Nothing says the holidays for me more than a good old-fashioned Christmas murder mystery. I also like the more modern ones, but give me a snowed-in estate in England, with house guests galore, a burning Yule log and I am just the jolliest reader ever.
How many men and women are ready to commit to marriage at 21? Remember, the only time you can change a man is when he's in diapers. The Princeton mom's retro rhetoric is reminiscent of the "ring by spring" mandate for coeds to get engaged by graduation.
Reading offered relief and distance, especially the alternate worlds of science fiction and history. Mysteries promised something better once I discovered them: the assurance that things made sense, that evildoers were punished, and order could be restored.
The guest book here is heavy with potentates, prime ministers, and the likes of Garbo and Mata Hari, Hitchcock and Hemingway, and of course Agatha Christie, who wrote Murder on the Orient Express in Room 411 in the early '30's.