by Elva Cobb Martin
To start with I've refreshed my understanding of the difference between Mystery and Suspense novels, and also Horror novels.
Here's a fave mystery writer's definition of Mystery:
A Mystery is a story that has a crime already committed (preferably violent like a homicide) and the suspect is unknown until the end of the story. Mysteries can be broken down into sub-genres like Hard-Boiled Mystery, Police Procedure, Detective Stories, Cozy Mystery, Legal or Medical Mysteries, etc.
A Suspense novel is where the suspect may be be known to the reader, but the thrust of the story is the protagonist's attempts to catch, stop, or overcome the antagonist before a murder or mayhem can be committed.
Another interesting break down I've seen is the difference between Crime/Mystery, Suspense, and Horror stories relating to four aspects:
1) The Murder
2) The Secrets
3) The Question
4) The Appeal
Crime/Mystery: The body is discovered close to the beginning.
Suspense: We anticipate the murder.
Horror: We see the murder happen in real time.
Crime/Mystery: We know none of the secrets until later.
Suspense: We know half the secrets; the characters know none.
Horror: We know all the secrets.
Crime/Mystery: Who did this and why?
Suspense: Will the character live or die?
Horror: How and when will the character die?
Crime/Mystery: Intellectual Curiosity.
Suspense: Worry and Concern
Horror: Gut Reaction
So now that I've gotten that review freshened in my mind, I will be ready next time to delve into the specifics of Cozy Mysteries.
Would love to hear about your fave mystery writer. And please do share this on your social media by clicking on the small icons below.
Elva Cobb Martin
Elva Cobb Martin is president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers (2014-2017). She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels contracted with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both are spending time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in Anderson, South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site http://www.elvamartin.com, her blog http://carolinaromancewithelvamartin.blogspot.com, on Twitter www.twitter.com/ElvaCobbMartin; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elvacobbmartin; and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/elvacobbmartin
Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pOgVHI