My bride and I love murder mysteries and detective dramas, cozy and otherwise. We’ve watched just about every series and movie from a number of different countries, especially the UK. I know why this particular genre appeals to me. To be blunt: I suck at deduction.
I TRIED…I FAILED
During my own writing career I’ve published over two dozen novels and numerous stories. Guess what, none of them are mysteries, for the aforementioned reason. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. Here is that story.
Way back when, I facilitated quite a few read & critique workshops. I came up with the brilliant idea of writing a mystery with a working title (I think) of Murder by the Book. The main character—the amateur sleuth—is a published author who facilitates read & critique workshops, and of course the killer is going to be one of his students. Clues would be contained in what the killer reads during the workshop sessions. Smashing, eh?
I managed a few pages and a lame proposal to agents/editors, before I realized that I had no clue where to go with this story. After some negative input from those in the field that I knew, I slunk back into my horror/sword & planet/comedy science fiction mode and stayed there.
It’s not like I haven’t guessed the murderer during the hundreds of episodes of Midsomer Murders, Death in Paradise, Vera, Father Brown, The Brokenwood Mysteries, or the many other shows that Jacqueline and I devour. But the key word here: guessed. That’s just luck, not deductive reasoning.
But wait a minute. Drum roll here! Just recently, about halfway through an episode of the wonderful UK police procedural, A Touch of Frost, I turned to my bride and told her that I knew whodunit, and why. She gave me an unenthusiastic “Uh-huh,” because she’d heard my (erroneous) solutions to many a mystery in the past. Turns out I hit it right on the nose! Finally, a chance to brag…which I didn’t do, having gotten it wrong oh so many times before.