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May 28, 2012


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As long as the story is good, I'm willing to ignore the fact that the amateur sleuth really has no business solving the crime. I recently read a mystery where the author spent half the book making excuses as to why the protagonist was trying to solve the murder, as if she was worried the reader would obsess over it. I found the excuses really distracting and wished she'd just never said anything.

Mary Anna

Agreed. Sometimes a writer just needs to have the courage of her convictions. :)


I'm a "suspend disbelief" reader myself. I agree with Staci (and with you, Mary Anna). I prefer a write just forge ahead with the story, and not obsess about the "reality" of dead bodies everywhere and amateur sleuthing issues. :-)


Seem to recall Dame Agatha was married to an archaeologist.

Margaret Lucke

Sounds like you've found a great solution, Mary Anna -- a detective character who has logical reasons to "dig" into a crime and a way to let her evolve from an amateur sleuth to a semiprofessional one.

Mary Anna

Yes, Agatha Christie was married to an archaeologist and traveled with him to the Middle East for digs. At least three of her books have archaeological themes. I know, because I read them back-to-back. :)

Michael A. Black

Actually, there are similarities between a detective and an archeologist. Both are trying to dig up the past to find out what happened. And I love those pesky, amateur sleuths trying to solve the crimes. It's an expectation the reader has when he or she picks up a cozy-type mystery.

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