As I have mentioned before, I keep a list of authors I have tried and did not like. I know I have mentioned my “*****YUCK” annotation for these authors. However, every once in a while, I read so many good reviews about one of these “*****YUCK” authors on my list that I simply have got to try him/her again. I have found some of my current favorite authors by revisiting my “*****YUCK” authors list. (It seems like sometimes I have set aside an author because I was just not in the right mood – only to find that I really like the author.)
Well, I just tried one of my previously tried “*****YUCK” authors, and 2/3 into the book, I thought: “This is great! I have a new author to add to my favorite author list.” I was enjoying the author’s writing style, her Cozy Mystery characters, AND her village-type setting. (In this case it wasn’t a village, it was people who share a similar interest.)
Aha!!! I think I found the reason I chose to cast this particular author off of my reading list: Her sleuth willingly and deliberately kept a VERY important piece of evidence from the local police department! Her sole purpose for not handing over the crucial evidence was: she and her best friend wanted to solve the mystery! No, she didn’t attempt to give the police the evidence, only to be told to mind her own business, and that she didn’t know what she was talking about. She truly kept the evidence a secret which, had the police department known about, they would have been able to solve the mystery a whole lot faster.
This brings me to these questions for you all!
1) When you read a Cozy Mystery author, is her/his writing style more important than the actual mystery? Or are you able to overlook the mystery in favor of the author’s writing style?
2) When you meet a main sleuth who does something you find reprehensible (like impeding the solving of the case by withholding crucial evidence) can you dismiss it in favor of the author’s good writing and terrific character development?
3) Is it OK to have a flawed main character who does things you might not agree with?
I am really struggling with whether or not to discontinue this mystery series. I had been enjoying the book so much, that I thought maybe I could overlook this sleuth’s actions. I’m still debating what to do… and wondered what you all thought about this. What do you think?