Art of the Mystery, Part Two: yet more “aspects”

July 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm (books, Local interest (Baltimore-Washington), Mystery fiction)

In the March/April 2009 issue of Mystery News, Chris Aldrich reviewed S.J. Rozan’s The Shanghai Moon. Aldrich prefaced the review by enumerating the qualities that make Rozan one of his favorite authors:

“Fully-realized, compelling characters with credible motivation. A setting that rings true and has a sense of wholeness to it, no matter how lushly or sparsely described. A story that I think about days–or weeks–later. Writing that is smooth and unobtrusive. A plausible plot. Dialog that sounds real. All wrapped up in a universe that I want to know more and more about. And that other, more elusive quality…the one that’s so hard for a non-writer to put into words. The emotional connection, whether to the characters, the place, the setting…or what? Impossible to define, and probably the most important factor. Ah, the mystery of it all…

This shrewdly observed analysis nicely complements Mike Ripley’s list of “aspects” of great crime fiction.” Once more, it sets us mystery lovers to pondering: Which of the mysteries we’ve read fulfill some, or even all, of these critera? Which fall short?

1 Comment

  1. Tina said,

    Hmmm, that was interesting. Looks like somethings will always remain mystery.

    I myself have been trying to solve the mystery of this legend for a while now. Could not understand much though.

    Let me know in case you get to understand the mystery of the Old Hound and the Legend

    By the way, good writing style. I’d love to read more on similar topics

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