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The Third World Mystery Genre
What is a Third World Mystery?
It's a big, big world out there, yet most of the readers in America tend to just read books set in America and England. This leaves a great deal of the world where crime thrives, yet no one reads about it. These mysteries can be anything from cozy to hard-boiled, but they all have a unique culture and diverse characters. Reading about these places is the best way to travel without a passport.
Third World Mystery Characteristics
- Level of Characterization
the books are heavy on characterization because most readers are familiar with people who have these customs and beliefs. So the author has to flesh out these characters to make the readers understand them.
- Level of Plot
Most of these novels have strong plots where the clues and action stem from the differences in the cultures.
- Level of Mystery
Most of these books have a strong mystery. There are elements of clues and typically a murder that must be solved.
- Level of Suspense
These books can be suspenseful, since many of these countries are more politically unstable than first world countries. Therefore the stakes can be quite high.
- Level of Thriller
There can be strong elements of a thriller. Politics in these countries may not be backed by democracy so police and the government can make for a formidable opponent in getting to the truth.
- Level of Strangeness
There's a high level of strangeness because the typical reader is not familiar with the people and customs of third world countries.
- Level of Violence
The books may have violence; this in large part depends on how the author has approached the subject matter.
- Level of Action
There may be action, depending on the type of crime novel being written.
- Degree of Thriller, Suspense, Crime, or Mystery in this the Third World Mysteries Subgenre
This subgenre falls mainly in the mystery genre. It's likely to have a puzzle at the middle of the story; however, there can be strong suspense elements in saving the village, region or country from harm and may have thriller elements if the crimes are political. There may be crime elements as well if the book looks at the impact of crime on the people and region.
Related MYSTERY Subgenres
Third World Mystery isn't for you IF...
like to read about familiar surroundings, don't like travel
- 1 Murder in Mesopotamia
By Agatha Christie. Christie's husband was an archaeologist working at Ur. She worked with him and set several of her mysteries against the backdrop of the Middle East.
- 2 The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
By Alexander McCall Smith. Is set in the capital of Botswana in Africa.
- 3 The Perfect Murder
By H. R. F. Keating. Keating wrote about Inspector Ghote of the Mumbai, India police. This is the first book in the series.
- 4 Death on the Nile
By Agatha Christie. One of the earliest and one of Christie's best. The setting is a Nile river cruise with a number of bodies.
- 5 The Gigolo Murder
By Mehmet Murat Somer. Drag queen and also computer consultant, a "nameless" sleuth set in Istanbul, Turkey
- 6 Silence of the Rains
By Luiz Alfredo Garcia Roza. Writing about a police detective in Rio de Janiero, Brazil
- 7 The Ways of Evil Men
By Leighton Gage. The seventh and last book in the Silva series, which is set in Brazil.
- 8 Blood and Fire
By Nick Brownlee. Jake and Jouma are a retired Scotland Yard detective and a police detective who have moved to Mombasa, Kenya.
- 9 Bangkok 8
By John Burdett. Features Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a police detective in Thailand.
- 10 Wife of the Gods
By Kwei J. Quartey. Set in Ghana