Friday, June 24, 2011


June Shaw

Did you ever stop to wonder why you enjoy reading mysteries?

I've heard many mystery authors explain it this way: We read mysteries because we know that the offender will be punished, and good will overcome.

Yes, that's true. But isn't it also true of most romances? Or women's fiction? How about Westerns? I haven't read one in years, but I imagine the cowboys still shoot the bad guys.

Lots of men, especially, seem to enjoy hard-boiled mysteries for their blood and gore.

Many of us, however, like cozies just as well. We like some humor and romance and--oh, yes, there's a dead body or three or four, and we do want to know who the bad guy or gal is and how they're put away.

I think maybe we grab on to characters we like to spend time with, and those characters often people mystery series. We know they'll do the right thing (more than not), and we will continue to cheer them on. They might be fun (like readers describe mine--excuse the BSP, but it's true:) Our heroes might be deadly and carrying lots of flaws. That makes some people like them even more.

Why do YOU read mysteries?


KH said...

I only began reading mysteries about ten years ago, when I discovered how far they have come since the days of Ellery Queen and Perry Mason.
I like mysteries because I enjoy the intrigue of a problem that needs to be solved, and the steps the detective or police officer or librarian or whoever must take to solve the problem. I appreciate the skill involved in creating a well-crafted mystery story. There is also the idea of justice. At the end of a mystery, most of the time, the criminal gets what is coming to him or her. I think we all like to see that happen in fiction, since it doesn't always occur in real life.

June Shaw said...

I agree, KH. All criminals don't wind up getting punished in real life. It's great seeing that happen in mysteries.

Jean Henry Mead said...

I enjoy reading mysteries because I like solving puzzles. I read mysteries long before I began writing them and find the various sub genres intriguing.

Jaden Terrell said...

I love the idea that there are people out there who are willing to risk their lives to bring about justice and help keep us ordinary folks safe by getting the bad guys off the street. Far too often, the bad guys walk out of the courtroom free--or never enter it at all.