Sounds like it might lead to a "Who's On First?" situation: "What is a mystery? I don't know; it's a mystery to me." When we say we love mysteries, what do we mean?

It could mean we love picking out clues in a story and separating them from the red herrings. Some of the greats of mystery excel at the casual reference that is so important later in the story or the item clutched in the dead man's hand that could be nothing, could be something.

Some of us love the chase; the physical danger, the "Oh, *&^%" moment where we can't see how the protag is going to get out of this one, even though we're sure (well, almost sure) that it will happen.

Some of us love the characters: Jack Reacher, V.I.Warshawski, Inspector Gamache, or whoever, despite faults and flaws, makes us want to know how they're doing these days.

And some of us love it all. We can argue about whether suspense is mystery or thriller is its own genre or cozy versus hard-boiled, but for those of us who love it, a puzzle is usually enough. I may be in the mood for John Rain today and Gertie Johnson tomorrow. I am equally at home in Billy Boyle's WWII stories or Hester Latterly's Victorian era or Walt Longmire's modern-day west. As long as there's a plot that I can unravel along with the author and his sleuth, I'm there.

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