M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Throwing the Genres in a Mixer -- Mystery and What?

Energized isn't a witchie cozy, but Mary Behre took a little bit of mystery, a lot of suspense, a serial killer, romance, and the preternatural to construct her urban fantasy. You might say that most books in the genre do that. Maybe because writers and readers got bored with books with only one note. But the book didn't bore me with predictability even if it had a hunky former marine as the love interest. Yeah, she does the usual urban fantasy bit. Threw the ideas in the mixer.

It's no secret I read more mysteries than out and out fantasy. I read even less romance. The characters felt fresh to me. How many electricians are the heroes in urban fantasy? I know of one series with a carpenter mystery protagonist. Behre manages to round out all the important characters until they escape their clinches. One exception. The perp who was surprising mostly because she didn't give the character much of a spotlight. Still, the mystery held up quite well.

Best of all, Mary Behre gives you an example of how you can take a cliched genre book and make it totally fresh. The book didn't bore me with predictability even if a former hunky marine was the love interest. In fact I might expend a little effort and find the other two books [about the protagonist's long lost sisters] -- used, of course. You can read the sample of Energized to find out what you think on

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Other Reading Notes

Sometimes The New York Times Book Reviews yields little nuggets I hoard. Sharyn McCrumb has a new book out--The Unquiet Grave. Now I'm sitting here waiting. I find it hard to read hardbacks with my achy thumbs, so I'll hope the mass paperback will eventually appear. Sigh. I love the way she's been mixing historical fact and mystery lately.

Picked up another useless piece of information from the NYT Book Reviews. Who do you think are the four best sellers authors of all time? Shakespeare obviously since he had a few years to out-publish the competition. Danielle Steele is the fourth best selling writer. Agatha Christie and Barbara Cartland are the other two. Do you think romance writers get no respect?


My Writing Rut

So comfortable to be back writing again. Still in Andor, but a much earlier time in its history--when the country was on its way to recovery after the "Disasters". I'm working trying to get Trapper out of the hills into a town. 

But I don't think you can call the stories dystopian. People have already learned to survive and are building larger communities and a central government again. Trial by Lies was the novella I was working on when I decided to drag There Be Demons out of the computer and publish it. The story has its own genre cliche--YA coming of age mixed with magic.

Not that its important, but I got a chuckle out of my one 2* review. The reviewer didn't like it. The beginning and ending grabbed her as well as some of the middle. The rest was just boring everyday stuff. Actually, that was one of the things I was trying to do...convey the "hurry up and wait" aspect of desperate fights, how Britt juggles her every day life with fighting demons.

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