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Crimes of Passion

by Sparkle Abbey

We have a confession. February, the month of love, bring us thoughts of hearts, flowers, and. . . murder.

Over the past few years, with the growing popularity of true crime podcasts, American’s are gobbling up true crime stories like discounted Valentine’s Day chocolates at Walgreens. Who’s not listening to the wildly popular podcast My Favorite Murder? There’s even a Netflix show called, Murderous Affairs — “True crime stories of lovers and spouses driven to kill.”

Obviously, love and murder go well together. Why? Maybe because both involve passion, an emotion so strong it can push someone over the edge. Thriller writer, John Lescroart

once said there are 14 motives for murder, but he summarized them as love, lust, lucre, and loathing.

As a 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 often feature a love interest. Love is a common human experience. Almost everyone can relate to it. Love motivates our decision making. In fiction those decisions are mostly bad, which only amp up the tension, keeping us on the edge of our seats.

A lingering glance over a dead body, repressed romantic feelings during a serial killer investigation, a confession of love when two people are convinced they are about to die, only to be denied when both people survive—reasons that keep us watching our favorite shows, episode after episode.

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?

Sparkle Abbey is actually two people, Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter, who write the national best-selling Pampered Pets cozy mystery series set in Laguna Beach. Their series features former Texas beauty queen cousins, Caro, a pet therapist and, Melinda, a pet boutique owner. The most recent installments (book nine) BARKING WITH THE STARS and  (book ten) THE DOGFATHER continue Caro and Mel’s murder-solving adventures.