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A Peek at My Mystery Shelf

March 13, 2012

Remember when I shared a photo of my newly svelte bookshelves a few months ago and then never followed up? So do I! Frankly, it was almost impossible to get a good photo, and the attempt was driving me nuts, so I just gave up. But now I have a more powerful camera and a handy new reading floor lamp with rotating shade; between the two, I can just about manage a decent shot. So I thought going shelf by shelf as a kind of mini-feature would be a nice option for days when I can’t type much!

I separate out my to-be-read books, so unless I’m describing a TBR shelf, I’ve already read all of the books pictured. My bookshelves are also an excellent ‘if p, then q’ example: with the two TBR exceptions, all of the books they contain I’ve read and loved. However, not all of the books I’ve read and loved are on my shelves; for the past few years, I’ve barely acquired any books and primarily relied upon the library. So essentially you’re seeing a random sampling of my favourites, with a stronger emphasis on my past interests, since that was when I got my hands on most of these titles. Thus it’s a bit of a random collection, but it still makes me happy! Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to: my mysteries.

click to enlarge

Books, left to right:

  • most of Laurie King’s Mary Russell series (my mom owns the entire set and we live together, so it’s not urgent for me to fill in the gaps);
  • most of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marples (note the mainly matched editions; I want all of the Miss Marples since they’re my ultimate comfort read) plus a stray Ariadne Oliver/Hercule Poirot title;
  • three of the four of Kate Ross’ Julian Kestrel series (the green spines, sadly out of print and thus I’m keeping my bookmooched copies);
  • and a handful of Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey books (with a strong focus on the Harriet Vane ones, because they’re the ones I reread the most).

Decorations, left to right:

  • a photograph I took when I was studying abroad in St. Petersburg with three art magnets I bought at the Hermitage stuck to the frame (isn’t it a gorgeous city? I fell in love);
  • thrifted glass bottle (I sometimes steal it for use as a vase);
  • Little Death (by artist Lisa Snelling-Clark of poppet fame; I have three poppets, but they live elsewhere);
  • and a giant Starbucks mug my dad brought back from Qatar (I use it to store little odds and ends).

If you’d like to see all of the shelves together, here’s my annotated photo.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2012 6:33 am

    I love your mystery shelf. I just finished my first Agatha Christie book (Murder on the Orient Express) and loved Peroit. (I think I forgot a letter in there).

    Also, I must get a poppet. I’ve been so envious of Chris’s collection.

  2. March 13, 2012 6:36 am

    It seems like such a silly thing, the excitement we all seem to feel over getting a peek at other people’s bookshelves. But nonetheless, the excitement and pleasure is so very real. :D Thanks for the look, Eva! And I can’t wait to see the other shelves in detail.

  3. March 13, 2012 8:10 am

    I haven’t read Kate Ross or Laurie King, I don’t think. Names to add to my mystery list!

  4. March 13, 2012 9:17 am

    I’m sorry that the Julian Kestrel’s are out of print as well!

    St. Petersburg is amazing, but Moscow is still my favorite Russian city. In St. Pete I felt I could be in Vienna or another baroque European city, while Moscow is the real-deal Russia!

  5. March 13, 2012 9:51 am

    I love taking a peek at other people’s shelves!

  6. Ellen permalink
    March 13, 2012 11:19 am

    I absolutely love it! Thank you for sharing. I am looking for shelves and I love these.
    You have many treasures – nice beginning!
    With your skill the new camera made everything sharp & crisp. Enjoy!

  7. March 13, 2012 11:45 am

    Lucky you – I’d love to visit St. Petersburg!

    Based on the overlap of our mystery tastes, I’ve added the Julian Kestrel series to my wish list. Thanks for the tip – and the peek at your shelf!

  8. March 13, 2012 1:01 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who rereads Harriet Vane. As I’ve said before, I think that, next to Jane Austen, Dorothy Sayers has taught me the most about male-female relations.

  9. Chelsea permalink
    March 13, 2012 1:19 pm

    Eva,thank you so much for a closer peek at your shelves – like many people have already mentioned, I’m not sure whats so tizzying and interesting about others shelves, but there is something for sure! I’m also getting ready to read my first Agatha Christie, so wish me luck!

  10. March 13, 2012 1:29 pm

    Oh my gosh that shelf is so beautiful!

  11. March 13, 2012 2:12 pm

    I like how well read these books look, as someone who deliberately creases the spines of my own paperbacks when I read them, I can appreciate that :)

    And I would love to visit St Petersburg!

  12. March 13, 2012 2:33 pm

    I always love getting to see other reader’s shelves! All my mysteries (except for a couple of King’s early Mary Russell books) are in storage and I miss them, especially Sayers’ works.

  13. March 13, 2012 7:07 pm

    Thank you for giving us a peak at your shelves. It is nice to see how other book lovers display their books! The picture looks great.

  14. March 14, 2012 6:28 pm

    I am as dumb as a stick. I read “mystery shelf” like “mystery meat” and when I saw the books that were on it, I was all, “Pfft. This is not mysterious at all! The shelf is all mystery novels!” Obviously not a good week for my brain. :p

  15. March 14, 2012 8:42 pm

    I was at Barnes & Noble this weekend and was looking at the mystery section and thinking how I’d love a matched collection of the Miss Marple books as well. The new editions they have are just really great.

  16. March 17, 2012 10:03 pm

    I was half-awake when I read the title of your blog post, and I interpreted it as meaning that you were going to reveal something mysterious about your secret reading. Only when I saw Agatha Christie did the light break through!

  17. samantha1020 permalink
    March 18, 2012 10:55 am

    I love Agatha Christie! I’m hoping to eventually read everything that she has written. I keep meaning to begin Laurie R. King’s series but I haven’t yet.

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