Friday, July 24, 2009

The Romance of Mystery

I love a good cozy mystery, but not just for the intrigue of discovering the villain. The best ones have a bit of romance to spice things up. I mean a little tiny bit, not searing like so many of Nora Roberts' books.

Writing romance is an art in itself, and melding it with mystery takes a really deft hand. But the end result is incomparable, the best of both worlds to me. In a cozy novel, the mystery and romance are just that - cozy - which is about all I can handle.

A while back, Shelley Thrasher explained to us how to make things CLICK between characters and amidst the sheets, and you can read about that here.

You can also check out Writing Romance by Vanessa Grant for everything a writer needs to make a book sizzle, "from spark to finish". Included is a CD with Excel template to track character history and timelines. I recommend the book to anyone thinking of trying out the romance genre.

If that's more than you wanted to know, experience my ideal of the mystery/romance synergy, and join us next week when we host Hank Phillippi Ryan to talk about her new sizzling Agatha award-winning novel, Prime Time. I just finished it and it's good, oh, yes; that perfect balance between a whodunit and love story. Can't wait for the next installment. More about that on Monday, too, when Hank answers all our questions.
Dani Greer is a founding member of the Blood-Red Pencil and currently is on hiatus from most everything except nursing her poor, injured cat back to health. Ever tried feeding a cat with his mouth wired shut? An experience to write about for sure.
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  1. I need to add a bit of romance in my next book. Thanks for the resource tips!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. My favorite mystery with romance was the courting and marriage of Mrs. Pollifax during that series of excellent and funny tales of an older woman running errands around the world for the CIA. I guess I like my mysteries adventurous and my romance understated.

  3. They always say writers need to involve all the senses when writing, but here's the truth for me: I don't want the sex to be so detailed that I can smell it between the pages! Bleh. So the cozy trend toward adding more romance (and, thus, character development) suits me just fine.


  4. I like the idea of romance in mysteries as long as it is organic to the story and characters, not just tacked on to make the book a romantic suspense. And I am with you, Dani, on less explicit sex and more about the relationship.

  5. Dani, you feeding a cat with its mouth wired shut sounds like either a comedy or a murder mystery.

    Straight From Hel

  6. Probably every novel should have some romance it, because life seems to always have some romance in it.

    Like some of the others, I could live without the explicit sex.

    Even in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, even though Tempe and Hutch are married, there is still romance, but I do close the bedroom door.



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