Jilly: Keeping The Mystery Alive

Keeping The Mystery AliveSome books, like mysteries and police procedurals, are all about solving the puzzle. The reader expects to play detective, and it’s the author’s job to play fair and feed the reader enough information for them to work out the answer, though ideally not too soon.

How about romances, though? When you read a love story, do you expect to be an active participant, or do you think the author should do all the heavy lifting?

I like it when a romance author raises lots of questions in the first act of a book. A hint of a connection here, a whiff of back-story there, and I’m mentally making note of information I believe will be important later. So the Duke believes he’ll never marry? The movie star is in disguise, working in a supermarket under an assumed name? Please don’t tell me why, or at least, not yet. As long as I’m confident the dots will be joined before the story ends, I’m super-happy when an author piques my curiosity. I start speculating, which makes me engage with the story, and as the author adds in pieces of the puzzle, I pick up clues and adjust my guesses.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, thanks to Continue reading