Five Reasons I Love Mysteries

Okay mystery lovers, I have a treat for you today! Kassandra Lamb is here talking about why she loves mysteries! I’m just going to give her the floor:

Thanks so much for having me over to your place, Shannon. Can we take those cutie boys of yours down to the beach later?

But of course, you know what they say about all work and no play!

Hi Everyone,

I used to be a much more eclectic reader in my youth. I read historical fiction, family sagas, romance, and mysteries. Somewhere in my late thirties, however, I found myself gravitating mostly toward mysteries. Today I may read the occasional romance or sci fi fantasy but my true love is a good whodunnit. Here are my 5 reasons why.

The Puzzle – I’ve always loved puzzles: jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, whodunnit puzzles. I think my love of puzzles is one of the things that attracted me to psychology as a profession.

by Lynn Kelley Author, CC-BY-SA 2.0 WANA Commons

I loved puzzling out what makes people think, feel and act the way they do. But being a psychotherapist isn’t easy, and as a specialist in trauma recovery, my days at the office were pretty intense. So I also love… The Escape – Fortunately my everyday life does not involve murder and mayhem. The events in mystery novels are totally different than my own experiences (and please God, they always will be!)

Clients and students would often recommend books or movies on psychological topics, assuming I would find these fascinating. I didn’t. They were too much like work! I rented “A Beautiful Mind” three times before I finally made myself watch it. (And was glad I did; great movie!)

Nope, give me a well-written mystery; they provide excellent escapism.

The Excitement – It’s not a good mystery unless at some point the protagonist is in danger. I love the vicarious adrenaline rush as the hero/heroine is being shot at, chased down an alley, struck on the head from behind or in some other way is fighting or running for his/her life.

The Characters – My very first blog post was on this topic. We don’t think about mysteries being about character development, but the good ones are. It has even been said that mysteries aren’t really about the mystery itself as much as they are about how the characters deal with the mystery!

My favorites are books in which ordinary people like you and me are challenged to deal with extraordinary events. I like to live vicariously through their experiences and pretend that I would rise to the challenge as well as they do.

And I love series because then I can revisit my old friends, and see how they are evolving over time (Come on, Shannon, I’m dying to know what happens next in your pet psychic’s life!)

The very first mystery series I got hooked on.

The Competition – This one may have you scratching your head. Competition? Yes there is a competition, between the reader and the author. Can you, the reader, figure out whodunnit or will the author fool you until the very end?

If the author is playing fair, s/he drops a few crumbs along the way, while also throwing some red herrings in the reader’s path. It isn’t even totally about whether or not you figure it out. It’s also about how sure you are. If you think it was Colonel Mustard, but it could be Miss Scarlett, or maybe Professor Plum, then you will have a satisfying end experience either way. If the colonel is truly the dastardly devil, you think Aha! I knew it! And you feel really, really smart!

But if it’s the little miss or the good professor, you’re a bit surprised but still satisfied, because you kinda suspected them once or twice. But then again, sometimes it’s someone you never saw coming, but looking back, you realize it all makes sense. That last great twist at the end can be even more satisfying!

I love that Aha! moment, no matter who the culprit turns out to be. And then I sigh a satisfied sigh, feel a little sorry that the adventure is over… and pick up the next whodunnit to dig in!

So, tell us… what’s your favorite genre to read and why?

And now Kass is writing her own mystery series. Book 5 was just released last week. Check it out!

When a former client reaches out to psychotherapist Kate Huntington and reveals a foreign diplomat’s dark secret, then dies of ‘natural causes’ just days later, Kate isn’t sure what to think. Was the man delusional or is she now privy to dangerous information?

Soon she discovers her client was totally sane… and he was murdered. Someone is now trying to eliminate her, and anyone and everyone she might have told. Forced into hiding, she and her husband, Skip, along with the operatives of his private investigating agency, struggle to stay one step ahead of a ruthless killer. Skip and his P.I. partner are good investigators, but this time they may be in over their heads… and they could all end up drowning in a sea of international intrigue.

(This book is part of a series but is designed to work quite well as a stand-alone.)

Now available on AMAZONB&N, and UK AMAZON  And  ON SALE FOR $1.99 thru June 12th! (Goes up to $3.99 on 6/13)

Connect with Kassandra on Facebook, Twitter & Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 thoughts on “Five Reasons I Love Mysteries

  1. Kassandra Lamb

    Thanks so much for letting me hang out with you today, Shannon. I love your banner photo, btw. Just makes you want to stroll along the water’s edge barefoot.

    Reply
  2. shannon esposito

    Great to have ya! I love talking about mysteries. One of my favorite things about them is the variety. There’s everything from a light cozy beach read to scary serial killer mysteries out there. Your new book is one of those edge-of-your seat mysteries, which I’m really enjoying!

    Reply
    1. Kassandra Lamb

      Oh, yes, another good reason. I read a mystery a few months ago that was rather mediocre until it got to the very end. The good guy turned out to be the bad guy, and the other good guy had to shoot him to stop him. It was quite powerful.

      Reply
  3. Karen McFarland

    Here you are Kassandra. I am following you everywhere this week. Hi Shannon? How are things going for you girl? Anywho, I like to read character driven novels. Mostly mainstream/literary. But I’ve been known to slip in a mystery or two into the mix. I like the plot to this novel Kassandra. This is going on my Kindle ASAP. Great post girls! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kassandra Lamb

      Hey, Karen. So glad you caught up with me here. If you like character-driven books then you should enjoy mine. The challenge for me is balancing that with keeping the plot moving. From the fast-action type comments in most of the early reviews, I think I hit that mark, with a lot of help from my friends (betas, Catie, Kathy and Marcy!)

      I’ll keep dropping bread crumbs so you can find me as I mosey around the blogosphere here. 🙂

      Reply
    2. Shannon Esposito Post author

      Hi, lovely lady! Things have been busy here, in a good way so I can’t complain. So nice of you to drop by. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Kim Terry

    For years, I was a died-in-the-wool Danielle Steel reader (and I still love her stories). Now, since I’m writing murder mystery/psychological suspense, I read Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen, Lisa Gardner, Mary Higgins Clark, and James Patterson voraciously! The Wal-Mart paperback section is a deadly place!

    Reply
    1. Kassandra Lamb

      I used to devour Danielle Steel’s books. She tells a good story! But now I’m reading a lot of the same authors you name, Kim. Plus I like a good cozy mystery here and there to lighten things up some. My favorite cozy authors include Mary Daheim and, ahem, Shannon Esposito.

      Reply
    2. Shannon Esposito Post author

      Hi, Kim… I wonder if we all cut our teeth on Danielle Steel? I, too, was obsessed with her stories as a teenager. I’ve moved more toward mystery instead of thriller, though those are some great writers you’ve mentioned.

      Reply
  5. Lynn Kelley

    I’ve got the book on my TBR list. I’m looking forward to reading it. I heard from Kathy Owen that it’s not too scary, so I should be fine. Can’t handle horror. Eek! My favorite genre is time travel (I know it’s not a genre!) and for some reason I’m drawn to good sci-fi dystopian novels. Basically, I love sci-fi, but a good story’s a good story no matter what genre, so I don’t limit what I read. Except for horror. I’ve tried, but the nightmares just aren’t worth it. And some of the psychological mystery thrillers scare the heck out of me, too, so I need to be careful. I might end up on your couch one day, Kassandra! 🙂

    Thanks for hosting, Kass, Shannon!

    Reply
    1. Shannon Esposito Post author

      Hi, Lynn, you must like Margaret Atwood then? Oryx and Crake is my all time favorite book… her 3rd in the series comes out soon, I’m so excited! Kass’s novel isn’t scary at all, just intense!

      Reply
  6. Kassandra Lamb

    So glad I’m on your TBR list, Lynn! I’m getting more into time travel these days. Those have got to be tough books to right!

    And I’m so with you on the horror. I even pick my thrillers with care. I don’t think my books will scare you but I do try to make them exciting and suspenseful.

    Reply
  7. Catie Rhodes

    I am a book slut. I will read any genre that catches my interest. I’ve enjoyed books by Nora Roberts, Richard Laymon, Stephen King, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Charlaine Harris, Lisa Gardner, Robert B. Parker, and Jim Thompson. And, of course, Todd Brown. And that’s just a sampling. If I like it, I like it. I think maybe Maybe I look for books that make me feel a certain way, characters I can love or at least sympathize with, and, of course, a good puzzle.

    Reply
    1. Kassandra Lamb

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there, Catie. There’s a certain feeling we’re each looking for in books. For me also, I’m looking for characters I can connect with and something that stimulates my mind.

      Reply
    2. Shannon Esposito Post author

      Exactly! I’ll read anything that grabs me in the first couple of pages, heck I’ll even read the back of a cereal box if it’s in front of me. I love that term “book slut”. I totally wish I was brave enough to get that tattoed on my body somewhere!

      Reply
  8. Debra Eve

    The Bobbsey Twins! I’d totally forgotten about them. I read mostly historical fiction, but recently branched out into historical mysteries. Really love them. If I ever write fiction that’s what I’d write, for all the reasons you mention here, Kassandra, plus that immersive historical element. Congrats again on your fifth outing!

    Reply
    1. Kassandra Lamb

      Thanks, Debra! I had also forgotten about the Bobbsey Twins. I was looking for an image of a Nancy Drew cover and found this one instead. And thought, “Wait, they came even before Nancy Drew.”

      And I love historical fiction/mysteries especially. You get to learn about how people dressed, acted, etc. in a certain era while being entertained. I also devoured the Little House on the Prairie series as a kid. Loved Laura Ingalls Wilder!!

      Reply

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