We love mystery!

2023 Gift Guide with Mystery Manon

In what is becoming an annual tradition, Mystery Manon joins Brook and Sarah to discuss her 2023 gift guide for mystery lovers. If you’re a mystery fan, you’re sure to find something for your list.

About Mystery Manon

Website: https://www.manonwogahn.com/
Gift Guides: https://www.manonwogahn.com/gift-guides/
Instagram: @mysterymanon
Tiktok: @mysterymanon

For more information

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Contact us: hello@cluedinmystery.com
Music: Signs To Nowhere by Shane Ivers – www.silvermansound.com
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This transcript is generated by a computer and there may be some mis-spellings and strange punctuation. We try to catch these before posting, but some things slip through.

SarahWelcome to Clued in Mystery. I’m Sarah.
BrookAnd I’m Brook and we both love mystery.
SarahHi Brook!
BrookHi Sarah! It is a great time to talk about our holiday gift giving and today we have Mystery Manon joining us once again with her fabulous list.
SarahI know I’m so excited to talk about some of the things that she’s found for mystery lovers.
Manon WogahnIt’s great to be here, guys. Thanks again for having me.
SarahSo I will just briefly introduce or reintroduce Manon because she’s been on our show a couple of times. Manon Wogan is a self-publishing professional and book influencer as publishing operations manager for author imprints man and helps indie authors create and promote their books. In her free time she reviews and discusses mystery books on Instagram, on Tiktok, and in her newsletter, The Cluesletter. Welcome, Manon.
Manon WogahnThank you, thank you both. So excited. I love this time of year and I love getting to talk about gifts that really really entice a specific group of people which is us, mystery lovers.
BrookAbsolutely. We love your list and um I know that it’s going to start all sorts of conversations today because you have because you have so many great things on there this year.
Manon WogahnI Have a lot of things on there this year I I have more than any other year that I’ve well I’m only ever ever done it twice but more than before and kind of accidentally too. So um, that that you know it’s good to find more things than you think are possible. So.
SarahIs it challenging that into narrow your list down?
Manon WogahnWell, I’ll tell you how I ended up with so many to begin with. I kind of start finding things and then I start getting ideas for the categories because I split them up into those different sections and then. Then as I go forward I can have a better idea of what to search for. But the reason why I limit it to 8 sections usually is because of the Instagram post. Because I can only have 10 slides and so I have a beginning an end and then 8 sections. And I don’t know what happened when I was putting it together but I ended up with 9. I was just so enthusiastic and so I ended up like this week I was like falling asleep and I was thinking oh it’s not a problem like I’ll just um I’ll just you know, post all 9 slides and then I realize “wait a minute There’s like a actual reason that I can’t do that”.
Manon WogahnI had to make a hard call and cut one of them from the actual catalog part but that’s going to be kind of a web exclusive. So, I figured that out. But yeah, in terms of like finding products. It’s it’s hard to begin. But um, once I have those categories. It’s pretty good but sometimes like I find something really good like. Like Brook, you sent me an advent calendar or something and I loved that but I had no category for it because I couldn’t figure out like where to place it so you know that’s I think the trickiest part is saying goodbye to things that I would mate with that I would do like if I had the right spot for it. But I don’t.
BrookYou have to kill your darling sometimes.
Manon WogahnI It hurts.
BrookSo share with us the list of categories that you have this year.
Manon WogahnOk I’ll read through them and then I’ll tell you which one is the bonus. So, the first one is For Cozy Readers. Those are cozy, comfy items to enjoy when you’re curled up with a good book. Culinary Sleuths which I’m excited about those are inspired by the culinary cozy. Undercover agents, which was which actually won a poll on my Instagram I asked between 3 categories what people wanted to see and people voted for spy which was a plot twist for me. Dazzling Detectives which are like jewelry and one scarf little fun items that are. Kind of glitzy and glammy I have another audio section for people who like to listen to podcasts and audiobooks because I love you guys, and then For Junior Snoopers, which is for kids another one that I’m very excited about because kids really enjoy mysteries. So why not have some gifts for them as well. I have another puzzles and games section I called this one For the Little Gray Cells and then I have another stalking stuffers section, which are just as much as smaller items and then the web exclusive one that’s just going to be available on my blog is called For Organized Investigators and those are like office items and like little organizational things.
BrookI love the categories once again, Manon. And I like that even though they’re named a little differently, you know you can still find the groups of things if you really liked those last time. But I think my most favorite category this year has to be For the Junior Slueths That’s a really fun addition.
Manon WogahnThank you, Brook I you know I was so excited to have that idea because I think kids in mystery books like they go hand-in-hand and I have really fond memories growing up reading mystery and so and wouldn’t you believe it? There are actually a lot of gifts out there for kids that are mystery themed. So, I think it’s a really great opportunity to you know inspire that curiosity in your kid and let’s give them something really cute and memorable.
BrookI agree and I love the t-shirt that’s in that category. It has the it lists the names of the younger sleuths.
Manon WogahnAnd I put that in there because of the names. But I have to, admit it is an adult size T-shirt. So, if you are a big fan of those of those young sloots If you have fond memories like you can absolutely get a t-shirt for yourself. Course for some other adult in your life. I mean that’s the beauty of the gift guide I think you can find something on every page.
SarahYeah, absolutely. It’s hard to choose just one gift from one category. I think I would want something from all of them if not the entire list.
Manon WogahnYou should try putting it together. I want everything that I find like everything it’s like oh my gosh and this year I actually have a few of the things that I put in there like the um I get the Christie pajamas which I’m in love with and so actually the version I put in there is the cotton version because the satin ones I have are no longer available but there are these bright pink pajamas with Agatha Christie covers on them. They’re so cute I can’t get over it. And then I also have the ring. There is a ring in the dazzling detective section that has a dagger on it which feels very ominous mysterious. So I put it in there and um I really love it I think it’s a very nice little gift.
BrookThat’s something that I like that feels a little different this year man and is that some of the gifts aren’t necessarily specifically um, targeted to mystery fans but they go along so well like you have a Christmas tree ornament that is a meat cleaver or I think something a a carving knife or something so it’s actually meant for maybe a chef right or somebody in your life who does a lot of cooking. But for those of us who love Mysteries That’s where our brain goes, so it’s perfect.
Manon WogahnAnd I put that in the culinary. The culinary sleuth section. So I tried to do some fun little like mixing of genres and themes.
BrookSo fun.
SarahWhat do you think it means that there are so many mystery themed gifts that you can find right? Like you had to exclude some.
Manon WogahnOh, my. I think I think it means that mystery is not going anywhere. I remember actually being on this show for the detection club episode and we talked a little bit about why mysteries seem to be having a bit of a renaissance right now and at the time we were filming that I think. Um, during covid like one of the peak moments of Covid so people were really looking for some true escapism and fun. And it seems like that feeling has continued even into 2023. So you know I think people want that little mystery and I mean with all of the new movies that are coming out like the Knives Out series and the Kenneth Branagh Poirot. I mean clearly there’s some renewed interest in mystery books and I think that’s trickling down into some really specific gifts.
BrookIt makes me so happy to know that it’s alive and well and that you know there’s a large group of us who really share this ah this fascination with the genre.
SarahAnd there’s so many ways to express that fascination, right? It’s not just in the books that we read or the or the movies or shows that we watch. But a pair of earrings, or a tote bag, or your pajamas.
Manon WogahnIt’s a lifestyle.
BrookExactly and that actually is a great um point, Manon. I feel like your list is um, you know if anyone has had the pleasure of joining your newsletter or looking at your Instagram you know that Manon has a very wonderful style. And so I think that comes through in your list. You know these items are very classic, classy, elegant. You’re going to get a gift for your friend, or maybe for yourself, that is just a really nice piece to add to your world whether it’s your home or your clothing or you know something to um to decorate with it. It’s just going to be up-classed.
Manon WogahnI appreciate you saying that. Thank you. I think it makes it easy that mystery has a really specific look sometimes and so you know I I mean I think of the Sherlock Holmes that classic London like cozy wood paneled home with a lot of bookshelves kind of thing and I mean that seems to come through in a lot of the mystery aesthetic those like a lot of the gifts. I mean if you look at, for example, in the puzzle section there’s a murder mystery Jigsaw puzzle. The puzzles come in a book form and you actually solve a murder mystery while you put the puzzle together but the books look so good like you would want those on your shelf after you even do before or after you even do the puzzle and so I think that’s a testament to how people care for mystery enough to make it. Like a whole a whole moody kind of look and I Just think you know it’s easy to have really nice gifts when they look like this.
SarahSo you mentioned earlier that you had an Instagram poll to decide on one of the categories. Were you surprised by the category that was selected?
Manon WogahnAbsolutely. I put a poll out there. Maybe it is because I was starting to put this together on Halloween but I had the idea of putting like a witchy section together something like paranormal Because a paranormal mystery is kind of a big deal in our genre. So I asked on Instagram. But then I had a couple other ideas and like I said I have to narrow it down to 8—accidentally nine—but I have to be a little bit selective and I thought maybe I should pull my audience to see what people want to see so I ask between witchy, true crime, and spy. And those are 3 parts of mystery that are kind of a little bit auxiliary. They’re not like core elements of mystery. But I thought they would make fun themes. And the spy one won out like crazy. Like it wasn’t even a competition. And it shocked me because I like I know my audience is also mostly women. I can look at my insights and see I have a lot of women following me and I don’t really I didn’t expect that women would care so much about spy fiction. But I think we do and I think maybe that’s I mean I’ve seen a lot of books that like women centered spy fiction come out lately. So maybe that’s part of it. But I was actually really excited when it did win because then I get I got to look up all of that all of those fun little James Bond inspired items and I thought that was really fun.
SarahYeah, that is that is surprising, but I think a really interesting observation. Maybe they’re silent spy fans because they’re spy fans.
Manon WogahnI mean maybe it’s just my own problem for associating spy novels with like the two James Bonds I read a long time ago when I was like ah these didn’t really hold up in terms of like social themes. But I think there’s probably like. People people love spies and um, thankfully there’s quite a few little spy gifts. There’s a 007 shop. So I put a pair of socks in there from that but they have a lot of other items I almost put this replica Tarot Deck in the gift guide. It’s like a replica from whatever Bond movie I think it goes to New Orleans um and it’s like a Roger Moore one I can’t believe I’m not thinking of the name but it has a tarot card scene or something and it’s like integral to the story so they recreated that tarot deck and ah they look. It looks really cool but I didn’t know if that was something people would be interested in and I saw then I saw the socks and I was like these are really cute. There’s like a little parachute with the British flag on it I mean how could I How could I resist.
BrookWell from that category I have my eye on the invisible pen with light. You literally can have invisible ink and then the uv light reveals the message. So, I think that that needs to be in my stocking this year.
SarahI can attest to to that sorry I can attest to those pens being very popular with the younger set because my son and his friends all enjoy writing with those.
Manon WogahnI think there might be one in the detective toolkit in the kids section I can’t remember but that that has a lot of like of those little kids items you know like I I remember growing up I had 1 of those eavesdropper tools. That’s really just a microphone amplifier or something that you put under a door but those little kind of gifts are just even as an adult like I think that would be really fun I think it’d be fun to write an invisible ink. So I’m I’m totally on that Brook.
SarahWhen we talked last year Manon about your gift guide. You said you didn’t really have a formal process. Did you follow a more formal process this year or is it really just kind of coming up with ideas and seeing what you can find?
Manon WogahnI I think I got bet I was it was easier to find things this year but I think I got better at it and it wasn’t because I had a formal process when I was putting it together I just kind of I found a few things. Kind of like last year like I found a few things by accident and then then the categories started taking shape and then once I got those it was easier like to go out and look for more specific things. So maybe I am getting an accidental process in that way. I’ll say I came across a lot of things by accident and one of the ways I did that was ah I was just scrolling on Instagram and Instagram kept showing me ads for like these smaller shops. I found a lot of things through Instagram ads and I don’t know if it’s because Instagram knows me by now. But I was getting some really cute shops and I was able to find things that kind of fit these categories even if they weren’t like mystery book specific.But I was surprised by that it was nice to have things kind of come to me in that and that way.
BrookI think that’s something that readers are going to find this year too and it’s it’s access to those smaller shops because as I was looking through the list I found some websites that I had never heard of before. But they obviously have really cute items even if it’s not going to be the Bookish themed thing but places to go for some more unique off the wall gifts. So um, that will be a good resource year round.
Manon WogahnI hope one of the ways people use this guide is not only for finding gifts and maybe finding inspiration for gifts but finding some stories that you weren’t that you didn’t know of before um and I really tried not to do too many. Like Amazon gifts but sometimes it’s easy to find things on Amazon sometimes you want that with the with the free quick shipping. But yeah, my goal a lot of the times is just to find little smaller shops.
SarahI apologize, Manon, if you already mentioned this um do you have a favorite on the list?
Manon WogahnOh my gosh I have not mentioned this I have to think well I meant well I did mention that Agatha Christie pajamas another thing that I really like is on the dazzling detectives. It’s the book lover scarf. It’s a silk scarf and it has this really colorful print of a woman reading a book and then she’s surrounded by all these classic books. Not really mystery specific again. But it’s really cute. It’s so cute and it’s silk and I’m a sucker for both of both cute and silk things. So um I’d love that one.
BrookSo, Manon, I noticed that you included one of the mail order mystery subscriptions on the list and these are some things that I’ve been seeing on Instagram. So tell us what you found out about about this one and that made the list.
Manon WogahnWell I have I have two this year I have one for kids and one for I guess adults I’m honestly not sure if there’s an age limit on the other one but the kids one is mail order mystery dot com and I picked one that’s called the case of the missing big foot but they also have themes like. Pirates and I think there’s a fantasy theme as well and these are I’m not sure how it works for the kids one. But I think parents might order all of them and then give letters out to their kids periodically or maybe they mail them out on their own. But um, you just solve a mystery letter-by-letter and it’s like if you want to be the detective and if you want to be put in that position like um, these mail order mysteries look great for that. The other one I have I have on here is called dear Holmes which I’ve actually seen Instagram ads for 2 um and those are letters that you get and you can choose what had like the package that you want for that. But I thought these were absolutely incredible ideas and something that you could really only do with mystery I imagine and um, so if you have somebody who maybe doesn’t want a physical object or is like oh no, you don’t need to get me anything like one of those people.
Manon Wogahn You can give them something that is really participatory and really like unique and won’t take up clutter in their house or anything like that and they get to solve a mystery while they do it. So I really love those 2 items.
BrookI think they look so fun and ah you know, almost something you could do for a couple you know like um because it could be like ah an interactive date night kind of idea to do if you want to like have some friends that really love mystery and I was surprised that it wasn’t super expensive. You know the price point isn’t huge and that is also another point of the list in general you have a lot of different price points. So I think there’s something that you can find for everyone.
Manon WogahnThat was another one of my goals I think I have I think the most expensive item is that Kate Spade martini purse that’s like 4 or $500 but then I have a lot of a mix of everything else and that’s exactly how I want to shop as well just to make sure that I have something for everybody on my list and. For every price point. That’s a thank you, Brook, for calling that out that was a goal of mine.
SarahWell thank you Manon for joining us today and talking about your holiday gift list. I actually think it’s a year-round gift list because if there’s you know someone in your life that’s celebrating something you can turn to this list and I’m sure find something that will appeal to them.
Manon WogahnOr the other two years because I’m sure a lot of those items are still available. So I’m going to link those in the blog post. But yeah, definitely check out previous years for other inspiration.
BrookYeah, and you know, Manon, as our most frequent guest on Clued in Mystery I’m sure this will not be the last time that you join us. But thank you for joining us today.
Manon WogahnThank you so much Brook and Brook and Sarah I love being here and talking about mystery and I love your podcast I have to say it’s my favorite.
BrookOh thank you and thank you all listeners for joining us today on Clued in Mystery I’m Brook.
SarahAnd I’m Sarah and we both love mystery.