Mystery literature deals with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets. Any scenario that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown.
The most common scenario for this genre usually involves a mysterious death or a crime to be solved. It focuses on a closed circle of suspects, with each suspect having a credible motive and also reasonable opportunity for committing the crime. A detective is the main character, who will eventually solve the mystery by logical deduction from facts fairly presented to the reader. However, sometimes mystery books are non-fictional. “mystery fiction” can be detective stories but the emphasis is on the actual puzzle or suspense element with its logical solution revealed later, such as in whodunit’s.
Due, in part, to the lack of true police forces prior to the 1800’s, mystery fiction was unheard of. Many towns only had constables or a night watchman at best. As populations grew in towns and cities, police forces were institutionalized, and detectives employed – thus formulating the mystery novel.
The most famous mystery sleuth was of course Sherlock Holmes. The novels and subsequent movies and TV shows have delighted audiences for generations.
Do you write mystery novels?
What or who is your favorite mystery sleuth story?