NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, January 7, 2011

Why Mysteries?

I remember vividly several years ago, before my first mystery novel was published, having lunch with a couple of coworkers. The subject turned to reading and we started talking about our favorite books and authors. But before I had a chance to speak up, one of my coworkers said, “I already know what kind of books Angie likes. She's into murder and death.” That really shocked and bothered me. Everyone knew I loved mysteries. But did that mean I was into death? What was it about murder mysteries that I loved so much? And what did my love of the genre say about me as a person? It didn't take long for me to realize that my coworker had completely missed the point. 

The act of murder in and of itself is not what fascinates me about mysteries. In fact, I tend to shy away from graphic descriptions of violence and death. No, what fascinates me about mysteries are the lives of the people behind such an extreme act. What causes people to kill? What was the motive? Was it an accident? Was it plotted and planned for? Was it a crime of passion? These are the questions that fascinate me. I guess you could call me a back-story junkie...or maybe I'm just nosy The reason why one of my favorite shows is Law & Order: Criminal Intent is because it explores the reasons why, the victims, and the perpetrators. The act of murder itself plays a very small part of the plot. Then there are the clues, puzzle pieces left behind by the murderer. Where do they lead? What did the killer do to cover their tracks? And most importantly of all, will they get away with it.

During that long ago lunchtime conversation I remember being at loss for words and laughing off my coworker’s comments. But had the conversation taken place today I’d have told her. “No, honey, I’m not into death and murder. I’m into life.”
 

So what is about the mystery genre that fascinates you?


Angela : ) 








12 comments:

MaureenAMiller said...

For me it is definitely the suspense. That hidden thrill that takes us out of our 'cushy' environments and puts us somewhere we normally wouldn't be. It is exciting to read about danger and know that you are tucked away safe on your couch.

Toni Anderson said...

I like looking for answers too--finding out the WHY of a mystery, and the HOW, and then, hopefully the WHO :) I like the fact not everyone has to tell the truth. That always ups the stakes for me because in real life I'm a sucker for sob stories. In fiction--not so much :)

Wynter Daniels said...

I love the suspense as the hero and/or heroine get closer and closer to solving the mystery. I love unraveling the layers of plot and character.

JB Lynn said...

I like the suspense and puzzle aspects of mysteries. I like being suckered by a red herring and I love getting tot the end of a book and being surprised by the ending...as well as thinking it makes perfect sense.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Good post, Angela. I always want to know why. That's what's always missing for me in newspaper accounts of murder, even when the murderer is caught: why did he or she do it?

Elise Warner said...

For me, it's the characters that bring the mystery to life. The motive of the detective, amateur or professional and the why of the suspects and villains.

Bobbie (Sunny) Cole said...

Great post, Angela! I love Law & Order CI - well, all of them, really. I especially am engaged whenever the suspect (or the Unsub, if you're a Criminal Minds fan - I AM) is well-defined, whenever they have motive and can't seem to control their impulse. One of my minors in college was psychology, and the psych' of the abnormal has always fascinated me.


Spitefulness, greed, that sort of thing...bleh. But give me a tortured soul who is a slave to his/her instincts (whether natural or not), and I'm hooked.

Shirley Wells said...

Great post. It's always the 'why' that interests me too.
I'm not really interested in how someone's killed, but the idea of someone being driven to murder fascinates me.

In fact, I can honestly say that some of my killers have been really decent people. :)

Angela Henry said...

I'm glad to be in such great company! Needing to know the why vs the how must be a trait of mystery/suspense writers! And of course I forgot another big factor. I love the thrill and the edge of your seat suspense too ; ).

Clare London said...

Oh yes, for me it's the puzzling it out :). Not that I'm particularly good at it, because when I read, I'm always the *last* to spot the red herrings!

Stevie Carroll said...

Yes, it's the people behind the mystery and the puzzle as to who did what and why that fascinates me too.

Alexa said...

I'm like you in that I like to find out why they did it, but I also like watching the process of the detectives/characters who unravel the mystery and catch the villain.

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