'CORE' Best Lists
- Top 25 Best Mystery Books
- The Top 100 Mystery Books
- Best Mystery Audiobooks
- Best Mystery Books of Fall 2018
- Best Mystery Books of 2017
- Best Mystery Books of 2016
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'AUDIENCE' Best Lists
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The Handicapped Mystery Genre
What is a Handicapped Mystery?
Handicapped mysteries refer to the subgenre where the detective is differently abled. Max Carrados was one of the early examples with this, where the blind detective used his other senses to solve crimes. Since then there have been detectives who are blind, deaf, mute, and in a wheelchair and more. These detectives have a different view of the world and use that perspective to put criminals in jail.
Handicapped Mystery Characteristics
- Level of Characterization
The characters must be well-developed in order to explain how their abilities differ from the norm.
- Level of Plot
The plot of these mysteries usually revolves around a mystery that the detective is uniquely able to solve.
- Level of Mystery
There must be a mystery/puzzle to be solved by these detectives. Most of these detectives cannot function as police officers or private detectives and must be brought in because of their unique abilities.
- Level of Suspense
There typically is some level of suspense as the murderer/villain uses the detective's abilities against him/her.
- Level of Thriller
There can be some elements of a thriller in the book, though it is fairly rare.
- Level of Strangeness
There definitely can be some strangeness as the detective introduces the reader to the various ways of coping with differing abilities in the world.
- Level of Violence
The level of violence can vary widely. There can be no violence or there can be multiple gruesome deaths.
- Level of Action
The level of action is typically reduced as the detective may have issues that would prevent chases or fights.
- Degree of Thriller, Suspense, Crime, and Mystery
The book falls mainly in the mystery category as the book will have a murder at its core to be solved. There is likely to be some suspense due to the differing ability of the detective and the heightened dangers from lacking a sense. There may be a few elements of a thriller, but this is.
Related MYSTERY Subgenres
Quirky Detectives. The detective may have some odd ways of coping with the loss of a sense.
Handicapped Mystery isn't for you IF...
like lots of action or don't want to learn about those with various abilities
- 1 Max Carrados, the Blind Detective
By Ernest Bramah. The title says it all.
- 2 The Tragedy of Y
By Drury Lane. Actor Drury Lane is deaf and helps Inspector Thumm solve crimes.
- 3 Blind Man's Bluff
By Baynard Kendrick. The first member of MWA, Kendrick wrote about Duncan Maclain, who was a blind PI. The character is often credited as the inspiration for the TV series, Longstreet.
- 4 Murder Has One Eye
By Russell Gray. Gray was a pseudonym for Bruno Fischer and wrote pulp stories about Ben Bryn who developed polio as a child and slowly regained the use of his legs as an adult.
- 5 Calvin Kane
By Russell Gray. Another series by Gray, which featured a man who had to crawl on the ground due to atrophied limbs and twisted body.
- 6 Slot Machine Kelly
By Dennis Lynds. Lynds, who wrote under the name Michael Collins, wrote about a war vet with a missing arm who worked as a PI.
- 7 Shadow of a Broken Man
By George C. Chesbro. Mongo is a private eye who has dwarfism. The name Mongo comes from his days as a circus acrobat.
- 8 Mr. Monk Goes to the Firehouse
By Lee Goldberg. Based on the TV series, Monk, these novels continue the cases of Adrian Monk, who suffers from OCD.
- 9 Funerals – C.O.D