Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mystery Novel Reading Project

We are going to be reading novels in the mystery genre between now and March 14. Only mystery novels you have not previously read may count towards your total. The grading scale will look like this:

4 or more mystery novels read =21 out of 20 max. score possible
3 mystery novels read= 20 out of 20 max. score possible
2 mystery novels read=18 out of 20 max. score possible
1 mystery novel read=10 out of 20 max. score possible

For each mystery novel that you read (up to 4), you must fill out a Mystery Trait chart. In each box record how the trait is present in the book. Record specific names and details. If a trait is not present in a book, indicate that in the box.

After March 14, you will be writing an essay analyzing the mystery novel that you found to be the most successful mystery. The notes you take will help you decide which novel to write about and help you write the eventual paper.

Compelling Detective: Traits which make the detective distinctive and interesting.

Intriguing Case: Traits which make a case unique. Must be compelling enough for the reader to care about its outcome.

Evocative Setting: Traits which make the setting feel appropriate for the story.

Complex Investigation: Traits which give complexity to the case so that it is a challenge for the detective to solve.

Cadre of Suspects: Interesting assortment of suspects with differing alibis and motives. It should not be obvious whodunit.

Unforseen Developments: Turns in the case. May include red herrings.

Suspenseful Narrative: Tension in the plot. Makes the reader want to keep reading to find out what happens.

Satisfying Solution: Solution is plausible yet not obvious.

Blank Mystery Trait Charts can be downloaded here.

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