Why Write Murder Mysteries? Here’s My Second “Why”

Why Write Murder Mysteries? Here’s My Second “Why”
1:58 pm , August 29, 2012 0

My first reason for writing mysteries – mysteries for children; murder mysteries for adults – is because I write what I like to read.  As a reader, I need to know that I have a guaranteed escape from the world whenever I want. Nothing beats a murder mystery for that.

Reason Why #2:

The second reason for my love of murder mysteries and for my writing them is they are a celebration of right triumphing over wrong. It doesn’t happen often enough in life. In the murder mystery framework, it does – or it usually does.  Certainly, when I write a murder mystery, I can ensure that justice will triumph. At least, it will triumph to the extent that the murder is unmasked. We know him; we see him; we know what he did.

Injustice is an Outrage

As a child, I found injustice to be an outrage, and I have never outgrown that fury. Within a murder mystery, we find relief. This is a type of fiction where people in the story, or a person in the story, finally understands what happened to the victim and why he was murdered. At the very least, the reader learns what happened and why.

If the murderer doesn’t have to answer for his or her crimes, at least we understand the reason for them – we understand greed, revenge, insanity, jealousy, hate, and the killer’s desperate need for self-protection; and we understand and sometimes sympathize with the killer. Perhaps the killer is executing a form of justice and doing so in the only way it can be brought about.

The Ending Will Satisfy Our Need For Justice

I read other stories that are slices of someone’s unhappy or happy life, or of someone’s entertaining, or worrisome, or heartbreaking experience. It may be fascinating to read, but there is not necessarily a resolution, just as there may be no resolution in a real life. But, if I sit down with a murder mystery, I know how it will end – justice will be served one way or another.

Even if the killer is never brought to justice, the victim or victims will received a slice of justice  – we, the readers, provide it. We hear the story; we now know what happened. The victim has not gone to his death in silence. The killer may have been serving his own brand of justice, and we finally understand his story, too.

And that’s why I like to write murder mysteries. I’m satisfying a craving for justice that I have had since I was a child, and can’t necessarily find in life. So, I provide it – even if it is just fiction. It still feels good, and I like that a lot.

I’m sure there are lots of other readers out there who feel the same way. Are you one of them?

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Maureen Grenier and a clickable link back to this page.

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