DeAndrea, William L.

Encyclopedia Mysteriosa: A Comprehensive Guide to the Art of Detection in Print, Film, Radio, and Television (1994)

Prentice Hall, 405 pages, $27.50 hardcover 

ISBN 0-671-85025


In the Introduction to this reference volume DeAndrea writes, "I began this encyclopedia because I wanted to use it…This book is composed of entries for mystery writers, actors, characters, novels, films, and television and radio shows listed in an A-to-Z encyclopedia-style format." While this book will delight anyone interested in the mystery genre, it's most useful for those looking for film and television adaptations of mystery novels and characters.


The late DeAndrea, himself the Edgar-winning author of several mysteries, explains the appeal of the mystery story in this way:

The crime, you see, is just to set the stakes. The real message of the detective story is that even in the worst of circumstances, a man or woman can make things right using courage, tenacity, and brainpower. Even though writers depict protagonists who are corrupt or criminal, the characters are at least trying to do something about their lives.…In a world that seems to operate more or less at random, it's nice to be able to enter a world where justice is always striven for and usually attained. (p. ix)


DeAndrea was married to mystery writer Jane Haddam. 


© 1999 by Mary Daniels Brown



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