Why I Write Cozy Mystery and Romantic Suspense

Judy Nickles Author Judy Nickles writes:

Mystery mesmerizes me. The secrets of an abandoned building/house/school, the reasons behind a person’s emotions/aberrant actions, the who-why-how-what-if of a person who catches my attention in a public place, the strange events of another era, a photograph, a scrap of paper, a buried news story, a ghost tale told only half in jest–all of these combine to send me combing through the archives of time to ferret out answers. Barring answers, of course, we have a mystery. And everybody loves a good mystery.

In grade school, whenever weather threatened outside the tall windows of our vintage school, the teachers would let me spin a mystery to keep eyes focused on the front of the room rather than beyond. I’m sure these tales were pretty pointless and droned on and on and on, but they seemed to work.

Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were my best friends for a time, replaced later by Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and even John Grisham (to a point). Perhaps I’ve always had a a too-vivid imagination, but old anything–houses, pictures, oral and written tales, dusty antiques–send my mind into overdrive. Despite Detective Sgt. Joe Friday’s cryptic, “Just the facts, ma’am”, I’ve always believed (or hoped for) something beyond cold logic.

Even my first two vintage romance books published with The Wild Rose Press had elements of mystery. Another book with a separate publisher began my spiral into more mystery than romance. Then I met Penelope Pembroke and, six books later, realized I’d plunged into the world of Cozy Mystery. Trixie Blake, billed as Romantic Suspense, followed with less verbosity (only three books!)

Are there more mysteries lurking on my computer? Of course! A beta reader suggested multiple sequels to one in particular, and I groaned…but it may happen.

So why mystery beyond the simple fact it catches and holds my imagination? Well, despite the “real world” preferring to deal in hard cold fact, life itself is a mystery, isn’t it? We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:4). How? Why? We’re told we’ll know someday, but for now we see through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12).

I choose to rejoice in the promise of mysteries I can’t explain–and to have fun with the ones I create for myself. A person finds joy in giving an apt reply–and how good is a timely word. (Proverbs 15:3)

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See one of Judy Nickles’ books on PWP’s Featured Books Page.