Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Mysteries

November 11 is Veteran's Day. Originally known as Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) November 11 commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compi├Ęgne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" 1918.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day as November 11, 1919. The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. The 11th of November is"a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." It was later changed to Veteran's Day. Too many wars.

Given that I love to read mysteries that reflect regions and holidays, it's only natural that I planned to compile a list for Veteran's Day. Of course, Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd's mysteries were at the top of my list, but one of the most complete lists is BV Lawson's 2007 invaluable blog of Veteran's Day Mysteries. No need for me to duplicate her effort. Be sure and read her blog, as well as all the comments. Another fine list is In Remembrance Fiction in Times of War (not all mysteries) from the St. Charles Public Library. I also did a Memorial Day blog here on Mystery Fanfare.

Don't miss a brand new post at Mysteries in Paradise about Remembrance Day Several great mysteries set during World War I.

Wikipedia has an entry about Veteran's Day Mysteries. Several hardboiled heroes have been war veterans. H. C. McNeile (Sapper)'s Bulldog Drummond from World War I, Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and many others from World War II, and John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee from the Korean War. In Bulldog Drummond's first appearance he is a bored ex-serviceman seeking adventure, Spillane's Mike Hammer avenges an old buddy who saved his life on Guadalcanal. The frequent exposure to death and hardship often leads to a cynical and callous attitude as well as a character trait known today as post-traumatic stress characterizes many hardboiled protagonists.

Read a Veteran's Day mystery today and remember the men and women who fought (and are fighting) for world peace.


Yvette said...

The mysteries by Rennie Airth feature a WWI veteran cop in England. The first book, RIVER OF DARKNESS is still, to my mind, the best. I've been meaning to read the books by Charles Todd but, for whatever reason, I've never gotten around to them. Definitely on my 'to do' list.

Barb Goffman said...

I'm a day late, but I wanted to point out a new book very relevant to Veterans Day. In October of this year, Wolfmont Press put out Murder to Mil-Spec, an anthology of 12 military short stories. Each story involves a veteran or an active-duty soldier. All of the authors, including me, donated their stories. And Wolfmont is donating all of its profits from this book to Homes For Our Troops, a charity that assists veterans with catastrophic injuries by retrofitting their homes or building them new ones that accommodate them. It's a good read and is highly recommended.

Janet Rudolph said...

thanks, Barb