Please join me in welcoming author Margot Kinberg as the special guest blogger here today at Thoughts in Progress.
Margot’s latest release B-Very Flat, a mystery. Since mystery writing is her genre, Margot is going to expand on the different types of mysteries available on the market. In addition, she has a treat to share with those commenting on this post.
Thanks, Mason, for giving me the opportunity to guest blog. One of the most exciting things about being part of the mystery novel community is that there’s such a variety of crime fiction out there.
Mystery fans can choose from cozies, spy thrillers, psychological thrillers, police procedurals, noir fiction, and much more. The real beauty of this is that most people can find a mystery novel that they like, almost no matter what mood strikes them. That’s probably one reason that the mystery novel is so popular.
What is it, though, about the mystery novel, that keeps people reading them? One thing is that they keep our attention. We want to know whodunit, so we keep turning pages. Of course, different kinds of mystery novels do that in different ways, but mystery novels keep our attention. Well-written mystery novels also have real-life characters with whom we can identify. We can imagine ourselves in the situations that the characters in the story face, so we have connections to the story.
Some mystery novels also have the ability to transport readers to another place and time. Historical mysteries are especially enjoyable on that score. Whether it’s Ellis Peters’ 12th Century England, Deanna Raybourne’s Victorian England, Lindsay Davis’ Ancient Rome or Walter Mosley’s post-World War II Los Angeles, those novels teach us about the past while we’re solving the case.
Other mystery novels appeal so much to us because they speak out about important social issues. Mystery novels have covered topics such as pollution, racism, sexism, alienation and much more. We care about those issues, too, and mystery novels explore them. Donna Leon’s Guido Brunetti series, Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley/Sergeant Havers novels, Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy series and even Agatha Christie have dealt with social issues. When they’re well-written, this kind of mystery novel invites the reader to think about the social issues without preaching.
Mystery novels also give us the chance to experience another culture. That’s the beauty of series like Tony Hillerman’s Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn series, Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, and Colin Cotterill’s Dr. Sriri Paiboun series. All of these series are based in a culture that we might not know a lot about. The authors teach us about those cultures through the mysteries that the sleuth solves, and the characters we meet.
Since mystery novels are written in so many different languages, we can also learn about another language as we read. That’s what’s so interesting about work like Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret series, Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s Héctor Belascoarán Shayne series, and Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series, among many others.
So why do I write mystery novels? Because I’m curious. I want to know whodunit, too, and as I write, I get to find that out. I also write mystery
novels because they have such broad appeal for so many people. I admit, too, that mystery novels are my own favorite genre. My background is in higher education, but I’ve been reading mysteries since I was in my early teens, and that was a very, very long time ago. In fact, my biggest influences – Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Tony Hillerman, Rita Mae Brown and Colin Dexter – all created memorable mysteries.
So here’s to the mystery! I’m very proud to be a member of the fabulous group of people that creates them and the wonderful group of people that reads them.
Now it’s your turn. What is your favorite type of mystery? Do you like cozies best? Spy thrillers? Noir Fiction? Maybe your favorite kind of mystery is the police procedural?
Think about your favorite genre, and leave a comment telling me what your favorite genre is and why. I’ll pick one winning comment to receive a signed copy of my new release, B-Very Flat, which features my sleuth, Joel Williams, former police detective-turned professor of Criminal Justice.
Here’s the synopsis of the story:
Is anyone really safe? Not necessarily. At nineteen years old, Serena Brinkman, an undergraduate violin major at Tilton University, seems to have a very secure future; she's got good looks, money, people who love her, and rare musical talent. She's also got a coveted Amati violin, a musical rival, friends whose secrets she knows, and an obsessed fan.
Serena's dreams are shattered when she suddenly dies on the night of a major music competition. Serena's partner, sure that her death was not an accident, asks for help from Dr. Joel Williams of Tilton's Department of Criminal Justice.
Williams, a former detective, becomes convinced that Serena was murdered, when he learns how unsafe her world really was. As he works with the Tilton Police Department to uncover the truth, Williams finds that Serena's looks, money, and talent, far from securing her future, made her a target
Leave a comment by midnight EST, Saturday, 27 February. I realize that there are mystery fans all over the world, so even if you don’t live in the U.S., fear not. You can still enter.
Thanks again, Mason, for letting me visit your blog!!
Margot, thank you so much for guest blogging today. I tend to just say mystery and group everything together. But there is a mystery suited for any mood you’re in.
For more information on Margot, be sure to check out her blog Confessions of a Mystery Novelist... Her latest book is available at http://www.publishamerica.net/product89198.html
Now what’s your favorite genre?