kind of funny because I don’t even drink or like coffee.

Anyways, I’m a little haphazard when I schedule out my book reviews. I always read the books in the order they’re scheduled. I schedule them based on publication date as I mostly read ARCs these days, otherwise I give the author a fairly set time frame for when they can expect a review from me, so I make sure I schedule it during that time. I love that it keeps me on track and that I can fulfill all reviewing obligations in a timely manner. And it helps that I always know which book I’m reading next. Honestly, with two kids constantly tugging at me, I just don’t have the time to figure out my next read, but I absolutely must have a next read lined up.

Recently, I discovered, after the third one, that I had scheduled out 3 books in the mystery and thriller genre in a row. Yeah, I didn’t realize that until I was about halfway through the third one. The fascinating part of it all was each of them took place in a small town somewhere in the UK. It was kind of fun to spend so much time in that country, but I was more amused by how that happened.

Well, after wrapping up the third book review, I found my mind stuck on that idea, reading 3 mysteries set in the UK, consecutively. The interesting thing was that each book felt more and more British than the last, which was also kind of absurd since I couldn’t shake that British feel from the first one.

But I learned a few things about myself.

1. I do prefer fantasy. I had been wanting to read more mysteries this year, but maybe this was too much. I do love a good one, but I learned I need more fantasy in my life. Or maybe it’s just that, with the pandemic, I need something fantastical to take my mind off of real life, which mystery is really good at throwing at me.

2. I am so not cut out to be a sleuth. Not once did I figure it out before the main character. Well, I did, in a way, if you count a few pages before she did (because all three main characters were female). But my mind tends to run in circles around every little piece and then I can’t for the life of me figure out how they work together.

3. American and British are super different and my brain hurts from 3 British mysteries in a row. Phrases and spellings are different and I can’t always figure out what they mean or how they would translate into American. The first two mysteries weren’t too bad; I could figure out most of it. The third one was heavy with it and, honestly, I think I missed an entire layer of complexity because I couldn’t figure out what some of it meant.

4. Mysteries confuse me. Most mystery readers adore the twists and turns, but they tend to twist and turn my mind around, too, until I can’t remember how it started. I suppose I just don’t have an investigative kind of mind, so I get confused easily unless I read really slowly and carefully, which is often hard when I’m reading a thriller and want to see how things turn out. I usually come out of the mystery only knowing what had happened because there’s always that wrap up at the end. Thank goodness for the wrap up and the “this is why they did it” scenes!

5. I can only read several fantasy books in a row. Mysteries make a nice intermission, but I’m definitely a fantasy reader. Jumping from world to world is so easy for me, probably because I’ve been reading fantasy since I was ten. I did spend a few years gobbling up Nancy Drew, but those were easy compared to the mysteries I read these days.

As much as I enjoyed each of the three mysteries, I found myself sorely missing my fantasy. I do enjoy a good mystery, especially a thriller or a cozy mystery, but I don’t think I can ever be a dedicated mystery reader.

2 Comments

  • Chelsea Owens

    Ha! You sound like me. I think I’m fairly intelligent, then berate myself for not solving mysteries. Also, your bit about the language was interesting; I felt similarly in reading that children’s book series with all the Welsh words and names in it.

    • kat

      Yeah, I’ve given up completely trying to solve them and now read for a fun ride, but I also wish I could solve them. It’s fascinating the differences in language, but often to exhausting to try to puzzle it out.

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