I can be naive even at my advanced age.
I started by asking myself, "What do I love in a good mystery?" Here's what I came up with.
I love it when I feel as if I'm right there. I can hear the scream. I can see the blood. I can taste the acrid burning of cyanide on my tongue. The spider webs netted across the path stick to my skin, and I can smell the electrical short that's about to erupt into flames and destroy those helplessly trapped in the basement.
|I want to hear the scream.|
I love it when the guy or gal whose in charge of bringing justice into this unjust world is someone I can relate to. They're human but they have a few quirks and definitely a few flaws, but above all they're determined to do the job no matter the cost to themselves.
I love it when I'm half way through a page and exhausted, but still I can't put down the book to sleep.
I love it when after the chase through the cemetery, the moor, the deep and dangerous cavern, I get something to smile or laugh at. And it must have the sharpness of wit about it. Don't give me prat falls.
|I need a laugh after the spooky parts.|
I love it when there's a labyrinth of clues that intrigue and confuse me, but keep me making my way through to the end.
I love it when a bigger--even more dangerous event--looms in the background. I want a race against the clock for the guilty, but also the innocent.
I love it when there's an end that wraps up all of the threads to my satisfaction and brings a sense of "ahhh."
All of this makes for what's called a TALL ORDER, so, of course, I tried. I didn't write a book, but I took some baby steps and wrote Heartless.