The classic mystery story contains many key parts, and some of these are present in my novel, while some are not. I think the major and most important similarity between mine and that of a classic is the fact that they both deal with murder. Homicide. Assassinations. The ole’ bump-off. Killing. Manslaughter. Anyway you look at it, both my novel and most novels from the Hounds of Baskerville to Murder on the Orient Express.
My novel deals with this murder in a more dramatic sense, as a publicly loved figure and a heavily celebrated actress who has won many Oscars for her wonderful performances. I would say that my novel is untraditional in the fact that it is not a pure bred detective story, or a police procedural, nor romantic suspense nor or a gothic novel. I would say it is a mixture of detective story as the person who is seeking who killed her sister is in no way a detective, but she is the main protagonist, as a detective is.
The other half of the story is a romantic suspense, as a romantic atmosphere starts to occur between Liz and Ted as she starts to realize that Ted is not the killer, and they end up as a couple right at the end of the story. To get into more detail about the mixture of these two classic and celebrated styles, I will use the sheet I was thankfully given by Ms. Milliorn to nit-pick at the details of these two styles. If I would have to pick one of the styles that my book more closely resembles it would be the detective story.
The main character and protagonist is Liz, the sister of the recently slain movie star Lisa. She does in fact interrogate suspects and ferret out clues, but the difference is that she does not even recognize that she is getting some juicy clues, while the detectives do not let on that they have identified a clue, but in truth they have and already trying to use it to solve the case. Another key difference is the fact that the detective finds his criminal by a process of elimination, while Liz does none of this.
The only reason they actually found the killer was the fact that he tried to kill Liz, but Ted was there to hear her screams. He came to her rescue and apprehended the killer all at the same time. What a guy! She had no clue about who had the motive, opportunity or means to kill her sis. I would explain her as a happy-go-lucky half-detective who was more lucky than happy. But, after reading through the whole paper, I have found that Clark does exhibit some glaring qualities of a classic writer.
Techniques such as using several suspects, additional murders, red herrings, threats of violence were all used habitually, until it got to the point where I was sick and tired of all these different suspects and a new murder at every corner. As for the basis of the romantic suspense, I have only based this on the fact the Liz always had a love for Ted, and it could not be shown until her sister was out of the way and the killer had been found.
As there is no literature that I have found which explains the term “Romantic Suspense” in layman’s terms, I do not think that I should try and elaborate as if I am dead wrong on what a romantic suspense is, I will just be making a fool out of myself. Finally, I believe that all new authors are trying to get away from classic writers, and that is why authors like Clark have only shown bits and pieces of the lost art known as a classic mystery, so I believe that is why I had a little more trouble researching this topic before writing it than any other.