MYSTERY LEADS normally appears as MYSTERY LEADS MID-MONTH MONDAYS FROM SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF, where the magnifying glass is put the second Monday of each month on classic detective and crime fiction. This installment is an end of the year Monday special.

Shannon will take the time to talk about her own personal discoveries as she looks back at the masters and lesser known writers of the past and how it can inform us as writers and readers today. This installment discusses classic TV detectives and crime fiction (including those items originally adapted from print) and if stories in this medium can also be seen as “classic” for the genre.

When I designed this column, I thought about applying it to classic detective and crime fiction in print. Since the blog focuses on print material, that makes sense.

However, flipping channels, I realized there is some classic detective and crime fiction that comes largely from the televised realm. On one station, I saw ads for WALKER, TEXAS RANGER, which in television terms is now considered “classic”. Another night, I came in midway through on an older COLUMBO story.

That also opens up the question about some detective and crime stories that started in print, but are now better known historically by people for their TV appearances, such as MICKEY SPILLANE’S MIKE HAMMER with Stacy Keach, or PERRY MASON and its star Raymond Burr.

While these are classic television, do they also deserve to be called classic mysteries? The jury’s still out on this one for me.

Thank you for following this column. Going into 2020, it will be retired. It’s been an interesting journey.


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