Today's book question is about as straightforward as they come. For your consideration:
Mystery or Love Story? December 8, 2011
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:04 am
All things being equal, which would you prefer–a mystery? Or a love story?
Well, both are pretty well outside my usual realm of reading. When I was about 12, I decided I was going to get into romance novels, because it seemed as if real adult women read them. I got a couple that were geared for my age and historical. I liked the first one. The second one was the exact same shit set in a different time period. I haven't returned to the genre since, and maybe it's unfair. On my trip through the blogosphere, I noted a trend: romance novelists and readers are trying to skirt the "r-word." I don't blame someone for not wanting their book lumped in with a genre so prolific and consumable that a lot of used bookstores refuse to take them, even if their book is the definition of a romance novel.
Mysteries are also outside my usual fare. A lot of them strike me as extremely formulaic as well. But I was also a teen Agatha Christie devotee, and still cherish my leather-bound copy of what must be her greatest book, "And Then There Were None" (alternately "Ten Little Indians"). More recently, I enjoyed reading some of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books. They're pretty light reading, but they're funny, as they chronicle the work and love life of a Jersey girl who became a bounty hunter in her cousin's bail bonds business after losing her job as a buyer at a lingerie store. The guy who's been her on-again off-again boyfriend since high school and her mysterious, dangerous co-worker vie for her affections, although maybe at this point in the series, that's been resolved.
So all in all, I guess I would generally prefer a mystery over a romance. However, if the choice was more literal -- say, if I found myself with a lot of time to kill in a confined space with just one romance novel and one mystery novel, I might pick up the romance first, just for the novelty.