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A Mystery Among Us

Text by: Brittany Knotts

The seasons have changed and the air is turning cooler, so why not curl up with a warm blanket next to a roaring fire, a steaming cup of cocoa in one hand and a spooky horror, or classic mystery, in another? May we at Polite Society Magazine suggest a few of our favorites?

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Mystery is perfectly embodied by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tale of the super sleuth of Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes. Known for his ingenious disguises, profound logical reasoning, astute attention to detail, and skill in forensic science, Sherlock Holmes can solve just about any case to cross his path. First introduced in 1887, Holmes' adventures and investigations span four novels and 56 short stories sure to draw in even the least curious reader. If you're looking for a mindboggling mystery or a perplexing puzzlement, why not curl up with a nice, cozy blanket and a story in the Sherlock Holmes series?

Dracula by Bram Stoker


The fall season brings spooky stories of witches, ghosts, and of course, vampires. In our modern day, we've enjoyed vampire-themed stories, such as the Twilight series and the famous Interview with the Vampire, but Bram Stoker's turn-of-the-century classic Dracula is where our modern idea of those creatures of the night began, and the birth of perhaps the most famous of all blood-sucking villains, Count Dracula himself. Set in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, as well as England, the novel tells the tale of Count Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England and the ensuing battle between the powerful vampire and a small group led by Professor Abraham van Helsing. Complete with terrifying detail and a gripping storyline, Dracula is sure to make your heart race and your skin crawl with each turn of the page. You may want to have a wooden stake, crucifix, and some garlic handy for this read.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


A true classic both in general and in the gothic and horror genres, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a tale chock-full of human (and monster) emotion. Penned when Shelley was but a teenager, Frankenstein is the story of young scientist, Victor Frankenstein's failed experiment in the creation of life. After losing his mother just before entering university, Frankenstein becomes obsessed with the notion of reanimating the deceased. He succeeds, but the consequences of his decision are dire and in many cases bring heartbreak to him and his entire family as his monster tries to cope with being alive, but very alone. If you're looking for a truly gripping tale perfect for the season, yet full of elements other than horror, you need look no further than Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson


Robert Lewis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tells the tale of Dr. Henry Jekyll and his discovery of a potion that would separate his sides of good and evil and transform him into a being completely void of any conscience. As in Frankenstein, this scientific experiment goes wrong, ensuing murder, mayhem, and mystery in late 1880s London. Another gothic/horror classic, Jekyll and Hyde is a great read for this season of wonder, magic, and macabre.