A few days ago I finished reading A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read. I recommended it to a friend who promptly asked, Did you figure out who dunit?
Answer? Yes. I did.
For some mystery lovers it’s important to maintain the element of surprise. They really get annoyed if they figure out the perpetrator of the crime before the final moments in the book. Trust me; I’ve got the emailed fan mail to prove it LOL!
When I write a mystery, I personally don’t even know who committed the crime until I’m at least ¾ of the way through the first draft. It’s in the 2nd draft that I go back and weave clues, drop in red herrings and make sure the perpetrator is true to the story. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to truly pull one over on avid mystery fans. Let’s face it, it’s going to end up being one of the characters within the book itself so that alone narrows down the search considerably. It’s not like we’re looking for a murderer within a city wide population of possibilities.
Okay, so I did figure out the criminal in Field of Darkness early on but it didn’t dieter me one iota from my enjoyment of the story. For me, the journey an author weaves in the telling of any tale is more important than the end revelation. I thrive in the little nuggets of storytelling along the way and, in this case, found Cornelia’s literary bend mixed with humor to be something to be savored.
So, how about you? Do you get ticked off if you know in advance who dunit?