The Storybook Murders

  • 3 min read

A moment of absolute quiet when the blow is absorbed into the surroundings. Loss lingering in the air like the residual drops of some exotic perfume. Shivers running up the spine like it is 1 am on a cold winter morning. Fear rising and then settling down forever into the psyche, nothing will ever be the same again! The mind suspecting plots and subplots, everyone and everything, going into a frenzied overdrive, wondering when redemption and salvation will come. It is addictive, murder is. A good murder has become over the years a passion, almost a raison d'etre, my reason for existence. I cannot live without a good murder. It feeds not only my love for the vicarious but my very soul, in it I am trying to find my purpose.

Before you are shocked out of your wits and scream bloody murder - let me clarify - I love to only read murders not commit the real thing. I am a lover of murder mystery fiction.

I think my love for mysteries started very early in life being from a family of avid readers. I loved the Famous Fives and the Five Find Outers. But they were children’s books, set in friendly worlds, where the worst that could happen was a robbery or a kidnapping. Then I chanced upon Nancy Drew; where the detective was a teen. My family, was at this point, still encouraging my love of books. Until one day - heaven froze over - I landed upon the Nancy Drew Files, which was to kickstart my passion for murder. My mother pounced on it so my innocence could be maintained. It had very provocative covers, completely unsuited for an Indian household of the 90s. My mother, never having read them, thought they were racy novels of some sort.

Then finally came the real deal! I don’t remember exactly when I was introduced to this woman I fell head over heels in love with. I think it was college. No, I am not choosing to come out of the closet in a Bulletin Box editorial; it is not what you think. I am talking about a woman who had a fan following across the globe - Agatha Christie. Her murder mystery books were the real deal - the old world English charm in the beginning lulled you into a false sense of complacency - AND THEN murder strikes. Nothing is the same again when you read murder. My babyhood and childhood vanished and I was transported into an adult world. Where money ruled. Where crimes of passion ruled. Where rather than forgive your friend for wounding your feelings, you plot his murder. Christie’s books are rife with clues, plot twists, characters who are never what they seem and the grand finale – the reveal!

Why I loved murder mysteries so much is the detection my brain is forced into and the satisfaction when I get the identity of the murderer right.

Over the years I have read several other good murder mystery authors- Arthur Connan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Ann Cleeves, Tana French…if you are a murder mystery fan like me you should check them out.

I am not alone in my love for murder mysteries. Neilson Bookscan, the service that provides data for the publishing industry, says that in most years the sales of murder mysteries outweigh the sales of other books.

The most important element in a murder mystery is not the murdered or the murderer but the detective. Creating a detective who becomes a much- loved character is the crucial element to cracking the murder mystery code.

Psychologists who studied the effect of fairy tales on children found that they gave children a format that allowed them to deal with their fears and traumas and be less troubled by them. In much the same way, murder mysteries may act as “fairy tales for adults.” We live in a world ravaged by wars, violence and other disasters. But murder mysteries may give us hope by telling us stories that begin with evil events, but the heroic efforts of ordinary flawed people reassure us that evil can be overcome. We love murder mysteries because they are redemptive, they give us hope, and help us move from fear to reassurance.

PS: I have decided to translate my love for the macabre into action. Hold your horses (or your murder weapons) before you jump up again to scream bloody murder! I am soon publishing a podcast with a friend called The Storybook Murders, which talks about- what else but murder mystery fiction!!!

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Founder- The Ethical Badass Factory. I Help Women Professionals With Potential Reprogram Their Subconscious To Do The Heavy Lifting In Their Careers So They Can Land Substantial Roles & High Salaries
Otherwise ambitious and hardworking women professionals, make career mistakes, when they face roadblocks they have not trained themselves to tackle. If they donot take the right action before self-sa…
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  • Oct. 24, 2021, 7:49 a.m.

    Thanks Zarine for the share. You ' murdered' it for real. Excellent post. Keep them coming👌