Puget Sound English Department

August 10, 2009

Mysterious Doings

Filed under: Activities off Campus,Uncategorized — ATH @ 7:19 pm

The butler did it!

The butler did it!

The mystery genre is one whose popularity needs almost no introduction. Its cultural currency is attested to by no less than our own illustrious Professor Ostrom and President Thomas (also a Professor of English), both of whom take on the murky netherworlds of the genre in their scholarly and pedagogical pursuits. Whatever its sordid roots, the mystery novel has taken its (rightful?) place among serious literature, while continuing to dominate the bestseller lists. Those of you in the vicinity may have overlooked a treasure in our midst: The Seattle Mystery Bookshop, located in the Pioneer Square area. Visit the link above to find out about upcoming readings and new titles, or to order books from the source.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, August 11) at noon, author Robert Ferrigno will be signing copies of the final work in his trilogy, Heart of the Assassin (Scribner), which features a post-U.S. America divided between the “Islamic Republic” and the “Bible Belt.” Janet Maslin’s droll review of the book can be found here. (Worth the price of admission: Maslin’s observation that in Ferrigno’s bleakly ideological future, Barbie may wear a burka, but “[a]t least Starbucks prices aren’t much higher than they used to be.”)

Purists may note that Ferrigno’s work only marginally conforms to the classic conventions of the genre as they are found in works by E.A. Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Elizabeth George, or P.D. James. Nor does it follow directly the noirish masterpieces of Dashiell Hammett or Walter Moseley. Sometimes, we suspect, being a purist is overrated.

Seattle Mystery Bookshop (Downtown)
117 Cherry St
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 587-5737



  1. Judith Butler?

    Comment by O. — August 10, 2009 @ 11:10 pm

  2. Clearly, she was in cahoots with Derrida…

    Comment by atracyhale — August 11, 2009 @ 1:21 am

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