Mystery Sub-Genres

This is the first article is part of the blog roll for the Rolling Mystery Blog Tour Ink group. Looks like I’m going it alone today, but hopefully my partners will return for Monday’s roll, which starts at KT Wagner’s blog, on the subject of Social Media: Ideas for connecting writers and readers.

And now, on to my article on Mystery Sub-Genres

Mysteries is a big topic. There are lots of sub-genres of mysteries, including cozies, sleuths, police procedurals, historicals, suspense mysteries, romantic mysteries, and a bevy of others. I enjoy most of them. To me, the mystery is the fun part.

I like the closed format of the mystery, so the reader is not privy to info that the main mystery solving characters don’t have. That way, I have to work on the mystery myself. I find that I write more toward the suspense/police procedurals, while I tend to read the older mysteries that were more pure mystery, with not so many sub-plots and not so much character development. The point in those mysteries is just for the reader to solve the puzzle.

I like to write about psychological mysteries. I like to explore the mind and have the reader try to figure out the why of the puzzle. So I do major character development, and several sub-plots. Some of the sub-plots may be romantic, or sleuth, or police procedural. I know, I’m a little crazy. But I really enjoy my job!

I have a great idea for a cozy, but I can’t seem to write it the way I want it. I envision it as somewhat funny, but I haven’t been able to write funny. Yet. It’s a great story, with several characters, including a Sheriff named Marshall, a man whom everyone thinks is Elvis, and two sisters-in-law who are different as night and day. Plus a young man who’s a wannabee gangster, but doesn’t have a clue.

I’m really interested in reading the other blogs on this subject. I love to know what other mystery writers are writing. You can check them out at the addresses below.


3 comments on “Mystery Sub-Genres

  1. My first few novels were romantic mysteries, but my new one coming out this fall is more of a straight mystery. I wish we didn’t even have to classify ourselves into genres, but it seems it can’t be helped!

    • I know, I hate being labled too, but since readers are selective in the genres they read, we need to fit into a genre so we can be found. Just think if you wanted to read a mystery, but of the millions of books out there, you couldn’t tell what you were getting until you read it? I’d hate that worse!

  2. mollie bryan says:

    I think on one of our first posts we talked about genre and I said I really didn’t like the term “cozy.” But we all know what it means–so I guess it’s doing the job it’s meant to do in labeling. My copy-editor labeled my “cozy” a “light-hearted” mystery. I might like that better. And then there are the sub-genres, like “craft” mysteries, and “food” mysteries. I enjoy them all. I agree, though that it’s the mystery element that’s most appealing.
    I do hope to join you all for the next round.

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