Mystery or Horror?

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume I -  Arthur Conan Doyle The Complete Stories and Poems - Edgar Allan Poe Carrie - Stephen King




I think we all know where I stand on this question.


Believe it or not, though, my first love was mysteries! 


When I was very young we lived in an area with few kids and many elderly. The bookmobile would come around every Tuesday morning and there I'd be, in line with the old folks, just waiting to get inside. Back then, there were restrictions on what I could check out due to my age. So my reading life was filled with Sherlock Homes and Agatha Christie. They were my favorites, but there weren't a whole hell of a lot to choose from. Our libraries were poorly funded and didn't have a lot of money for books. After I exhausted their stock of Holmes and Christie, I moved on to Edgar Allan Poe and all was lost! 


To this day, I remember reading Poe's THE BLACK CAT and totally freaking out. Even his poetry did things to me-the words of Annabelle Lee nearly broke my young heart. Poe tided me over for a long time, along with books from my school library about mysterious  things like the Bermuda Triangle, Bigfoot, Witches and UFOs. Then when I discovered King, via CARRIE, a few years later, I felt like I came home. It spoke to me because of the outsider status of Carrie, and how in her mind, she triumphed in the end. 


Horror, to me, has always been about the characters-usually loners, usually nerds, almost always the "outsider." As a teenager, belonging is everything, which is part of the reason coming-of-age horror tales are among my all time horror favorites. 


I still read a variety of things including mysteries and classics, but horror will always have a special place in my heart. Not the gory or torture-y stuff as much as the quiet tales that rip your heart out from the inside, so to speak.