I do read mystery novels. I think that the mystery novel may be the current version of stories of knights, or cowboys. They are stories where there are the good guys that chase the bad guys and you root for good to triumph while fearing that this may be the time it fails. They are stories where the frailty of humanity can be explored in a more or less realistic fashion. Mysteries frequently end up as series – Sherlock, Kinsey Millhone, Miss Marple, etc – and because the reader is more or less familiar with the characters it makes it easy to just pick up a new book in the series and know what to expect. My one objection to mystery novels is that in more recent versions the gore factor has been upped just a bit more than I am comfortable with. I don’t think the atrocities need to be spelled out quite as vividly. Sometimes I feel like it is a version of pornography and that somewhere a reader with dark tendencies is getting off on the realism. I find the idea disconcerting, and it destroys my enjoyment of reading the book.
Do you read mystery novels? If so, why? Is it the mysteries themselves that appeal to you? The puzzle-solving? The murders? Or why don’t you read them? What about them doesn’t appeal?
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