:D My heroes!
Lately, instead of watching TV [which I'm behind on anyway], I've been listening to the Podcasts of Old Time Radio Detectives. Why? Because there's something about the hard boiled detectives that makes me grin. And, I adore Mysteries.
What makes them so great? Lets start with where it all began for me...
Nate the Great...
Nate goes around his neighborhood solving crimes with his dog Sludge, thinking over pancakes for both of them and generally instilling a love of mysteries in young kids. With his creepy neighbor and her five black cats named Hex... Annie, who's dog Fang is as big as they are... and other that help or hinder him along the way.
That was my introduction to mysteries. A mixture of Sherlock Holmes and the vintage hard boiled detectives of Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade.
From there, I picked up several other mysteries like Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and even the Rover Boys. They led me too Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark and a million other authors out there who write a million variations of mysteries.
Several years ago, my Godmother let me take home some Old Time Radio programs to try out. Red Skeleton, Our Miss Brooks, Suspense, Philo Vance, Philip Marlowe, and a few others. Of those, only Philo Vance left me cold. He was too polished to be enjoyable as a detective. Everyone liked him and he was just... :P Not fun. On the flip side, Philip Marlowe was perfect in my eyes. Always working for the greater good, even if it might sometimes work against the law.
As an example, a young kid is pushed into a bad situation where he kills someone. But because of the other circumstances of it all, Marlowe felt the kid didn't deserve to end up in jail. He lets the one who pushed it all to happen take the blame.
On the flip side, if he felt that the young kid was too far gone, he wouldn't approve of covering up the crime.
It was because of this, that I loved what he did. Strong moral conviction was important, along with believing the police were needed when things went bad.
This is why mysteries are my favorite, more so the Hard Boiled Private Dick type stories.