Mystery Month at Bella is coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy mysteries all year round. In fact, if you’ve never tried a mystery, do yourself a favor and let yourself get lost in the twists and turns of a mystery with a lesbian or queer woman at its center. We asked mystery writers Ann Robert and Catherine Maiorisi, plus mystery lover KG MacGregor, what it is about mysteries they find so thrilling. Here’s what they had to say.
Ann Roberts: The twist. I love checking readers’ assumptions. (Check out Ann’s books here.)
KG MacGregor: I’m not a mystery writer, but I’ve written a handful of books that contain mystery subplots, books in the category of “romantic intrigue.” Examples are Secrets So Deep, Playing With Fuego, and Anyone But You. As both a reader and a writer, I enjoy the abrupt twist, in which all the information accrued up to that point is suddenly forced through a new prism. E.g., the supposed hero or villain who is actually the opposite; information taken for granted turns out not to be true; or the real mystery is something far more sinister than thought. The fun in writing these is to tease those threads just enough to make them credible and salient while withholding the puzzle pieces that would reveal the full picture. I wouldn’t really call it fun — it’s incredibly hard to do, which means I have mountains of respect for those brave enough to take on such an ambitious genre. (Check out KG’s books here.)
Catherine Maiorisi: I love laying down clues so they are obvious but seem unimportant and the reader misses them. When the murderer is identified, the outcome should seem inevitable and the reader should wonder why they didn’t see it before. (Check out Catherine’s books here.)