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What do you love in your mysteries/suspense novels? (plus a big 45+ PAPERBACK giveaway and more!)

What are your favorite romantic suspense and mysteries about?

I’m in the middle of finishing up my Pineapple Port story for the Summer Snoops & Cozy Crimes collection (only 99c on pre-order right now!! 12 novellas!) It’s called “Summer Teeth” …as in “Some’r here and some’r there.” As soon as I finish it, I’m going to write KILTY #3. I’m reading Kilty as Charged and Kilty Conscience now to remind myself where I was going with that series… BUT when I’m done THAT I’m going to get right to work on Pineapple Port Mysteries #7, which I hope to have out early fall.

I’m in that sweet spot where both Kilty #3 and Pineapple #7 can be about just about anything. Both have story arcs that won’t change but there’s always a mystery or two to be unraveled as well.  I find myself looking for trends and clues from Amazon’s marketing as to what readers like the most…

And then I remembered I had about thirty thousand of you I could ask!

So here’s my question:

What elements do you love best in your romantic suspenses and/or mysteries?

Are there themes you look for? For instance, for cozy mysteries, Amazon has sub-themes like culinary, animals and crafts & hobbies. I had a woman once tell me she couldn’t get enough of “woman trapped in a cabin with a potential love interest” which seemed wildly specific to me, but apparently it’s a thing!

What themes and elements do you love most? I’ve made some polls below to take for a little direction but I can’t include every possibility, so feel free to tell me more things you like in the comments below!

PS: I didn’t add “humor” to either one because I’m incapable of writing a book without jokes…so you’ll be getting that either way.

Themes in mysteries

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What themes do you like in romantic suspense?

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Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal Best-Selling author specializing in fun, funny fiction --- even the murder mysteries.
Amy Vansant

19 Responses

  1. Linda Wesson

    Amy, I really don’t care murder mystery! A little suspense with romance is good. Thank you!

       1 likes

    Reply
  2. Sharon

    Hi Amy, I want my books to be sweet, clean and wholesome. It’s even better if it’s a Christian read. Otherwise I don’t want it taking up space on my e-reader.

       1 likes

    Reply
  3. Penny Harper

    What I like is humor, mystery and murder. I like if the character’s have pets especially if the pets are involved in the storyline. Also having a ghost in it can be really funny . I love a book with a great cover and a great storyline. I look for a book that will keep me hooked and wanting a series of them to read.

       8 likes

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    • Trish Egan

      I like cozy mysteries with either a ghostly friend/advisor such as “Granny Apple” series or a paranormal theme such as “Psychic Eye”.

         3 likes

      Reply
    • Diana Amov

      I agree with Penny Harper. She said everything that I enjoy. Thank You Penny and Amy Vansant.
      Sincerely, Diana Amov

         0 likes

      Reply
  4. Sherry

    For mysteries- How about missing people or kidnapped people?

    Romantic suspense- I like sweet romance and firemen.

       0 likes

    Reply
  5. Tina

    Yes, a little magic or even a little psychic abilities ie…get close to someone and can tell if they are being honest or if they are in danger.

       2 likes

    Reply
  6. Mary

    Great mystery with understory of romance, not too much suspense, no graphic sex…nice cozy reads with happy endings.

       2 likes

    Reply
  7. Barbara

    Oddly, the most important thing for me is a well-edited standalone book with good grammar, correct sentence structure and punctuation, and a complete ending. A lot of reviewers agree with me. If an author can’t provide those things, I may struggle through a first book, but I won’t buy another one. To date, there have been only two books that I couldn’t complete. The poor editing and awkward sentences were just too disconcerting. I don’t understand how someone can give a poorly edited book four or five stars. Even a three-star book should have good editing. Other than that, I like strong, intelligent main characters who don’t do stupid things and who will not let misunderstandings get in their way. I like books that include magic, ghosts, and familiars who communicate with their people. If a main character finds out she’s a witch, the first thing she should do is thoroughly learn how to use her powers. I like good character development, dialog that is reasonably individual to each person, and a plot that doesn’t take me where I thought it would go. I don’t mind a little mild profanity, but I despise the f-word, the use of which implies that either the author has no class or thinks I don’t. I don’t mind a little mild violence, in the case of a murder mystery, but it better not involve a child or an animal–too evil. I don’t mind the occasional implication that sex has taken place, but I don’t want any detail. And I don’t want to spend any time in the killer’s head–too creepy. I like learning about other cultures and locations. Right now I think my favorite books are paranormal cozy mysteries, but they’re all kind of starting to sound the same. And a mystery doesn’t always have to involve a murder. Maybe someone is trying to find out about a letter from an ancestor or help a friend learn what happened to their Uncle Fred or help a familiar answer a question about its past. I think I’ve rattled on long enough. I hope it’s helpful.

       4 likes

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    • Brownies

      Well said Barbara. Couldn’t agree more. Especially about any evil towards kids or pets.

         1 likes

      Reply
    • Sam McCarthy

      Barbara, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I can’t tell you how many books I have read lately that makes me wonder if they were even proofread by anyone!! Calling a character by the wrong name, leaving out a keyword in a sentence, using a word with a completely different meaning, etc. How do I go about getting a job as a proofreader or editor????

         0 likes

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    • Amy Vansant

      Great input Barbara! That bit about misunderstandings really struck a chord with me — I hate it when “complications” are created because people just won’t TALK. To me it’s just lazy writing. It happens so often the first time I had two characters talk out a misunderstanding immediately I was afraid readers would find it odd or too fast…then a bunch of people told me it was a relief!

         1 likes

      Reply
  8. Tara Brown

    Hello!! I love cozy mysteries! I’m a sucker for animals, vivid travel descriptions of real places (especially those involving Spanish-speaking countries b/c I’m a Spanish teacher!), and, if possible, the option to listen on audio. 🙂 Since you already fill the pages with humor, I think that sums it up for me! Thanks so much! 🙂

       2 likes

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  9. Joni Reyes

    As for me I like paranormal romance books with shape shifters.

       1 likes

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  10. Anita gomez

    I don’t like harm to children or pets. I love comedy/light mysteries. A little romance. No really filthy language and yes murder.

       0 likes

    Reply
  11. carol morgan

    I like mystery , paranormal , bit on dark side , lot on the hot side , don’t like or fluff but apart from tha anything goes 🙂

       0 likes

    Reply

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