Crime, Mysteries & Thrillers discussion

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Archive - General > May 17th - May 31, 2020

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message 1: by ˜”*°•.˜”*°• Sheri •°*”˜.•°*”˜, Moderator (last edited May 17, 2020 07:38PM) (new)

˜”*°•.˜”*°• Sheri  •°*”˜.•°*”˜ | 1453 comments Mod
If you had to choose one to make a book perfect which would you choose.

1. Flesh out the characters.

2. Have many twists and turns with the mystery.


message 2: by David (new)

David Freas (quillracer) | 2214 comments 1. Flesh out the characters.

I've read too many books over the last few years where many characters (including the main one) were right out of central casting. Some examples:

A. The whacky mother/grandmother/neighbor
B. The alcoholic (ex-)cop
C. The commanding officer more concerned with advancing his career and pleasing the politicians than having his officers/detectives solve the crime.
D. The shallow blonde
E. The slacker teen

These 5 (and dozens more) have been so overused, they have become clichés.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree with you Quillracer. I’m tired of the Mary Sue protagonist, who has every available bachelor in love with her. It is hard to continue with a series when the characters don’t grow.


˜”*°•.˜”*°• Sheri  •°*”˜.•°*”˜ | 1453 comments Mod
This one just kills me. The insecure girl who all of a sudden has the 2 most successful, handsome men in town begging to be her boyfriend, they know about each other, but are willing to wait until she comes up with a final decision.


message 5: by Julesy (new)

Julesy | 87 comments I agree with 1. Flesh out the characters. A mystery could be completely boring and forgettable if the characters do not have distinct characteristics, regardless of how many twists and turns there may be in the book. I often find in many cozies that the main character and the side characters are not memorable because they seem like any other Tom, Dick & Harry in other cozies. Thrillers usually (but not always) flesh out characters more.


message 6: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (diggensjenny) I am having trouble choosing between flesh and twists and turns. I love a book that has strong characters. I am tired of women portrayed as ordinary and men tall, wealthy and handsome. However, I do like books that have twists and turns in the plot.


message 7: by Icewineanne, Moderator (new)

Icewineanne | 651 comments Mod
Think I’ll also have to go with flesh out the characters.
Do enjoy a plot that surprises, but some authors try to be too clever by adding way too many unnecessary twists to their story. I end up with whiplash by the time I’ve finished the book.


˜”*°•.˜”*°• Sheri  •°*”˜.•°*”˜ | 1453 comments Mod
My first thought was flesh out the characters but if the mystery isn't good I won't like the book so I think I need a little of both. Even if the characters are true to life, if the mystery is boring, the book won't be entertaining.


message 9: by Barbara K (new)

Barbara K | 326 comments This is a tough call. I much prefer books with richly and realistically drawn characters, but not to the point where the plot is uninteresting. I do get annoyed with stereotypical characters, no matter how much text is devoted to describing them.

The jaded, alcoholic cop is one that I've generally sworn off (with the exception of a few of the better Nordic noir authors like Mankell and Indriðason, where backstories are a more interesting). Another is the all-too-warm and kind, earth-mother type of woman who is obviously due to be kidnapped or killed before getting too far into the book.


message 10: by Icewineanne, Moderator (new)

Icewineanne | 651 comments Mod
Excellent writing always keeps me reading


message 11: by Gem , Moderator & Admin (new)

Gem  | 1250 comments Mod
I'd have a hard time choosing between the two.

I appreciate when in the long-run character development happens in a meaningful way.

However, my favorite mysteries are the ones that keep me guessing until the end. I love it when I think I have it all figured out and I'm wrong.


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