Crime, Mysteries & Thrillers discussion

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Archive - General > What do you as a reader, feel like you get out of reading a mystery and/or crime thriller book?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi everyone. I am just curious, as a reader, what do you get out of reading a mystery and/or crime thriller book?

I am asking this because I am curious what different things we get from reading these kinds of books.

Thanks for your time.


message 2: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Percival | 11 comments Now there's a thing. You hit on an answer in your question! You're curious...
I think for me, that's what I enjoy when I read a mystery. It stimulates my curiosity and it's why I prefer the puzzle or intrigue type of story rather than graphic crime, which, I'm guessing, is read for a different reason.

There's something about secrets and mysteries which draws people in, I think. The unravelling a thread to find out the truth or an old fashioned 'quest' or trail to follow. Perhaps it taps into a part of our psyche which 'needs to know'. It does for me, anyway!


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan (mysterywriter) | 16 comments NYKen wrote: "Hi everyone. I am just curious, as a reader, what do you get out of reading a mystery and/or crime thriller book?

I am asking this because I am curious what different things we get from reading th..."


Reading mystery fiction can be an empowering experience! You can test your wits, analyze situations, search for clues, and challenge yourself to decipher the mystery before the grand finale.

Depending on the sub-genre, you can be puzzled, entertained, challenged, thrilled, and sometimes downright scared--all the time knowing the solution is a close as the final chapter. (Well, that's true most of the time...)

Thanks for warming up my little grey cells on this oh-so-chilly morning!

~Susan
Deadly Ties A Waterside Kennels Mystery by Susan Holmes


message 4: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 15 comments How mystery gets slowly unfolded? Curiosity keeps me reading.


message 5: by Cei (new)

Cei (READreaming_cei) | 18 comments I feel like I'm the sleuth when I read Mystery books,they are challenging my wits. :)but when it comes to Thriller, I often get nightmares but that doesn't stop me.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (mysterywriter) | 16 comments Aalia wrote: "A mystery story is the perfect thing to keep a curious kitty busy. It tests the intelligence of author and the reader in a way... When my guesses are right, it's more of a disappointment at the transparency of the narrator..."

Sometimes I'm disappointed if I spot the villain early on. Then again, perhaps those of us who read many mysteries grow adept at recognizing the clues as we read.


message 7: by Marie-Jo (new)

Marie-Jo Fortis | 35 comments A good mystery ---a whodunit or a whydunit--- stimulates the left side of the brain. So I ditto everybody here.


message 8: by Leigh (new)

Leigh | 6313 comments A agree with the points everyone has mentioned already. I love figuring out who did it. I also love any interesting story, that provides adventure and I get to "meet" people I would never come into contact with in my daily life.


message 9: by Sue (new)

Sue Jeffels | 1 comments I agree with everyone curiosity draws me to mysteries and thrillers I also think that this genre is one that produces some of the most memorable fictional characters, think Sam Spade, Miss Marple, Philip Marlow and VI Warshawsky.


message 10: by Peter (new)

Peter O'brien (grecian) | 1 comments In the end, the sordid world of crime and mystery gives you a perfect conduit to viewing the mores and politics of a society. Reading novels from different countries and cultures, is enlighteneing, be it Scandanavian, Tartan, Us, German, South african, you are going to learn from Mankell, Rankin, Paretsky, Russel or Meyer, more than you would from just concentrating on straight fiction from your own country.

Yet even if that's not your bag, you get a resolution and a judgement of how you feel it all worked out. If it's a satisfying conclusion, and works with the plot-points and you believe the character progression, all well and good, but if it's the other way, if plots don't work it can energise your brain all the more in realising why it didn't work for you. Sometimes it's not the authors fault, more the way your personality clashes with them.


message 11: by Alison (new)

Alison Parry_jones | 3 comments the best thing with mystery crime thrillers, I like to be kept guessing through the book. A mystery that has me knowing the culprit soon into the story is not good, however one with sufficient clues for me to work out who dunnit throughout the book is best. mysteries seem to cover most tastes to from cozy stories to physcological
thrillers so it takes into account what many people's individual tastes are.


message 12: by Marion (new)

Marion Coro | 189 comments What I get out of them is a sort of escape. I do like the opportunity to anticipate possible twists, turns, surprises -- given with sufficient clues -- as stated above. I dislike surprise endings that come out of nowhere and aren't consistent with any of the information presented. I don't mind the unreliable narrator as a device, but I do object to it as a trick on the reader. Usually, there are a few clues along the way for the reader to realize she is dealing with an unreliable narrator.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

My expectations from mysteries are as diverse as the tangled web of stories that are written under the magnifying glass of crime today!
My concept of a neat ending flies out the window when I'm trying to decipher a thriller as opposed to a classic Agatha Christie novel.
What they share is the aspect of closure, the understanding of characters, and the motivation behind the crime.
I think mysteries offer readers a chance to explore complicated situations and problems outside the comfort zone of daily existence (many of which we would never feel as comfortable with should we have the misfortune to be intimately involved in a crime).
And of course we can always feel better (or worse) for guessing who actually committed the crime, and experience through words, a glimpse into the world of mystery and detection.


message 14: by David (new)

David Graham (davidgraham) My general expectation is that I have to 'work' at least a little to figure out the 'who' and occasionally the 'why'.
I tend to prefer mysteries that move at a reasonable pace with multiple intersecting plotlines.
It's a bonus if I learn something either about a historical period or some technical information but neither are a necessity.


message 15: by Leigh (new)

Leigh | 6313 comments David wrote: "My general expectation is that I have to 'work' at least a little to figure out the 'who' and occasionally the 'why'.
I tend to prefer mysteries that move at a reasonable pace with multiple inters..."


Yes! If I figure it out too early it sucks a little of the fun out of it.

Love learning something new form a book too.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm usually not that good at figuring out who the killer in a mystery so I guess in my case, I want to be entertained and feel that by the end of the mystery, it came as a complete surprise to me. That's what I would appreciate most about it. If the writer made it to easy or didn't play fair with the reader in making it impossible to know who the killer was, then I would be disappointed.
As far as a crime thriller goes, I really do like psychological thrillers that don't have excessive gore or violence. If the book has some great twists and turns that are believable, then I would enjoy that more. There are plenty of great writers out there that can do that.


message 17: by Leigh (new)

Leigh | 6313 comments Ronhummer wrote: "I'm usually not that good at figuring out who the killer in a mystery so I guess in my case, I want to be entertained and feel that by the end of the mystery, it came as a complete surprise to me. ..."


I agree with what you said in the first paragraph. If I figure it out too soon it kind of ruins it for me.


message 18: by Ron (last edited Jan 29, 2014 05:56PM) (new)

Ron (ronb626) | 3758 comments Not really into whether or not I know who dunnit before the end. It's the journey that's important to me.

In one of John Sandford's Prey series, we knew on page 1 who did it. Still, the book was about how Lucas Davenport figured it out. Not about how I figured it out.

In Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series, it's about how the detectives go about finding out who dunnit. Some of them the reader knows early. Some not. But, they are police prodecurals. As opposed to the classic who dunnit stories.

Of course, Agatha Christie's mysteries are more of the classic style. Figuring out who dunnit is part of the enjoyment of her books. And, I'm terrible at it.

But, I like all three authors. I've read multiple books by all 3. Although, Agatha Christie's are fewer in my "read" list than either John Sandford or Ed McBain.


message 19: by Terry (new)

Terry Shames (terryshames) | 17 comments One of my favorite books, ever was Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell. You know on the first page who the killer is, but it takes the whole book to understand what drove her to do it. Very satisfying book.


message 20: by Beth (new)

Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Thrillers are a great cure for boredom.


message 21: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) They say there are no new stories just new ways of telling it. I think that mystery/crime stories are just new ways of telling the quest story. The quest for the murderer, the quest for justice, the quest for the truth. These are the things that attract me to these stories. (Also, why I loved shows like Kolchak the Night Stalker and The X Files.)


message 22: by Beth (new)

Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Kirsten wrote: "They say there are no new stories just new ways of telling it. I think that mystery/crime stories are just new ways of telling the quest story. The quest for the murderer, the quest for justice, th..."

I'm afraid that's true of many authors but not all. Some authors (for example, Michael Connolly or Robert Crais or Karin Slaughter or Laura Lippman or Lee Child) seem to write formulaic books, that is, essentially the same outline with different names and places plugged in. But then there are the authors (for example, Joseph Kanon, Tom Rob Smith, Stef Penney, William Landay, Tana French, Lisa Unger, and Dennis Lehane) who really do write literary thrillers. Each of their books is original.


message 23: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Beth wrote: "Kirsten wrote: "They say there are no new stories just new ways of telling it. I think that mystery/crime stories are just new ways of telling the quest story. The quest for the murderer, the quest..."

I think you misunderstood me. I meant that at the very basic these are just re-tellings of the quest. They may be done in a literary style, a crude style, a funny style, etc. But they are all about the search for meaning, truth, etc.

I'm not sure I would call Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, Robert Crais, Lee Child, as formulaic just because they write series fiction.

Also, just because someone writes a quote literary unquote thriller/mystery does not make the others' stories any less good or enjoyable.

Robert Crais and Lee Child are just as capable of originality without going the literary route. Not that there is anything wrong with literary. And I wouldn't put Joseph Kanon or Tom Rob Smith under literary. I enjoy their books I just don't feel they fall under my definition of literary.

IMHO.


message 24: by Beth (new)

Beth  (techeditor) | 1005 comments Kirsten wrote: "Also, just because someone writes a quote literary unquote thriller/mystery does not make the others' stories any less good or enjoyable.
..."


I agree. All the authors I mentioned, literary or not, are those I read. And I admit that Tom Rob Smith is debatable. CHILD 44 was great, but his others not so much. I prefer literary thrillers, but I still enjoy Scottoline and Coben often.


message 25: by Michael (new)

Michael Mardel (michaelpmardel) | 0 comments Kirsten wrote: "They say there are no new stories just new ways of telling it. I think that mystery/crime stories are just new ways of telling the quest story. The quest for the murderer, the quest for justice, th..."

I agree...and I loved the Xfiles.


message 26: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) I SO miss Mulder! Just think what he could do with the birthers on the X-Files.


message 27: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (PamelaStAbbs) | 18 comments when I step into a mystery story it's a glorious escape. I love to be engaged and thrilled by the action and the puzzle. I enjoy being twisted and turned by the author. Red herrings are always tasty!


message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael Mardel (michaelpmardel) | 0 comments I concur with Pamela - great escape, fills the mind with ideas.


message 29: by Michael (new)

Michael (micky74007) First, I want to be entertained. I want to escape into a world I have no intention of ever entering in real life.
Two, I really prefer mysteries set in places I've been, or at least read a lot about, just for the sake of familiarity. That doesn't mean I won't venture far afield, but I do find myself often reading books set in Ireland.
Three, I want to learn something new, either about the culture, or about a profession or trade I unfamiliar with.


message 30: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melabee) | 8 comments Pamela wrote: "when I step into a mystery story it's a glorious escape. I love to be engaged and thrilled by the action and the puzzle. I enjoy being twisted and turned by the author. Red herrings are always tasty!"

Same for me. It's the best escape from my daily routine.


message 31: by James (new)

James Peyton | 20 comments To me, mysteries and thrillers provide wonderful entertainment, especially of the scenes-we'd-like-to-see variety, where things finally work out as you would like them to. If the book is well written with a clever plot, I also often learn interesting facts about anything from poisons to clever swindles to DNA. And since I like books set in lesser-know foreign countries, I also learn a great deal about other lands and cultures.


message 32: by Tanya (new)

Tanya Harrison (chickreadsbooks) | 3 comments I like to be scared but puzzled at the same time. I enjoy the sense of danger. I also enjoy that feeling of safety while being in the middle of a tense moment in a thriller or a mystery. There is usually something comforting in the setting of a thriller or mystery.


message 33: by Ron (new)

Ron (ronb626) | 3758 comments Enjoyment. I like reading mysteries, thrillers and suspense novels. If it gives me enjoyment, I'm happy. Of course, I'm not happy if it's not a good read, though.

So, while I know I have other requirements, I've not really taken the time to define them.

If I like a book and find it enjoyable to read, I'm happy and content. Usually, when I get to the end, I find out just how much I like the book. If I want more, I really like the book. If I'm glad I'm finally done, I didn't find it that enjoyable. Of course, for both of them, I usually have my answer before I actually finish the book.


message 34: by Foul97 (new)

Foul97 | 21 comments research :)


message 35: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 4 comments The challenge of solving a mystery appeals to me, as does the way all the pieces fit together by the end. The story has to be well written and offer interesting or new facts about places, people, and things. Reading a mystery gives me a sense of satisfaction -- that justice prevails, at least on paper.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

There's a lot of interesting insights regarding the topic everyone. Thanks for the time sharing your thoughts everyone.


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) Excitement. I enjoy pitting my mind against the criminal's, to see if I can figure out whodunnit or what they're going to do next.


message 38: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Oxier (debbieoxier) | 4944 comments Pure enjoyment. Love trying to decipher clues and figure things out.


message 39: by Diane (new)

Diane (lemonsky) The mystery. The puzzle. It's like a Christmas present and you don't know what's in the box. Then the detective comes along and makes everything clear. Most of the fun is as the detective is deciphering clues along the way, and trying to connect them with each other. Endings always feel a bit flat to me, even anti-climactic. It's like finding you've eaten all your candy and there's nothing left.


message 40: by Mary Beth (new)

Mary Beth  | 378 comments I love good thrillers that I can't put down. I love the suspense! I also love the feeling of an adrenaline rush, like I did when I finished Triptych by Karin Slaughter last night.


message 41: by M.A.R. (new)

M.A.R. Unger | 127 comments Also wondering how the hero/heroine will end the threat/mystery without getting knocked off in the process. Love fast-paced thrillers that I can't put down.


message 42: by Julie (new)

Julie (jotis) | 2 comments Curiosity, finding clues, learning about different aspects of mystery solving.


message 43: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (PamelaStAbbs) | 18 comments I love the order created out of chaos. I like to be the passenger on the journey the author takes me on.


message 44: by Marion (new)

Marion Mlodynia | 573 comments I adore a good mystery/suspense/thriller. I love to guess who the murderer is based on the clues. I'm about 90% correct all the time. So when an author comes along and I can't guess at all, well THAT'S good writing. Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner, Alex Kava, just to mention some, are in my opinion, the best. The stimulation and adrenaline rush are what I enjoy the most.


message 45: by Ravenna (new)

Ravenna Young (ravennayoung) | 1 comments Mystery/suspense/thriller's are a great way to stimulate the use my brain! A good puzzle always is...I love the guessing game involved in these reads as much as I love a well-written story. The adrenaline from a Creatively descriptive scene keeps me on the edge of my seat as I anxiously anticipate the conclusion. I absolutely agree with Marion, it's nice when a story-line keeps me guessing and is full of surprises.


message 46: by Janet (new)

Janet Stokes | 485 comments Agree with Ravenna. Love the thrill of the chase. But also I need to have good characters in them so that I can live with them in their world for a while. Just the plot is not enough anymore.


message 47: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Rothschild | -84 comments I also enjoy the puzzle-solving nature of mysteries, but I want to take the journey with an interesting character and learn something along the way -- whether it be something about an industry, an geographic area, or a particular skill set. And gorgeous prose doesn't hurt either! :D


message 48: by Janet (new)

Janet Stokes | 485 comments I, too, love "visiting" different settings, countries, cities etc. and being immersed in their cultures and ways of living, Peggy. A writer from that country can make us live in that place longer and in a way that is deeper than if we are passing tourists.


message 49: by Peggy (new)

Peggy Rothschild | -84 comments Janet wrote: "I, too, love "visiting" different settings, countries, cities etc. and being immersed in their cultures and ways of living, Peggy. A writer from that country can make us live in that place longer a..."
Exactly!


message 50: by Janet (new)

Janet Stokes | 485 comments ^ bump ^


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