Hosted by Booking Through Thursday
All things being equal, which would you prefer–a mystery? Or a love story?
Short answer? Mystery. Every time. I don’t tend to read romances at all and my interest in such stories decreases in direct proportion to how much romance is in them and how “mushy” they are, so that things like Mills and Boon are a complete turn off for me.
On the other hand, offer me anything even vaguely mysterious and I’m intrigued. I don’t mind a dash of romantic interest thrown in for good measure – I’ve even been known to enjoy a good, steamy sex scene or two – but the mystery is the thing! I love the challenge of trying to work out the answer as the pieces of the puzzle are revealed and I’ll admit to feeling clever if I work it out ahead of the characters. The only let-down is if I work it out too easily – then I feel it’s been dumbed down and I’m being condescended to, which irks me because no writer should assume his or her readers are not intelligent; at least as intelligent as the author!
I have been known to throw a book against a wall in disgust at how easily I worked things out. One such book was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I worked out a major plot point by page two, and when the “bad guy” was introduced – quite without connotations of evil – I instantly knew it was him. Within another few pages I’d worked out his reasons too. I quit the book half way through because I felt there was absolutely no point in reading the rest of it. I later had my “suspicions” confirmed when discussing the book with someone who had finished the book. However, I didn’t feel particularly clever for having worked everything out – I felt nothing but surprise that anyone else didn’t see it coming a mile off.
I know I’m in the minority in hating that book, but it really annoyed me. And I mean no insult to people who didn’t guess the ending before it happened – I just genuinely can’t see how anyone could have missed it.
Anyway, in conclusion, mystery over love story, but a little romance in a mystery is fine by me, so long as the mystery is, well, mysterious – and challenging – I like a bit of a challenge!