Tag Archive for: Castle

Love and Murder

by Sparkle Abbey

February, the month of love, brings thoughts of hearts and flowers, and (at least for those of us who write crime fiction) murder.

Love and murder go so well together. Why? Maybe because both
involve strong emotion. Let’s see, what do you suppose the main motives are for murder?
Thriller writer, John Lescroart lists on his website “14 Motives for Murder” 
but he summarizes them as love, lust, lucre, and loathing. We think
he’s onto something.

motive for a crime of passion, love and murder are clearly a great match. However, in addition, love also often becomes a part of the storyline for the characters solving the mystery. It’s no accident that popular crime shows, like Castle,
often feature a bit of romance. There’s been a lot of online discussion about
the Castle/Beckett pairing, and whether their upcoming wedding vows will ruin
the romantic tension in the show. Many fans of the 1980s private detective show Moonlighting felt getting
Maddie (Cybil Shepard) and David (Bruce Willis) together was responsible for
the demise of the popular show.

The idea of love and crime together has become so popular
over the years that there has become a whole sub-genre in movies and novels called
romantic suspense. These stories often have a central romantic theme as well as
the intrigue.
Lisa Gardner, a master of suspense
fiction, talks about the hazy definitions of the sub-genre and some of the
prejudices in her great series of lectures on the Secrets of Romantic Suspense
. Kinsey Millhone, Sue Grafton’s, no-nonsense PI isn’t really the romantic type, but still there have
been a few men her in life from Dietz, a fellow PI, to longtime friend, Cheney. In some mysteries, there’s a full-blown love interest and in others there’s just a hint of romance.

In our Pampered Pets mystery series featuring former Texas beauty queen cousins,
Caro and Melinda, we truly had no plans to go there. But…well, the stories just
naturally evolved to encompass a bit of “love, lust, lucre and loathing.” And
no spoilers here, but we think you’ll like where the series is headed. 

So what do you think? Do you like a serving of love with
your mystery? 
Or would you rather keep the hearts and flowers far away from
your crime fiction? We’d love to hear what you think!
Coming soon: Our first short – “Project Dogway” (Out
February 24th

My Enjoyment of Books, Movies and TV Have Changed

Yes, I no longer am entertained by the same things I used to be–and I’m going to be honest and blame it on age.

Of course there are exceptions as there are exceptions in all things.

I used to love horror movies and books–not so anymore. Oh, yes, I still love a good ghost story with plenty of scares, what I don’t like is gruesome, blood-letting scenes. Forget the ax murderers and torturers.

I used to like Criminal Minds and followed the series through the first couple of seasons. Then I realized it began to show the grossest of torture scenes of women and sometimes children. I gave up CSI  long ago, couldn’t take the gore. Scenes I really didn’t want lodged in my memory.

I once was a fan of thrillers, both movies an books–but the more I read, the more I began to see how impossible some of the plots were. Sometimes the time sequence was not realistic, but more often the hero and heroines could not possibly live through what was shown or written. I know it’s fiction–but goodness, lets be a bit more realistic. People don’t recover from beatings and being shot in a matter of hours or sometimes minutes–and especially not enough to fight again, or leap from one building to the next.

There are plenty of mystery shows I do like–Castle for one, even though there are holes in the plots sometimes. I love the characters and it’s fun to watch. The Mentalist is another I enjoy–most of them, anyway. NCIS is still a favorite as is The Good Wife–the best writing on TV in my humble opinion.

Frankly, I never stay up to watch the new shows because I can’t stay awake. I usually watch the previous season on Netflix, except for those shows that they play over and over on USA and TNT and early enough for me to see the whole thing all the way through.

The only show that I make myself stay up for these days is Dancing With the Stars. Even my husband watches that one with me. He’s much better at spotting dancing mistakes than I am.

While I’m telling you all of this I might as well make a confession. Hubby and I both watch General Hospital on the days we’re home in the daytime. It comes on right after lunch and often we both nap through it. When I do see the whole thing I am amused. The writers put in things that happen in police work that would never be accepted in a mystery. Things happen in hospitals that could never go on. People die and years later come back to life. Hubby and I laugh and say, “Sure.”

What I really like best in any kind of mystery are characters I can cheer for, people who I now I’d like if I met them. I’m not so thrilled with the dysfunctional hero or heroine who drinks too much and isn’t a good judge of male or female lovers.

Guess I’ve just turned into a cranky old lady. And I hope people like my characters.