by Scott Humor
I present you with my new book. It is a mystery novel with no geo-politics, so it’s “safe” to recommend to your friends and family. The timing is especially significant, as it is a month before Christmas when we know people get stuck with seasonal depression. Mysteries are considered to be one of the best remedies for the holiday blues. P. J. James, a well known British mystery author, once said that the genre is so popular because it has a calming effect.
“The theory is that the mystery flourishes best in times of acute anxiety and depression, and we’re in a very depressed state at the moment.”
Mystery stories have positive influence over our angst; they appeal to the idea that “no matter how puzzling the crime, a solution exists.” And it exists not by chance, but because of people’s courage, intelligence, and perseverance. In a sense, the detective story is a small celebration of reason and order in an unreasonable and disorderly world.
Mysteries also enforce the idea of inevitable revenge for those whose lives were taken or those who cannot stand for themselves. Something that is especially important for me. In a mystery novel, there is always someone willing to do anything it takes to find a culprit and justice for the victim. These stories ensure us that no one is forgotten.
For those of you who have never read an amateur detective novel and haven’t a clue of the difference between them and hardcore police investigation stories, here is a simple example from the English literature.
In Jane Austen novels, a main character, usually a beautiful, intelligent, and virtuous young woman, wants to get married. She is like a steeplechase horse, seeing a wedding chapel at the end of a mile long track, and jumping over many huddles to achieve marriage to the man of her dreams. We think of these stories as dramas.
In Russian literature, by the way, it’s always a man who does all the racing. We call these novels classic literature.
In P.J. Wodehouse novels, the situation is reversed. His main character, Bertie Wooster, is a young man of means, and is clueless, useless, but well meaning. “A vermin and a parasite,” his aunt calls him. Naturally, he is in possession of everything that young women of Austin’s type go for. They hunt him down like a fox. The only way for him to avoid turning into a gutted and stuffed aristocratic trophy husband is to rely on his loyal butler, Jeeves, whose job is to create insurmountable difficulties and huddles for the ladies to jump and scale, while he and Wooster make their escape across the countryside. Since it’s opposite to drama, it’s a comedy.
Same deal with crime novels, where a usually male police detective with years of service walks a thin blue line between a world of criminals, whom he begrudgingly catches, and a world of civilians, whom he supposedly serves to protect.
Detective stories are the reverse of that. Their main character is almost always a woman with some leisure time on her hands to solve crimes, which she does with energy and perseverance. She doesn’t protect anybody, it’s she who needs nearly constant protection from people, who, for whatever reason, are aggrieved by her snooping. Instead of a wedding chapel at the end of the finish line she expects to find a slice of cake and a cup of tea, or whatever her guilty pleasures are. So, it’s a comedy.
I deviated from the scrip, though, and based the story of an investigation I conducted a few years back, following a hint from an acquaintance after I innocently admitted to not understanding how nonprofit companies bringing immigrants to the US were making their money.
I got a few great readers’ reviews.
Here is my wife’s opinion
Truly engaging, edge of thriller, couldn’t do any other things, but turn page after page.
The characters have been woven excellently… even the pets add liveliness to this writing. Humorous, realistic and excellent climax at the end. Shows the real world relationship as it is, not as some fairytale Hollywood romance stuff. It touches a bit of everyone’s life like need of a good partner, monetary security, empathy and curiosity about things, broken homes, abused childhood, failed and working marriages and children (with a mix of innocence and sometimes mature beyond their years advice).
Well done !! churn more of this stuff
I have been reading it non-stop…it’s almost 6 in the morning . A real Page Turner, and I feel like an addict, craving more and more. Fantastic…
I am not a good critic or reviewer, but when I read this kind of stuff, I picturize them in normal life and try to read the character deeply. It’s been a long time since I have read something that brilliant. So, thanks!
Use the Look Inside link at the top of the book cover image to read first four chapters
Thank you for your support and kind regards