Monday, October 24, 2011
It's a Mystery to Me!
So it was interesting for me to go to my group blog, Jungle Red Writers, this morning and read the comments on how the stakes have been raised in mystery writing and whether people now expect more violence and adrenalin rush. I felt that one way the stakes have been raised is in the involvement of the sleuth and our emotional investment in him or her. Hercule Poirot was an outside obvserver with no personal involvement in the crimes he solved other than a sense of justice. But today's sleuth is dealing with a personal battle in many cases--a tragedy in his or her own life that mirrors the crime she has to solve, personal demons, a villain with a grudge against her... I agree that this makes for a more compelling book. I have always read mysteries for the enjoyment of the puzzle but it wasn't until I found Tony Hillerman in the 1970s that I became hooked because he made Jim Chee and the landscape around him so real and so compelling. My favorite sleuths since then are wonderfully flawed humans like Morse.