How do readers feel about romance stuck in your mystery story? How much is too much?

Most mysteries I've read that did include romance made me react like I would if I found hair in my soup. (After the ick, I move on, but it's not quite as enjoyable.)

If I wanted to read romance, I would have done so. I want mystery, murder, mayhem. I don't mind characters having relationships, but I don't like mushy stuff.

What about you?

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Of course. I don't mind the romance, but I really don't want it to be the main point of the story. People have relationships. If they're just friends, that's fine with me, too. It does get less in the way of the story.
I don't think of "putting in a love interest", so I guess it isn't a strong part of my writing. But, my characters have interactions with other characters which may or may not lead to sex and or some type of relationship. But there are no happy endings and it is integral to the plot and murder mystery. I couldn't leave it out without missing a big part of the psychological suspense in the novel. For reading I like both - hard core detective stuff with no romance would be my preference, but in the summer I might read something lighter with a guy or two thrown in for fun.
Yes but Tina,
What about a story like "The Postman Always Rings Twice" or "Double Indemnity?"
The sexual affairs between the protagonists are crucial to the plot.
What are your thoughts on that?

And anyone else who cares to comment!
Maybe this is a topic for another day, but I see a lot of emphasis, especially in series, on the family life (usually dysfunctional family) of the many sleuths (MC as well as secondary characters/investigators). I see lots of long running series that run out of steam, they get short on plot and long on family relationships/dynamics. If I want to read about family stuff, I'll read Ann Tyler.
I just reread what I said it isn't very clear is it - that's exactly waht I meant really Carole - I HAVE to include relationships, they are crucial to the plot I have built. But I don't think, 'hey I need some sex here or hey this guy needs a girlfriend'. I think, okay this guy's wife just died, his life is falling apart, he will push people away and make some really bad choices in who he trusts. But the main story is still the crime to be solved - only I hang it all on the psychological breakdown of the character. But that is what I am interested in - how people act when bad things happen. I am not unique in this, many crime writers will do this to some degree don't you think? Some I have read recently that do this are Giles Blunt, Carl Hiassen, and John Connolly.
Josephine - I know what you mean, I have given up on series that seem to end up all about the main character's personal life and nothing else.
Right, clarified and thanks.
I guess the genre (thinking of me) is broad enough for me to have a crime committed, yet there is such a web of sexual power and dominance concerning my Detective and another woman-- (is it right to capitalize Detective?)!, that it goes into other things too. Guilt, obsession, the drive to solve the crime yes, but so much else too, tearing him apart as he literally puts his life in the balance to get the killer.
but I do know what you mean--don't mean to ramble!
I've been working all day on and off but with loads of breaks--(husband away at a meeting overnight so I can really drive on)!
anyway, thanks again Tina!
Hmm! I'm reading a Harlequin mystery, and it's abundantly clear that it is chicklit that also tries to masquerade as a mystery. Such books are written for the same readers who read Harlequin romance. In this case, romance causes the novel not to work as a mystery.
sure, it's A romance in mystery clothing, but a romance by any other name.
of course there are romances and romances--wonder how we'd classify "Rebecca" gothic romance but mystery too--I should think.
That made me laugh I.J. At the other end, there are lots of 'literary' (not my favorite term, I am not fond of many genre definitions and this has to be my least favorite for many reasons) fiction that throws in a murder mystery to varying degrees of success. But then I could go on and on with that subject! I hate the question - 'What do you write?' I start with saying 'fiction', then I say 'a novel where people die', or 'Suspense'. No one seems to know what to do with suspense and I just like how it sounds. And yes, it is a murder mystery, but everyone seems to know someone writing a murder mystery so I have stopped using it. Like it's as easy as writing a shopping list.
Carole - Let's call Rebecca a gothic mystery. It is has all the over the top, gargoyles flashing in the lightening elements but it's a ripping good read because of the mystery.
that's so true!
gargoyles, so that's why I liked it!
reminded me of my first mother in law!
seriously, it is a good read because of the mystery, sure it is.
Oops just thought of another one by DuMaurier--hope you don't mind.
And I don't think it's a gothic romance, but an intriguing mysterious kind of, well book--perhaps a romance?
"My Cousin Rachel"
loved the film but read the book last year. Fabulous! An unforgettable story.


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