What Are Mystery Books?

What Are Mystery Books?

That sounds like a mystery to itself, but for new readers exploring the genre, let’s talk about what mystery books are and some of the different types that you might encounter.

So What Are Mystery Books?

For me, a mystery book is about a solving a puzzle or riddle. A crime had been committed, usually a murder. Our protagonist or protagonists, as sometimes a story, can have two go about gathering clues and investigating the crime until they come up with the answer: who did it? Our protagonists might be a bystander caught up in the action, an amateur sleuth, a police detective or a private investigator.

Mystery books come in all shapes and sizes. We have women sleuths mysteries, a particular favourite of mine because this is where the Cache Iron mystery series falls into. You can also read about other female sleuths in my article, Women Sleuths in Literature. You have Police Procedurals which follow the investigation through one or more police officers. Often the stories might be focused on a police inspector or lead police detective leading the investigation.

Depending on the author that you choose, the description of the crime might have different levels of intensity. There may be the use of profanity in the stories. Sex can also play a role in the story. They may feel more gritty, more intense, taking you on a wild rollercoaster ride. But what if you don’t want to ride a rollercoaster? That’s where this next genre comes in.

What Are Cozy Mystery Books?

Cozy mystery books focus on a crime occurring in a small community. The presence of sex and violence tends not to be a centre focus or might not be present at all and you follow your protagonist, who may be a local as she/he tries to unravel the clues and solve the crime. We do not find profanity in this style of mystery. Some describe it as a feel good mystery that might involve an injection of humor and romance along the way. So if you are looking for a good mystery with not a lot of intensity found in other detective style mysteries, a cozy mystery may be the book for you.

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