Saturday, September 14, 2013

M is for Mystery

I love mysteries...cracking codes, figuring out whodunnits, and the plot twists that leave you gasping. You may laugh at me for feeling this way, and that's just fine--I don't mind. Mysteries allow for a bit of adventure without leaving the comfort of your favorite wing-backed chair. Some of my personal favorites are The Complete Sherlock Holmes, And Then There Were None and 100 Mischievous Little Mysteries.

As an author, mysteries are a challenge as well, because you have to give the reader interest without giving too much away too early in the story. Language, scene setup, character flaws...anything could be a clue. But in that same vein, mysteries are more fun to write because you could come up with a smashing plot twist that might just blow their socks off, but that's also totally plausible. 

Murder mysteries are also fun because the dirty deed is already done; the question is, can the detective get to the villain before he strikes again? That is what we're waiting for. We're waiting to find out if the good guy is worth his salt. But then, sometimes the good guys lose. What can we say for them then? We feel for them, cry with them, they become more human to us when they fail, and we want them to try again to succeed. Mysteries are an emotional journey through the brightest and darkest moments of mankind, the things we prize with our highest accolades and the things we fear most with our deepest shivers.

The next time you pick out a book, read a well written mystery and see how many emotions you can go through in one sitting. Get ready for the ride of your life!

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