Friday, June 24, 2016


To me a good mystery isn't just a genre, but the key building block to ALL stories. What better driving force for any narrative than a question that begs answering? It doesn't have to be a true "whodunit" with a murderer caught at the end of the day, but all books should have some "mystery" to them. So what makes a book labelled a "mystery" actually one? Especially considering my weird take on the need of all books to have this driving force? Well, personally, it's that there is a murder. The more complex, the more convoluted, the more devious, the better. If I was said to have any kind of weird superhuman abilities it would be that I'm really good at solving crimes, of the televisual and written variety. Therefore I really like my mysteries to try to trick me. But more than that, the crime shouldn't get in the way of good character development. There has to be a balance between finding the killer and wanting the detective to succeed. All while making the book stick to your hand so that you can't set it down until the very last page. I remember some of the first "adult" books I read were mysteries. Of course they happened to be Lilian Jackson Braun's "Cat Who" books, but they are still a staple of the mystery genre, if at the cozy end of the spectrum. But that's what is wonderful about mysteries! They have all these subgenres from cozy to true crime. From books for those who like the mystery but can't handle the darkness of humanity, to those who love it. Personally, I love it all!


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