“People are looking for joy, and that’s harder in crime fiction.”
SoHo Books editor Juliet Grames, at Left Coast Crime 2022, going on to say it can be done, and the quality of the story and the writing are key, citing her author Mick Herron as an example
Yes, there can be moments of joy. When I saw who the blackmail check was written to in Dick Francis’ book The Reflex, I literally jumped up for joy. It was so unexpected and so happy that I enjoyed it very much.
I love this! When something comes together in the plot, whether we’re surprised or we say “I knew it!,” those moments of the puzzle pieces fitting together are a delight, aren’t they? Thank you, Jean!
But the recipient was totally unexpected, and changed the mind of the hero about the predecessor for the better. Again, a joy.
Contrast that with the ending of another Francis novel where an alcoholic brother…well, that would be too much of a spoiler, but it was rather a downer surprise; and yet it fit the story
So many good examples of the way authors can bring a story together and the pleasure — the joy — that brings!