I’ve had several readers and reviewers post that they love my mysteries. Ahhh, but most recently I had a reviewer complain that she was upset because there was no mystery involved in one of my latest books, and there’s a darn good reason for that: I simply do not write mysteries! While some readers and reviewers put my books in the mystery category, the simple fact is that I write murder suspense and romantic suspense novels.
Okay, so what’s the difference?
A mystery writer holds their cards close to their chest. Bit by bit the mystery writer will slowly feed you clues as to who killed the poor widow who lives in the Victorian mansion on the hill. During the course of the story they will throw suspicion in several directions and perhaps throw a few twists into the plot to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end as to whodunit. A very good mystery writer will surprise you.
A suspense writer holds nothing back. The suspense writer tells you straight up that the handsome, young man whose car broke down during the storm and showed up at the poor widow’s door asking to use her phone killed her. But now will her beautiful, recently divorced daughter who shows up unexpected be next?
A suspense writer will toy with your emotions and your apprehensions by leading you to believe that perhaps you—the reader—is mistaken. Maybe, just maybe, the young man isn’t the murderer, and perhaps someone else killed the old woman. A suspense writer will send cold-hard fear crawling up your skin as the murderer charms the widow’s daughter.
When is he going to kill her?
How is he going to kill her?
Will the police officer that lives down the street figure out what is going on and come to her rescue before it’s too late?
If you can’t put the book down because you simply can’t wait to find out the answers, then the suspense writer has done their job well.
In a mystery book there is always the telling moment when all the characters, which of course includes the protagonist detective and the suspects, all gather together to put all the clues together and reveal the murderer.
In a suspense book the action comes to a climax where people’s lives are hanging on the edge, requiring the protagonist to hatch a dodgy rescue, risking everything to save the widow’s daughter.
It all seems extremely basic, doesn’t it? So what’s all the confusion about?
Stick with me, because this is the important part:
In other words my romantic suspense and murder suspense books can show up in several categories, including mystery, even though it is not a mystery at all.
Whew! Did I clear that all up for you? I suppose the point is, the next time you shop for a mystery on Amazon, you may very well get suspense or a suspense that teases your sense of deductive reasoning with a mystery.
To the Breaking Pointe
Author: Cindy McDonald
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pushed to the breaking pointe!
The owner and director of the ballet company, Natalia Novikov, has a dark secret: her beloved ballet company is almost broke. Natalia forces her dancers to prostitute themselves to financial contributors at exclusive after-show parties. Silja has been exempt and kept in the dark about the parties—until an American financier offers to bail the failing ballet company out. His prerequisite: Silja must become his personal companion, live in his home, and fulfill his every desire. Against her will, Silja is taken to the American's mansion, but before she goes she manages to send a text to the only man who can save her, Grant: HELP!
Now Grant is on a mission to find his lost ballerina and rescue her from this powerful man's subjugation. He will do anything to get her out alive. If they survive, will he let her chasse out of his life again?
**originally published in 2014
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