Posted by: nancycurteman | November 21, 2010

Mystery Novels: Why so Popular?

The mystery novel is one of the most popular genres in the world. The readership of these books is second only to that of romance stories. Why so popular? The answer lies with the mystery fan h/erself.

Mystery readers are intelligent people. The mystery story appeals to their sense of curiosity. They enjoy action. They love to analyze the psychological makeup and motivational drives of characters. Most mystery readers are as interested in how and why a crime is committed as they are in who committed it. Sifting through clues and red herrings as the story progresses adds challenge. Mystery readers have a strong sense of justice and expect evildoers to be punished. Most mysteries provide this kind of ending. A mystery story allows the reader to experience danger, suspense and fear while seated in a nice safe armchair. Mystery fans also want to marvel at the genius of the Detective as he finally solves the crime. Indeed, the reader loves to match wits with the sleuth and the criminal—and the author. Perhaps the most satisfying experience a mystery novel reader can have is to figure out “whodunit” before the end of the book.

The modern mystery has broadened its appeal even more, by including elements of other genres such as history, romance, travel and other cultures.

There’s something for everyone in a good mystery novel. Is it any wonder it is fast approaching the level of readership of romance novels.

Photo: Shiny

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Responses

  1. Astute observations. Thanks.

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  2. Good post, Nancy… as always.

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  3. Wonderful post! I agree with you:

    “Indeed, the reader loves to match wits with the sleuth and the criminal—and the author. Perhaps the most satisfying experience a mystery novel reader can have is to figure out “whodunit” before the end of the book.”

    If the trail of breadcrumbs is insufficient to allow readers to solve the whodunit at home, even after ALL CLUES have been revealed, I feel cheated and generally stop reading that author’s books.

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    • I agree. However, once in awhile I get a really big surprise I didn’t see coming until after it arrives. Then I can think back over some of the clues I didn’t catch.

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  4. Yes, I love a good mystery. Everything you said is true. The reader is always trying to figure it out along with the sleuth. It’s very gratifying in the end if all the clues suddenly make sense. Thank you for sharing…

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  5. […] 5 Guaranteed-to-Sell-Elements of a Cozy Mystery […]

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