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Why Did the Amateur Sleuth Cross the Road?

Unless an author writes only police procedurals and P.I. novels, the question of why the protagonist gets involved in the mystery is present. I've never in my life wanted to investigate a murder, and I'm guessing most readers would say the same. We trust the police to do an adequate job, and while we might grumble that they didn't turn every stone in a specific case, we seldom jump in to help. If you're going to write a mystery with an amateur sleuth, he or she has to have a reason to get involved that departs from what is good behavior and good sense in real life. Loser wants to help the father of a little girl who reminds her of her daughter. Caroline is suspected of killing her former best friend. Many authors choose to have their protag or someone close to him as the suspect . This is certainly a driving force, as long as the rules of logic are applied. If you're accused of murder, are the people involved in the case likely to sit down

Protagonists Who Are Difficult to Like

Now available in print, e-book, and audio                                                                                                                                                                             Killing Silence on Amazon There's been a lot of discussion on mystery readers' sites lately about books like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Some pan them because the protagonists aren't very likeable; others claim they brilliantly reflect the realities of life. The fact that The Gold Finch won literature's highest reward indicates that reflecting reality is a big deal for the important voices in publishing and reading. I read The Girl on the Train last week, and I have to say it was well done. I was drawn into the woman's blurry world, and I guess I understand better now what it's like to be an alcoholic, promising yourself you'll do better tomorrow while you pour yourself another drink today. I never read Gone Girl , having heard th