Monday, August 10, 2009

Dude, Where's the Mystery?

So I’m reading my way through the Edgar nominees, as you have probably noticed from my blog posts. It’s good stuff (the Edgar noms, not my blog). But I can’t help but notice that genre definitions work a little differently.

The book I’m reading now, for instance, hardly qualifies as a mystery at all. Sure, there’s a plot question, which I suppose qualifies. But it’s not fitting the genre, in my opinion. And most of these YA ‘mysteries’ really don’t qualify—and we’re talking Edgar nominees here. Which makes me wonder: where are the true mysteries in YA? I’ve read a few over the years, but can count those on one hand, to be honest.

So here’s another question: how are we going to have adult mystery readers in the future, if we’re not putting out YA mysteries?

And when I say ‘we’, I really mean ‘you big publishing house people out there.’

When I look at what’s on TV and in the theater, I’m delighted to see lots of crime stuff, noir stuff (Watchmen, anyone?), and mysteries. So why are mysteries so absent in YA??


  1. Sounds like there's an empty niche that you can fill. Your stand alones are so great. And don't you have a series planned?

    The next Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew anyone?

    Maybe I'll talk to D.B. about thinking along the YA lines. She might like that.