Mystery. From the Greek Mysterion. Dictionary definition 1. a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand. Dictionary definition 2. something not understood or beyond understanding
As God is my witness...oh, screw it, that sounds too grandiose and some snarky critic will bust me for sure. But after seeing the latest mention by a mystery reviewer of my "overblown prose," I swear I'll never allow my work to be marketed as mystery again. I think the word has lost its meaning and is now code for "procedural." I've decided that I write fantasy. Or something. Just not mystery...even though I love the word. Mystery readers like plot. They expect to be led on an evidentiary trail to gradual suspension of disbelief, whereas fantasy and horror readers know that behind every armoire or broom closet is a secret passage to the shadow side of oneself, and are ready to crawl in with the slightest inducement. Mystery readers need the blood evidence. They could never accept "If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit," which I thought was pure artistry. Mystery readers need to be seduced over a long and arduous night of dry martinis and drier wit, and I've never had the patience for seduction. I prefer the smoldering look across the crowded dance floor that says instantly, "We were made for each other--at least for tonight." I have a theory that mystery people are Hemingway people and fantasy people are Scott Fitzgerald people, and I know which one I am. I never should have tried to infiltrate their pithy, hard-boiled world. Mystery people like "L.A. Confidential" and sci-fi/fantasy people like "Mulholland Drive." I think David Lynch is a fucking genius, and that Philip K. Dick is Jesus. I also have a sneaking suspicion that many mystery readers may be secret "law and order" types, while sci-fi/fantasy people are mostly crypto-pagan anarchists of one sort or another. And so, right here on this blog, I hereby announce that I am officially abandoning the mystery genre and declaring myself a...a.... Oh, hell, you decide what I am.
Causes A.W. Hill Supports