Monday, July 30, 2012

What Do You Know About Mysteries? What Do You Like?

Tell us one thing you know about mysteries. It can be a tip or observation.
Or tell us something you like.
Or, you can agree with what someone else says.

Mine is:

I like mysteries that are character driven, rather than plot based. I love to get into someone's head and experience that person's emotions. If an author does it right, it doesn't matter to me if the plot is simple or intricate.

Okay, your turn. Please share.

Morgan Mandel writes thrillers, mysteries and romances.
Find excerpts and buy links to her novels at

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John Scherber said...

I never write character that are black or white. Moral complexity makes for a far more interesting story.

Morgan Mandel said...

Good point, John. I don't know one person who is absolutely good or absolutely evil in real life, and characters that reflect that are more compelling.

Morgan Mandel

Susan Elizabeth said...

Morgan - I agree with your post - I like mysteries that transcend whodunnit. Stories that show us the affects that a crime has on the people involved. Imagine, if a murder were to happen in your family or town, would you be able to go back to life as normal just because the perp was caught?

Morgan Mandel said...

Very true, Susan.
Just seeing how murder affects people watching TV, I can't imagine how it would affect someone when it happens in their own family.

Morgan Mandel

Cheryl said...

The one person who seems like the perfect culprit, never is. My other observation is you never know what will be a clue, so you have to pay close attention. Sometimes, it's not until the mystery is solved that you realize something was a clue.

Morgan Mandel said...

Very true, Cheryl. I usually try to figure out the least likely person to have done it, then I see if I'm right.

Morgan Mandel

Carolyn J. Rose said...

I like mysteries because justice is usually done. I worked in TV news for many years and saw cases where it seemed to me that justice wasn't done, where someone got off, or got only a light sentence, or plea bargained. I started writing mysteries so I could create characters and make them suffer for their crimes.

Morgan Mandel said...

Excellent reason! You are so right. Almost all the mystery authors make sure that justice is dispensed correctly! It does leave a satisfying feeling for the reader, actually, the author as well!

Morgan Mandel

Earl Staggs said...

Well-written characters are essential, but I'm more interested in the story. Even if I love the characters, I'll close the book if the plot is weak, predictable or potholed. When a character has major problems unrelated to the main story and they overshadow the plot, I want to scream, "Get over it, get a life, and gimme a good story." When I want screwed-up people, I'll watch Dr. Phil. I know I'm different from most people in this regard, but I'm happy in my own world. They take good care of me here and make sure I take my meds. ;-)

Katie McCurdy said...

True, a mystery with realistic characters that I can get to know are a MUST, but having the plot/mystery be really good and unique is also a MUST for me. :-)

Morgan Mandel said...

Yes, there is a limit. If the story doesn't make sense, the author is acting like the readers have no brains.

Morgan Mandel

Lynn Cahoon said...

I realized tonight driving home that I like the amateur sleuth better than the police procedural.

Morgan Mandel said...

Lynn, I do, too! With the amateur sleuth you get more of the character's feelings.

Morgan Mandel

sandy gardner said...

to me, a mystery has to be character-driven. (which is also what I write) if not, it loses my interest pretty fast. I also like period mysteries -- caleb carr, etc.
Sandy Gardner