Do romance writers have an unfair advantage?

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aalu...@webtv.net

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Feb 23, 2007, 12:45:33 AM2/23/07
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With there being a trend of romance writers like Iris Johanson, Janet
Evanovich, Tess Gerritson, Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts becoming best
selling mystery writers do they have an unfair advantage?

I have read Johanson and thought her Eve Duncan novels were mediocre to
the extreme. Evanovich is extremely talented but Sandra Brown is so
mediocre. Tess Gerritson well I kind of liked Gravity but not her other
medical mystery novels.

I wonder if Johanson and Brown were not romance writers first if they
ever would have been published as mystery writers?

I have not read Roberts In Death series so will not judge her books.

I wonder how many good talented mystery writers are being ignored by
readers and don't get the push by the publication companies because of
some rather mediocre mystery writers who were romance writers. Yes there
are exceptions like Evanovich but Gerritson and Johanson?

Also the Intrigue line - I read one book and it was beyond horrible - I
wonder how many good mystery writers are ignored because of Harlequin's
Intrigue line.

Have any Intrigue writers written any mainstream mystery novels that
were good? Or even any good Intrigue novelists? There are at least 6 a
month

Lymaree

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Feb 23, 2007, 1:15:19 AM2/23/07
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On Thu, 22 Feb 2007 21:45:33 -0800, aalu...@webtv.net wrote
(in article <20324-45D...@storefull-3313.bay.webtv.net>):

> Yes there
> are exceptions like Evanovich but Gerritson

Sorry, if you think Evanovich is a writer of higher quality than Tess
Gerritson, your yardstick is seriously warped. Evanovich is essentially a
one-trick pony...yeah, it's a good trick but it gets stale. She wouldn't
know suspense if it bit her on Ranger's ass.

Gerritson, on the other hand, writes actual *characters* and *plots*. She
doesn't depend on running gags like "will she or won't she sleep with two
guys who are inexplicably infatuated with her slovenly, incompetent,
frequently stupid but nonetheless somehow attractive self?"

Now, you may certainly *enjoy* Evanovich more than you enjoy Gerritson's
work. In a light, fluffy mood, I do too. Gerritson is darker, as befits her
stories. Her people are closer to reality, her situations more likely to
draw blood. She tries to convey some complexity in her work. Evanovich tries
solely to entertain. I don't think ANYONE reads Evanovich to find out "who
dun it." That's beside the point.

But enjoyment pure and simple does not equal literary merit.

And I don't think there is some kind of limited universe of available slots
for mystery writers. Good ones get published. As has happened among how many
regulars in RAM in the last two years? At least four new authors I can think
of...and none of them romance writers.

--
Lymaree

Crowfoot

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Feb 23, 2007, 7:36:39 AM2/23/07
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In article <0001HW.C203C677...@news.bnb-lp.com>,
Lymaree <ly...@NOT-semiotics.com> wrote:

Romance writers have been edging over into SF and fantasy lately,
to no great effect on either field (thank the gods), at least so far.
Their accustomed formulae are so thumpingly overbearing and
predictable (e.g. oh, which is Mr. Right, the too-good-to-be-true
charming (and often blond) manipulator, or the angry, bitter, or
otherwise offensively difficult (and generally dark) Lord
Heathcliff of the Willfull Misunderstandings?); and their
awareness of the history and basics of a different genre (like the
idea of fiction as exploration of unusual concepts of reality,
society, and personal relationships) work against them. Say
what you will about SF/F readers, they are nonetheless (by my
informed assessment) inclined to respond more to challenge
than to unfailing repetition of conservative tropes (Mr. Right
his very own self): that's why they're readers of SF/F instead of
fantasy and chick-lit. Manyer of SF/F authors and readers read
mystery for diversion (there have been panels on this at recent
SF/F conventions). Fewer seem to read Romance, perhaps
because Romance is so numbingly *predictable*.

I think how it works is, the more venturesome Romance
*readers* may peek into into SF/F and mystery, attracted by
the forays of Romance authors into those fields, which is all to
the good, while most mystery and SF/F readers will dismiss
Romance writers' SF/F efforts as foolish and annoying
intrusions from the world of lowest common denominator drek.
As a longtime reader in both SF/F and mystery I know by now
the cover-copy tip-offs to a Romance masquerading as SF/F or
mystery, and I avoid I'm certainly not the only one. The copy
is designed to alert Romance readers that a book may appear to
be about tiger-people on Planet X or a murder in Boston, but
it's really just another cookie-cutter Romance in which all that
matters is attractive Mr. Wrong vs. gloomy but good-hearted
Heathcliff and happy ever after.

So I suspect that Romance writers have major *dis*advantges
when they sally into into areas that are founded on the appeal
intellectual challenge (the solution of a mystery; the interface
with alienness) rather than the distinguishing of Mr. Obviously
Right from Mr. Smooth But Wrong. Some of their accustomed
readers may follow them into uncharted (to them) territory,
but most inhabitants of that territory will find these authors
laughable,at best, annoyingly stupid and offensive at worst.

Sometimes I think those Bronte girls have a *lot* to answer for.

Suzy

Spuddie

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Feb 23, 2007, 7:48:55 AM2/23/07
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On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 00:45:33 -0500 a rolling stone bore down on the
can of hot air held by aalu...@webtv.net and smashed it to
smithereens while remarking :

>With there being a trend of romance writers like Iris Johanson, Janet
>Evanovich, Tess Gerritson, Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts becoming best
>selling mystery writers do they have an unfair advantage?
>
>I have read Johanson and thought her Eve Duncan novels were mediocre to
>the extreme. Evanovich is extremely talented but Sandra Brown is so
>mediocre. Tess Gerritson well I kind of liked Gravity but not her other
>medical mystery novels.

I've only read two of the folks you mention above--a few of the
Evanovichs (the first few were okay as light fluff goes, but I got
tired of them rather quickly--I would tend to disagree about the
"extremely talented" comment, but that's just my opinion) and one of
the Tess Gerritsen medical thrillers which I quite enjoyed, actually.
I don't really care for romance novels so have not bothered to pick up
any of the others, mostly BECAUSE they were romance writers before.

Cheryl
~~~Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble
art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists
in the elimination of non-essentials.~~~ (Lin Yu-t'ang)

Mary

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Feb 23, 2007, 9:58:01 AM2/23/07
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On Feb 23, 6:48 am, Spuddie <spud...@93xrocks.com> wrote:

>
> I've only read two of the folks you mention above--a few of the
> Evanovichs (the first few were okay as light fluff goes, but I got
> tired of them rather quickly--I would tend to disagree about the
> "extremely talented" comment, but that's just my opinion) and one of
> the Tess Gerritsen medical thrillers which I quite enjoyed, actually.
> I don't really care for romance novels so have not bothered to pick up
> any of the others, mostly BECAUSE they were romance writers before.

This is what I would have said if you hadn't beaten me to it. Romance
writing is formulaic (it's required to be) and uninteresting (to me,
at least). It would certainly not be an incentive to pick up
someone's book.

Last week I was walking through a hospital lobby and outside the gift
shop they had a little cart of used books for sale. I stopped to see
what they had, and it was at least 75% romance. Bleh. St. Francis
needs to upgrade their patient base is this is what they're leaving
behind in the rooms.

Mary

MF Makichen

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Feb 23, 2007, 10:48:41 AM2/23/07
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Hi I am new to this group and this is my first post. I wanted to jump
into this thread because I find this discussion very interesting. I
guess my comment would be that many good mystery books have the
protagonist married or in a relationship which I like. For instance, I
certainly wouldn't think of Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series as
romance. So is the main objection readers have about romance writers
writing mysteries is that they are too formulaic, because I have to
say I think their are a lot of mystery books out there that are pretty
formulaic as well.

Thanks for the great discussion.

Mary-Frances

Francis A. Miniter

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Feb 23, 2007, 12:08:28 PM2/23/07
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MF Makichen wrote:

HI Mary-Frances,

I agree that all too many mystery novels are formulaic. After a while, for
instance, you cannot remember which Agatha Christie plot went with which title,
except for the few really outstanding ones.

There are a few who seem to have avoided this trap. Mark Mills has just come
out with his second book and he has not taken anything from Amagansett in it.
Matthew Pearl ("The Dante Club") is another, though I was disappointed in The
Poe Shadow. And, by concentrating on different areas of history, P. C. Doherty
has lessened the effect, though he does have one character in a number of his
novels. Perhaps the best at this is Roberto Perez-Reverte, best known for The
Club Dumas, though I admit he too has his Captain Alatriste series.


Francis A. Miniter

Mary

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Feb 23, 2007, 1:30:09 PM2/23/07
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On Feb 23, 11:08 am, "Francis A. Miniter" <mini...@attglobalZZ.net>
wrote:


Arturo, no?

I'll have to look up Mark Mills' second. I loved Amagansett.

I do agree that many mystery writers are formulaic as well. However,
those are not the ones that I tend to read. I don't think the fact
that a writer's books are a series necessarily means they're
formulaic. But someone mentioned Evanovich upthread - there's a good
example. It may be her very own formula, but her books are so similar
that I can't even distinguish them. That's why I prefer Stabenow -
Kate may be in a relationship (actually, she's in her second one now)
but her character changes and grows over time. Jane's characters are
more like real people than caricatures too.

It's all in how you write your books, or your series of books, and not
the fact that it's a series per se.

Mary


Kat R

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:09:17 PM2/23/07
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Hi, Mary-Frances!

All genres have their stupid little formula books. I guess the big
question in crossing over from one genre to the next is "does your
forumula work in this setting?" I think some _elements_ of romance work
just fine in Mystery (and in SF/F), but when the stock plot forumual is
imported lock, stocking, and twin-barrels, it has a tendency to clunk.
The writers who become the most successfull crossovers keep the useful
bits and dump the rest.

Personally I don't enjoy Iris Johansen or JD Robb or Janet Evanovich.
I've given them all their two-book chance with me and they couldn't
stand up to my standard for a mystery novel. Doesn't mean other people
don't like them or that their mystery novels don't have appeal to an
audience that is willing to buy them automatically. If that is the
measure of success the original poster had in mind, then, yes, they may
have an unfair advantage in the likilhood of reaching the Bestseller
list and selling lots of books. But if the question is really "do they
succeed as Mystery novels?" then, no, they don't and the authors don't
have any special advantage.

Authors like Tess Gerritson succeed because they rise above the model
and adapt to the new genre. Writers like Janet Evanovich succeed
because they bring their original reader base with them in spite of the
genre.

--
Kat Richardson
Greywalker (Roc, 2006)
Website: http://www.katrichardson.com/
Bloggery: http://katrich.wordpress.com/

Francis A. Miniter

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Feb 23, 2007, 3:53:38 PM2/23/07
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Mary wrote:


The problem with sending posts from work is that when you make mistakes and see
them, you then get distracted before correcting them, and just send the file out.


Francis A. Miniter

Pogonip

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Feb 23, 2007, 4:12:03 PM2/23/07
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Mary wrote:
>
> Last week I was walking through a hospital lobby and outside the gift
> shop they had a little cart of used books for sale. I stopped to see
> what they had, and it was at least 75% romance. Bleh. St. Francis
> needs to upgrade their patient base is this is what they're leaving
> behind in the rooms.
>
> Mary
>

If I were to read a romance, it would be while hospitalized. If I am
well enough to follow a plot, I'm well enough to go home. My mother
loved going into hospitals - she treated them as if she was there for a
rest, having food brought, pushing a button for service. I am the
opposite - I want to be in and out in the shortest possible time, and in
fact, am usually (in my few experiences) sent home *early* so I can get
some rest.
--
Joanne
stitches @ singerlady.reno.nv.us.earth.milky-way.com
http://members.tripod.com/~bernardschopen/

Mary

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Feb 23, 2007, 5:35:35 PM2/23/07
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On Feb 23, 3:12 pm, Pogonip <nob...@nowhere.org> wrote:
> Mary wrote:
>
> > Last week I was walking through a hospital lobby and outside the gift
> > shop they had a little cart of used books for sale. I stopped to see
> > what they had, and it was at least 75% romance. Bleh. St. Francis
> > needs to upgrade their patient base is this is what they're leaving
> > behind in the rooms.
>
> > Mary
>
> If I were to read a romance, it would be while hospitalized. If I am
> well enough to follow a plot, I'm well enough to go home. My mother
> loved going into hospitals - she treated them as if she was there for a
> rest, having food brought, pushing a button for service. I am the
> opposite - I want to be in and out in the shortest possible time, and in
> fact, am usually (in my few experiences) sent home *early* so I can get
> some rest.


Oh, yeah. You and me both. I had surgery about three years ago and
though I did take a couple of books with me, I don't recall reading
much. But I do recall that the doctor wanted to keep me for an extra
day - I'd lost a lot of blood during the surgery and she was thinking
of giving me a second transfusion. I said no. I'll make my own
blood. Send me HOME, please where I can sleep.

And she did. She was a nice doctor.

Mary

Wesley Struebing

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Feb 23, 2007, 7:05:35 PM2/23/07
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On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 00:45:33 -0500, aalu...@webtv.net wrote:

>With there being a trend of romance writers like Iris Johanson, Janet
>Evanovich, Tess Gerritson, Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts becoming best
>selling mystery writers do they have an unfair advantage?
>
>I have read Johanson and thought her Eve Duncan novels were mediocre to
>the extreme. Evanovich is extremely talented but Sandra Brown is so
>mediocre. Tess Gerritson well I kind of liked Gravity but not her other
>medical mystery novels.
>
>I wonder if Johanson and Brown were not romance writers first if they
>ever would have been published as mystery writers?
>
>I have not read Roberts In Death series so will not judge her books.

Well, I've not been particularly impressed with Nora
Roberts-as-mystery-writer, but my daughter is absolutely in love with
her (of course, she knows her, too, so she may have a dog in that
fight...<G>)


>
>I wonder how many good talented mystery writers are being ignored by
>readers and don't get the push by the publication companies because of
>some rather mediocre mystery writers who were romance writers. Yes there
>are exceptions like Evanovich but Gerritson and Johanson?

Wondering what the opinions of fellow RAM'ers are of Suzanne
Brockmann. I blush to say that I actually like some of her stuff
(though I refuse to read her romance-as-romance...).
>

--

Wes Struebing

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America,
and to the republic which it established, one nation from many peoples,
promising liberty and justice for all.

Wesley Struebing

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Feb 23, 2007, 7:12:32 PM2/23/07
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On 23 Feb 2007 07:48:41 -0800, "MF Makichen"
<maryf...@mfmakichen.com> wrote:

Hi, Mary-Frances! Welcome to the RAMily!

This is a friendly group, if argumentative...<G>

Crowfoot

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Feb 23, 2007, 7:59:20 PM2/23/07
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In article <1172245721.8...@p10g2000cwp.googlegroups.com>,
"MF Makichen" <maryf...@mfmakichen.com> wrote:

Good shot. I guess I'd have to climb down to the position that
Romance seems to be pretty much nothing *but* formula --
the identical formula of the love triangle and the woman who
has to "tame" the "wild" man -- maybe 90% worth. I can't
remember the last time I tried to read one (having tried and
given up at least half a dozen times), but I am assured by one
author-friend in particular that there are "some" good ones;
when pressed, she gave me two titles; that was all she could
come up with, which in itself was not encouraging.

Mysteries, while they do have formulae, have a huge field of
variations -- serial killer procedurals, psychological thrillers
told from the killer's pov (the Ripley books of Hghsmith, and
more recently Dexter -- has anyone ever read a Romance
told from the pov of the book's Mr. Wrong?), historical
mysteries that recast real people of the past as sleuths (the
Jane Austen series, among many others), village killage (also
known as the "village cosy", have I got that right?) where the
real point is the display of entertaining characterological
oddity (the Midsomer series), and on and on. So far as I
know, Romance doesn't have anything like the depth of field
routinely on offer in mystery fiction.

But when you come right down to it, let me admit it out
front: from what I've been able to read in Romance, I
deplore the genre for its monotony of style, characters,
plots (if you can call them plots) and narrowness of focus
(that damned triangle).

Suzy

Anne Sullivan

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Feb 23, 2007, 9:31:31 PM2/23/07
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"MF Makichen" <maryf...@mfmakichen.com> wrote in message
news:1172245721.8...@p10g2000cwp.googlegroups.com...

Hi Mary-Frances! Welcome to RAM.

Anne in Arizona


Jenni

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Feb 23, 2007, 9:54:29 PM2/23/07
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in article 1172245721.8...@p10g2000cwp.googlegroups.com, MF
Makichen at maryf...@mfmakichen.com wrote on 2/23/07 10:48 AM:

> Hi I am new to this group and this is my first post.>>

Hiya, Mary Frances!


--
Jenni :-)
"It's the Rapture! Quick, get Bart out of the house before God sees
him!"
--"The Simpsons"


Jenni

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Feb 23, 2007, 9:59:08 PM2/23/07
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in article bc0vt21a2i9h0s9us...@4ax.com, Wesley Struebing at
str...@carpedementem.org wrote on 2/23/07 7:12 PM:

> On 23 Feb 2007 07:48:41 -0800, "MF Makichen"
> <maryf...@mfmakichen.com> wrote:
>
>> Hi I am new to this group and this is my first post. I wanted to jump
>> into this thread because I find this discussion very interesting. I
>> guess my comment would be that many good mystery books have the
>> protagonist married or in a relationship which I like. For instance, I
>> certainly wouldn't think of Dana Stabenow's Kate Shugak series as
>> romance. So is the main objection readers have about romance writers
>> writing mysteries is that they are too formulaic, because I have to
>> say I think their are a lot of mystery books out there that are pretty
>> formulaic as well.
>>
>> Thanks for the great discussion.
>>
>> Mary-Frances
>
> Hi, Mary-Frances! Welcome to the RAMily!
>
> This is a friendly group, if argumentative...<G>>>

HEY!! Who you callin' argumentative??!


--
Jenni :-)
"Bart, do you want to play John Wilkes Booth, or do you want to act like
a maniac?"
-- The Simpsons

MF Makichen

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Feb 23, 2007, 10:40:57 PM2/23/07
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Thanks everyone for the welcome!

Suzy your last post made me laugh. I agree with you about romances. I
went through a period when I was 12 years old when I must have read
about 150 Harlequin/Barbara Cartland romance books, and I haven't read
one since. Which is no way intended to insult anyone who enjoys these
books! What I find interesting are the many different reasons readers
will or won't read a book. Some people don't want a mystery where you
find out about the protagonist's life including their relationships,
others don't want to read anything with animals in it, while others
don't want any swearing or sex. I just find it fascinating. So I think
you're right one of the great things about the mystery genre is that
it's so diverse that I think there is something out there for
everyone.

Mary-Frances

Crowfoot

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Feb 23, 2007, 11:57:22 PM2/23/07
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In article <1172288457.1...@8g2000cwh.googlegroups.com>,
"MF Makichen" <maryf...@mfmakichen.com> wrote:

That's certainly why I love them -- I never know what I'm going to
stumble upon. Example: I'd never read Michael Gruber until I
picked up his first in the series about the Cuban cop in Florida,
which was a mystery with a fantastically researched (so far as I
could tell, though I'm no expert) mystical element around West
African magic -- the source of voodoo in the American south. It
just knocked my socks off, it was so sharply written and so well
crafted, and I'd had some personal familiarity with WA magic
from a stay in Nigeria in the early sixties but had never seen it
used really thoughtfully in American fiction before (have I missed
some?). When I go traveling in Canada and England I always
check out the mystery shelves in bookstores there for mysteries
by authors resident in those countries which may take some time
to get to the US, if they get here at all. That's how I found Phil
Rickman (The Wine of Angels), who does very tasty and dense
village crime with demonic elements (his amateur tec is a
licensed exorcist and, er, pastor, I believe, female and single
but with a teenaged daughter, all lovingly detailed).

What I *won't* read is plodding police procedurals about drug
dealers and police corruption, and books that are entirely built
around lovingly detailed scenes of sadistic violence and torture
imposed on helpless women by deranged men.

Suzy

Bud

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Feb 24, 2007, 1:30:11 AM2/24/07
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MF Makichen wrote:
> Thanks everyone for the welcome!
>
> Mary-Frances

Ny turn, welcome, Mary-Francis to RAM.

I plead stupid about romance writers before turning into mystery writers. I
have read Tess Gerriston's _Gravity_ and thought it was a poor book and
_Harvest_ which was a "coulda been a lot better and a "slog through it" one.
Didn't know she was previously a romance teller of tales. Now RAMers are
telling me she has gotten better, may try another but not inclined at the
moment (or a year).

Message has been deleted

Spuddie

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Feb 24, 2007, 8:21:29 AM2/24/07
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On 23 Feb 2007 07:48:41 -0800 a rolling stone bore down on the can of
hot air held by "MF Makichen" <maryf...@mfmakichen.com> and smashed

it to smithereens while remarking :

First of all, welcome, Mary-Frances! I'm one of the relative newcomers
to RAM, having only been here for a couple of months. It's good to
have someone newer than me around. <g>

> So is the main objection readers have about romance writers
>writing mysteries is that they are too formulaic, because I have to
>say I think their are a lot of mystery books out there that are pretty
>formulaic as well.
>
>Thanks for the great discussion.
>
>Mary-Frances

To be honest, I haven't read any "real" romance novels for years and
years, so I'm probably not qualified to comment--I simply don't know
what a real "modern" romance is like. I have no objection to
characters in mysteries having spouses, partners, or even casual sex.
What I do object to in a mystery series is the addition of what I call
"gratuitous" romance/sex and poorly written sex scenes. Those who
don't have a knack for it or aren't willing to work to develop their
skill should leave the erotic scenes to erotica writers.

For me, series books are about the development of the characters, and
often developing relationships with other characters, sometimes
including romance and sex are part of that. If it's done well, no
problem. But making the romance the focus of the book(s) will
guarantee that I probably won't pick up another. For example, with
Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, the question most often asked is
"Should she choose Joe or Ranger?" ...nothing to do with the mysteries
themselves. (Personally I hope Joe and Ranger make goo-goo eyes at
each other and ride off into the sunset together and leave Stephanie
having dinner with Grandma Mazur. Now THAT book I would read!)

And yes, mysteries are often formulaic too, I agree. But if the
characters are interesting and there's also a good story behind the
formula, I don't mind so much. I also space series books out so that I
read no more than one of a given series per month--and usually it's at
least a 2 or 3 month gap. That way, I can enjoy my visit with
well-loved characters without being able to spot the similarities to
the last book or the book before that quite so easily.

Cheryl
~~~Most of us, when all is said and done, like what we like
and make up reasons for it afterwards.~~~ (Soren F. Peterson)

Message has been deleted

Jill Brickman

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Feb 24, 2007, 9:24:16 AM2/24/07
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Mary-Frances wrote:

Welcome to RAM, Mary-Frances.

I agree with the others who've said romance writers are at a disadvantage.
A writer would have to overcome my prejudices for me to read something tied
to the romance genre in any way.

Jill


ruth

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Feb 24, 2007, 11:55:10 AM2/24/07
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I don't like the romance novels at all. The above authors you mention
write mysteries that just seem like so much fluff. The first of the
Eve Duncan books by Johanson were ok when I just wanted something I
could read and finish on a flight. Romances are all so formulatic and
I think the authors try to use that same formula approach for
mystery. ruth

Mary

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Feb 24, 2007, 1:38:24 PM2/24/07
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Cheryl Perkins wrote:
>
> I'm firmly of the opinion that hospitals are the worse places in the
> world to recuperate. They're full of noisy trolleys and carts and
> people who turn up at the most inconvenient moments wanting to examine
> or inject you. And if you close your door to get some almost-quiet,
> you'll get the default choice for meals because the person circulating
> the menu didn't want to disturb you by asking what you wanted.

Close your door? Wow, I'd have stayed if I had a private room. I had a
roommate, though, and she was very elderly and dinged for the nurse, on
average, about every twenty minutes. And if she was awake, she always
turned on all her lights and her radio and her TV. And then she'd fall
asleep, leaving them all on, and I'd have to pad out to the nurses'
station and ask one of them if they could turn off all her stuff, which
they would do. It got to the point where she would ring the nurses'
bell so often during the night that the night nurse KNEW that the lights
would wake me up and she started coming in with a flashlight and a
whispered apology.

One thing that was nice about the hospital that I was in, though, was
that you had a menu and could call down and ask for your meal in
advance, so you weren't relying on anyone coming around. On the other
hand, the Percocet made me nauseated so nothing tasted right, either. I
remember starting to feel nauseated while eating a plain bagel. All I
could eat was soup and grapes.

But I was really very glad to get home. If nothing else, the guy who
brought me my soup and grapes also brought me water bottles and books
and DVDs and so forth. :-)

Mary

> Actually, the hospital's menu was only moderately bad - unlike the
> place right at the bottom of my list of hospital catering services,
> they didn't try to pass off a brick as a piece of meatloaf. But the
> default choice came with awful limp white bread, which meant that I
> didn't have even bad whole wheat bread to eat if I happened to dislike
> the main course.
>

Lymaree

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Feb 24, 2007, 2:00:56 PM2/24/07
to
On Sat, 24 Feb 2007 06:00:46 -0800, Cheryl Perkins wrote
(in article <erpgee$tte$1...@coranto.ucs.mun.ca>):

> Actually, the hospital's menu was only moderately bad - unlike the
> place right at the bottom of my list of hospital catering services,

I think the recipe for hospital food goes something like:

Take a piss-poor budget and buy large quantities of mediocre ingredients.
Remove all fat, spices, salt, texture and flavor. Employ dieticians, but not
chefs, to design menus. Cook until everything is a uniform greyish color,
easily masticated. Make sure not to include any actual fresh ingredients. Mix
well with minimum wage, unmotivated staff. Hold on steam trays for a minimum
of 2 hours. Serve cold (for hot dishes) or lukewarm (for cold dishes), on a
schedule, instead of when patients are hungry.

Serves no one well.

--
Lymaree

Pogonip

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Feb 24, 2007, 3:00:54 PM2/24/07
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Spuddie wrote:
> For me, series books are about the development of the characters, and
> often developing relationships with other characters, sometimes
> including romance and sex are part of that. If it's done well, no
> problem. But making the romance the focus of the book(s) will
> guarantee that I probably won't pick up another. For example, with
> Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, the question most often asked is
> "Should she choose Joe or Ranger?" ...nothing to do with the mysteries
> themselves. (Personally I hope Joe and Ranger make goo-goo eyes at
> each other and ride off into the sunset together and leave Stephanie
> having dinner with Grandma Mazur. Now THAT book I would read!)

Joe and Ranger were searching the subbasement of the abandoned Hudman
Department Store, having found Stephanie's car parked outside the back
door. The area was blighted, the store left to rot while waiting for
urban renewal to find this pocket of the city.

They stayed together, both having seen those movies where the would-be
rescuers split up, only to be picked off one at a time by the serial
killer. Just as they discovered a hiding place, complete with stocks of
food, water, a single sleeping bag on top of an old mattress probably
once destined for the furniture department, the roof behind them fell
in, trapping them inside.

Three weeks later, still unrescued, Joe and Ranger had discovered a new
facet to their relationship. One that did not include Stephanie.......

Pogonip

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Feb 24, 2007, 3:03:23 PM2/24/07
to

You forgot the part about adding corn starch to everything.

Ali_Irish

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Feb 24, 2007, 5:24:00 PM2/24/07
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On Feb 23, 5:45 am, aaluc...@webtv.net wrote:
> With there being a trend of romance writers like Iris Johanson, Janet
> Evanovich, Tess Gerritson, Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts becoming best
> selling mystery writers do they have an unfair advantage?

I don't think so, writers that have previously published work, in any
form have an advantage... Why hone in on one genre specifically?
Personally I don't read many romance novels, but I will not avoid
them. I go on the synopses of books, no matter the genre. Romance
novelists seem to get a lot of stick, when the truth is bad novelists
are in every genre. I'm sure there are great thriller/mystery writers
out there who haven't been published but I think it's horrible to slam
authors who have crossed over from Romance to Mystery and begrudge
them their success. Why does one have to remain exclusively in one
genre?

I stumbled upon Tess Gerritson's writings by chance, and honestly,
find her to be one of the best crime writers I've ever read. It's all
in the detail of her work, so as a scientist I admire the meticulous
detail she puts into her work, in the forensics and medical pieces
especially. Her character formation is fantastic and the work is
literally unputdownable... I haven't read any of her 'romance' novels
but plan to at some point. I've not been let down by her work.
Actually I read a James Patterson book shortly after hers, and found
it mediocre in comparison.

But it's all a matter of personal taste at the end of the day. The
thing is, if these authors hadn't been romance writers before crossing
over to mystery, would you have enjoyed the books without bias.

Interesting topic. Cheers.

Lauradog

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Feb 24, 2007, 9:32:18 PM2/24/07
to

I'm late too, Mary-Frances. Welcome to RAM. I tried a Nora Roberts
once on a friend's recommendation, but didn't make it past page 30. I
haven't read a romance novel since 1970 when I was in the hospital
unexpectedly and someone brought me a Danielle Steele novel. It was
better than nothing, almost.
Sue D.

bmali...@yahoo.com

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Feb 25, 2007, 8:51:38 AM2/25/07
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On Feb 23, 12:45 am, aaluc...@webtv.net wrote:
> With there being a trend of romance writers like Iris Johanson, Janet
> Evanovich, Tess Gerritson, Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts becoming best
> selling mystery writers do they have an unfair advantage?

It's interesting to compare on-lines sales vs the NYT lists. "Step on
a Crack" is near or at the top on both but "Innocent in Death" which
does well on amazon isn't even on the NYT list.

BMM

Alison

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Feb 25, 2007, 11:32:41 AM2/25/07
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On Sat, 24 Feb 2007 08:24:16 -0600, "Jill Brickman" <jil...@aol.com>
wrote:

I recently read a couple of books by Rachel Caine (author of the
SF/Fantasy Weather Wardens series) that were published by Silhouette
Bombshell (Silhouette is the other major romance publisher, and
Bombshell is their sort of quasi mystery line I guess.) Devil's
Bargain and Devil's Due. They involved 2 women setting up a private
investigations agency and I believe discovering a world-wide plot of
domination. There were definitely romancy bits but the mystery bits
were well done.

In this case I followed the author.

Alison

Crowfoot

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Feb 26, 2007, 2:11:18 AM2/26/07
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In article <1172355840.2...@8g2000cwh.googlegroups.com>,
"Ali_Irish" <littles...@yahoo.ie> wrote:

I'm listening to "Beautiful Lies" by Lisa Unger, which has been
interesting and well-written -- until all of a sudden we're in a
scene where out threatened heroine, previously intelligent and
reflective, meets the hunk upstairs and asks for his help. Their
meetings are pure Romance -- the guy is an artist, he's oh so
gentle and respectful (though her gonads cry out at the very
faint scent of his cologne), and when he guides her into his
arms their bodies fit perfectly together, and she sees a hint of
sorrow in his beautiful dark eyes (in which she can, despite
their being brown, see "gem-like facets" -- I think the
fancifully overworked descriptions of eyes, particularly men's
eyes, are a giveaway that you're reading a Romance writer)
-- so, what's wrong with this picture? A girl can dream, can't
she? Even if the exaggerations of that dream render her
dream-guy flat and unreal, in a story that's led me to believe
so far that it's about imitations of human character solid
enough to engage my interest in their affairs and feelings?

Well, there's also a faint threatening aspect about him too --
he's a bigger guy than she thought at first, and there's the
tattoo and the scar on his neck and -- and I can see coming,
like a train that has no way of jumping the thick, bright rails
of nailed-down formula, that secrets will come out about him
that will, at a crucial point in the perils of our heroine,
suddenly make her (agonizingly, at great length, and for no
reason except that he kept secrets from her where any sane
person would have told them longsince) suspicious of him,
and only enormous danger at the end will bring them
together again.

It's a typical Romance trope dropped into an interesting story
about someone who finds out that she's not the child of her
beloved parents but of people with more sinister lives. For
me, predictability is the death of all stories except the very
great ones, where it becomes comic or tragic inevitability.
This story is not great; so, it's death.

I'm not saying that this author is necessarily a Romance
writer turning her hand to mystery, only that the overheated
cliches of Romance formula stick out like a sore thumb and
yank me out of the story snarling, "Argh! What crap! Stop
the sophomoric mooning about Get
back to the story, already, that's what I'm here for!"

That's what I call a very fair *dis*advantage, which doesn't
mean it can't be overcome by a sharp author who is herself
tired of being bound by Romance Rules; but I bet it's a lot
more difficult to throw off those bonds than you'd think.

Suzy

Crowfoot

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Feb 26, 2007, 2:21:45 AM2/26/07
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In article <54capiF...@mid.individual.net>,
Lauradog <laur...@gmail.com> wrote:

I think there was a time when a few authors carried on the
more honorable traditions of Georgette Heyer and Daphne
du Maurier, albeit in somewhat watered down form -- the
names Norah Roberts and Phillys Whitney come to mind, and
there were perhaps one or two others, but that was in the days
when these were suspense and intrigue type books with
relatively intrepid heroines, and they tended to be historicals
too ("Nine Coaches Waiting" and "Kirkland Revels" come to
mind, I hope not erroneously) and that fact also seemed to
keep them tethered to Gothic virtues; the more modern
porn for women readers, loaded with laughably ridiculous
male "hunks" and women with violet eyes with glam careers
in fashion, diamonds, and the like, plus now and then a bit of
touristic time-travel (but definitely minus the lice, B.O. and
rotten teeth) are pretty much total escapist rubbish, as far as
I can tell.

And fings ain't wot they used to be, either; so there.

Suzy

Suzy

Stanley Moore

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Mar 1, 2007, 6:22:10 AM3/1/07
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"Crowfoot" <page...@swcp.com> wrote in message
news:pagemail-00F8B8...@iruka.swcp.com...

> In article <1172245721.8...@p10g2000cwp.googlegroups.com>,
> "MF Makichen" <maryf...@mfmakichen.com> wrote:
>> come up with, which in itself was not encouraging.
>
> Mysteries, while they do have formulae, have a huge field of
> variations -- serial killer procedurals, psychological thrillers
> told from the killer's pov (the Ripley books of Hghsmith, and
> more recently Dexter -- has anyone ever read a Romance
> told from the pov of the book's Mr. Wrong?), historical
> mysteries that recast real people of the past as sleuths (the
> Jane Austen series, among many others), village killage (also
> known as the "village cosy", have I got that right?) where the
> real point is the display of entertaining characterological
> oddity (the Midsomer series), and on and on. So far as I
> know, Romance doesn't have anything like the depth of field
> routinely on offer in mystery fiction.
>

One thing about romances and especially the romance-suspense genre is that
it doesn't lend itself to series books. Normally the girl and guy fall into
each others arms and that's THE END. Even DLS had a hard time sustaining
things (and her interest) afte Harriet and Lord Peter married. I enjoy
series and they require no pat ending. Just notice Evanovich. Stephanie
never ends up with one guy; for a series to continue there has to be tension
which you won't get in a traditional "formula" romance. Take care
--
Stanley L. Moore
"The belief in a supernatural
source of evil is not necessary;
men alone are quite capable
of every wickedness."
Joseph Conrad

bmali...@yahoo.com

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Mar 1, 2007, 9:29:01 AM3/1/07
to
> One thing about romances and especially the romance-suspense genre is that
> it doesn't lend itself to series books. Normally the girl and guy fall into
> each others arms and that's THE END. Even DLS had a hard time sustaining
> things (and her interest) afte Harriet and Lord Peter married. I enjoy
> series and they require no pat ending. Just notice Evanovich. Stephanie
> never ends up with one guy; for a series to continue there has to be tension
> which you won't get in a traditional "formula" romance. Take care

I am not an reader of romance novels, however it seems to me that a
romance-suspense series could centre around more than one possible
coupling, or around a great on-again, off-again relationship. No?

BMM

blm...@myrealbox.com

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Mar 1, 2007, 1:05:18 PM3/1/07
to
In article <45e6b775$0$28148$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,

Stanley Moore <smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
>
> "Crowfoot" <page...@swcp.com> wrote in message
> news:pagemail-00F8B8...@iruka.swcp.com...
> > In article <1172245721.8...@p10g2000cwp.googlegroups.com>,
> > "MF Makichen" <maryf...@mfmakichen.com> wrote:
> >> come up with, which in itself was not encouraging.
> >
> > Mysteries, while they do have formulae, have a huge field of
> > variations -- serial killer procedurals, psychological thrillers
> > told from the killer's pov (the Ripley books of Hghsmith, and
> > more recently Dexter -- has anyone ever read a Romance
> > told from the pov of the book's Mr. Wrong?), historical
> > mysteries that recast real people of the past as sleuths (the
> > Jane Austen series, among many others), village killage (also
> > known as the "village cosy", have I got that right?) where the
> > real point is the display of entertaining characterological
> > oddity (the Midsomer series), and on and on. So far as I
> > know, Romance doesn't have anything like the depth of field
> > routinely on offer in mystery fiction.
> >
>
> One thing about romances and especially the romance-suspense genre is that
> it doesn't lend itself to series books. Normally the girl and guy fall into
> each others arms and that's THE END. Even DLS had a hard time sustaining
> things (and her interest) afte Harriet and Lord Peter married.

Possible counterexample -- Ngaio Marsh's Alleyn series? but there
maybe the romance subplot turns into more of a sidekick subplot?

> I enjoy
> series and they require no pat ending. Just notice Evanovich. Stephanie
> never ends up with one guy; for a series to continue there has to be tension
> which you won't get in a traditional "formula" romance. Take care
> --

--
B. L. Massingill
ObDisclaimer: I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.

Stanley Moore

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Mar 1, 2007, 9:31:21 PM3/1/07
to

<bmali...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1172759341.1...@n33g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

>> One thing about romances and especially the romance-suspense genre is
>> that
>> it doesn't lend itself to series books. Normally the girl and guy fall
>> into
>> each others arms and that's THE END. Even DLS had a hard time sustaining
>> things (and her interest) afte Harriet and Lord Peter married. I enjoy
>> series and they require no pat ending. Just notice Evanovich. Stephanie
>> never ends up with one guy; for a series to continue there has to be
>> tension
>> which you won't get in a traditional "formula" romance. Take care
>
> I am not an reader of romance novels, however it seems to me that a
> romance-suspense series could centre around more than one possible
> coupling, or around a great on-again, off-again relationship. No?
>

That probably wouldn't fit with the romance part's conventions where the
lady has to find true love right? I read a Suzanne Brockman romance/suspense
book which had a couple or side romances in addition to the main one of
feisty woman in danger and uber-male protector at odds fighting through the
book until chemistry had its inevitable way. The sub plot involved the
heroine's brother and a gay FBI agent of all things but it was interesting
any way. Take care

Stanley Moore

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Mar 1, 2007, 9:34:08 PM3/1/07
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<blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message
news:54oiutF...@mid.individual.net...

But the N. Marsh books weren't what I'd call "romance" which involves
conflict so beloved of that genre's fans. Sure Troy and Roderick were in
love but there was no romance as such. Another example is Nick and Nora
Charles who are in love and have some conflict but no romance genre factors.
Takle care

blm...@myrealbox.com

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Mar 1, 2007, 10:13:23 PM3/1/07
to
In article <45e78d7c$1$24767$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,

Well .... I'd say both series (Sayers's and Marsh's) involve a
romance-y sort of subplot stretching over several books, in which
guy meets gal (in circumstances almost guaranteed to inspire a bit
of conflict), guy pursues gal, and finally guy marries gal. I'm
thinking, for Marsh, _Artists in Crime_, _Death in a White Tie_, and
possibly a few others I'm not thinking about at the moment. No?

I wouldn't put either writer in the "romance" genre, or even especially
close, but there's a little similarity?

Kat R

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Mar 2, 2007, 1:16:24 AM3/2/07
to

I picked up a book recently that was a spy thriller romance thing.
Rather odd. Called _AKA Jane_. It had a lot of problems reconciling
the spy thriller part with the romance part IMO, but it was part of a
series. In the first book MI-5 operative Jane is trying to retire and
work full time as a mystery novelist (hmmm...). While touring the US
she spots the terrorist leader who once tried to kill her and decides to
go solo to "get" him. As she works on this, she meets a local Police
Chief and during the course of the (improbable) plot, she falls in love
with said Police Chief. She seems to have a habit of falling in love
with professional contacts who then bite the big one as a result, so
she's a bit unreasonable on the topic in a very
romance-novel-complication sort of way. In the end, she gets the love
of the Chief and catches her baddie, but has to expose her cover to the
Chief--who loves her anyway, even though he frequently treats her like a
moron in true cheesy-romance style.

In the second book, having gotten her man and her Police Chief, she is
forced to run for her life from yet more old enemies while trying to
protect/advance her love life. Don't know what happens next as I gave
up when I got to the improbable end of the first book (which involved a
homeless woman, a prosthetic leg, two cooks named Harry, and a lot of
plastique). Apparently I'm not the only one who'd had enough as the
publisher gave up on the series, too. I guess the hard-as-nails
professional spy character just didn't jibe with the sudden flights of
romantic mush and poor judgement required for the usual romance novel
complications. I imagine it's hard to keep the romantic complications
going in a series. JD Robb seems to get in plenty of romantic sex and
snuggling, but it's hardly the usual romance forumla, since the
protagonist is blissfully married to her lust object, who never treats
her like she's an incompetent idiot--nor does she act like one.

--
Kat Richardson
Greywalker (Roc, 2006)
Website: http://www.katrichardson.com/
Bloggery: http://katrich.wordpress.com/

Stanley Moore

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Mar 2, 2007, 6:16:31 AM3/2/07
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<blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message
news:54pj2jF...@mid.individual.net...
You have a point. But the books you mention are more of a mystery with a
romance layered over it. The modern suspense-romance books are more of a
traditional romance with the mystery given rather short shrift. In all that
I have read the romance comes to its inevitable conclusion with the
implication that there will be nothing further in the way of a series. Most
romance books are by their nature stand-alone. Too bad because I like series
books better. Take care

Stanley Moore

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Mar 2, 2007, 6:23:09 AM3/2/07
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"Jill Brickman" <jil...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:54b0joF...@mid.individual.net...

Being gay traditional romances have little appeal for me so I agree with you
mostly.
Have you tried any of the mixed genre books? I can suggest Suzanne Brockman.
I don't remember the title but it had a movie director vs Navy SEAL, a gay
FBI agent and threats from religious right types. Not too bad, it kept my
interest and had an even mix of the romance with the mystery part. Take care

Lymaree

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Mar 2, 2007, 10:09:54 AM3/2/07
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On Thu, 1 Mar 2007 22:16:24 -0800, Kat R wrote
(in article <BYGdna3MOc-kXHrY...@comcast.com>):

> Don't know what happens next as I gave
> up when I got to the improbable end of the first book (which involved a
> homeless woman, a prosthetic leg, two cooks named Harry, and a lot of
> plastique).

Okay, this had me laughing. Inquiring minds want to know...did the plastique
come before or after the prosthetic leg? Did the leg belong to the homeless
woman, Harry 1 or Harry 2?

As goofy one-sentence plot summaries go, this is one of the best I've read.

--
Lymaree

Crowfoot

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Mar 2, 2007, 11:49:44 AM3/2/07
to
In article <45e8082e$0$8980$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,
"Stanley Moore" <smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:

The difference is, in part, the wildly overblown and
over-written reactions of the female lead to the guy(s)
she can't stop thinking about and yearning for. There's
a definite flavor of schoolgirl dramatics, the hot and
heavy currents of the high school dating scene, but
with adult style complications including menaces
added (but only .

I recall the tone of the few of these that I tried reading
as suffused with an almost obsessive emotional self-
indulgence that only schoolgirls have the *time* for.
Grown-up women are too busy, even if they've barely
matured deep down under the laundry list and the
dentist appointments and the broken dishwasher and,
most likely, also the demands of a regular job.

Which, come to think of it, may be a good part of the
reason that romance novels are so popular: they are
miniature time machines that allow the harried
reader to sink back briefly into the delicious
emotional excesses of her lost adolescent years.

Suzy

blm...@myrealbox.com

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Mar 2, 2007, 12:30:23 PM3/2/07
to
In article <45e8082e$0$8980$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,

Stanley Moore <smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
>
> <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message
> news:54pj2jF...@mid.individual.net...
> > In article <45e78d7c$1$24767$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,
> > Stanley Moore <smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message
> >> news:54oiutF...@mid.individual.net...
> >> > In article <45e6b775$0$28148$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,
> >> > Stanley Moore <smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> "Crowfoot" <page...@swcp.com> wrote in message
> >> >> news:pagemail-00F8B8...@iruka.swcp.com...

[ snip ]

I think we're more or less saying the same thing about Sayers and
Marsh, no? I only chimed in here because I thought Marsh's books
made an interesting contrast to Sayers's, with regard to what happens
when the "guy pursues gal" subplot is resolved. <shrug>

Kat R

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Mar 2, 2007, 5:23:59 PM3/2/07
to

That was just the ending. The plastique came in the leg. I don't know
if I could do the whole plot justice of equal humor.

Let me see...

Hard as nails (but beautiful) MI-5 spy-turned novelist Jane (who is also
known as cigar-munching PI writer "Max Murdoch") defeats Savannah
Georgia-based Irish terrorist, notably _without_ the help and in spite
of love interest Police Chief Alex Callaghan who is busy hunting a
serial-stangler of women who turns out _not_ to be the terrorist (how
often does that happen?) while the villian's base of operations burns to
the ground due to Jane's quick work in discovering the ruse of
accomplices Harry1 and Harry2 and the homeless woman who delivers
prosthetic legs filled with heroin and plastique to the kitchen of
Harrys' thus discovering the final link between
prosthetics-manufacturing bad-guy and spread of drugs and domestic
terrorism in Georgia and Ireland (huh?) leading to firey explosion of
manufacturing plant and fear-filled romp through Georgia swamp with said
terrorist to his demise. Beware of exploding arms and legs. Caution:
rain-induced melancholia may cause some readers to wish Jane didn't seem
to have arrived in Georgia during the rainy season and wonder how she
can have lived so long in London without blowing her brains out. Don't
be distracted by the information on Spanish Moss.

Stanley Moore

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Mar 2, 2007, 7:55:00 PM3/2/07
to

<blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message
news:54r59fF...@mid.individual.net...

I think we do basically agree. I did like the way that Troy comes across as
hating her husband's work but gets involved with it just the same.
Especially since she is an artist and therefore not naturally involved in
murder. Contrast Harriet Vane who is a mystery novelist and has a natural
interest. Lord Peter is the one who is the hobbyist compared to Vane the
pro. Alleyn is a pro and his wife the amateur who gets involved
incidentally. I do like the way the love interest is handled by both
writers. It made the books more vivid and interesting. Also in both cases
there is a progression. Both sets of detectives marry and have kids.
Alleyn's son grows and changes. In a way similar to Amelia Peabody's menage
which changes with the times. BTW I like the love interest in the Egyptian
books too, with complications and misunderstandings that fit will with the
tale.

In romance/suspense OTOH there is little or no story just the trappings of
detection tacked onto the love interest. Also the way sex is handled is very
restrained in the classics like DLS and NG, as well as Peters. Contrast the
"romance" mystery which has hotter sex scenes detracting from the story.
Maybe I'm showing my age (I'm not a prude, I like the spicy bits) but in the
case of sex and mystery "less is more." Or more than enough <G>. Take care

Stanley Moore

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Mar 2, 2007, 8:00:35 PM3/2/07
to

"Wesley Struebing" <str...@carpedementem.org> wrote in message
news:a30vt2hdglrg2o7lg...@4ax.com...

> On Fri, 23 Feb 2007 00:45:33 -0500, aalu...@webtv.net wrote:
>
>>With there being a trend of romance writers like Iris Johanson, Janet
>>Evanovich, Tess Gerritson, Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts becoming best
>>selling mystery writers do they have an unfair advantage?
>>
>>I have read Johanson and thought her Eve Duncan novels were mediocre to
>>the extreme. Evanovich is extremely talented but Sandra Brown is so
>>mediocre. Tess Gerritson well I kind of liked Gravity but not her other
>>medical mystery novels.
>>
>>I wonder if Johanson and Brown were not romance writers first if they
>>ever would have been published as mystery writers?
>>
>>I have not read Roberts In Death series so will not judge her books.
>
> Well, I've not been particularly impressed with Nora
> Roberts-as-mystery-writer, but my daughter is absolutely in love with
> her (of course, she knows her, too, so she may have a dog in that
> fight...<G>)

>>
>>I wonder how many good talented mystery writers are being ignored by
>>readers and don't get the push by the publication companies because of
>>some rather mediocre mystery writers who were romance writers. Yes there
>>are exceptions like Evanovich but Gerritson and Johanson?
>
> Wondering what the opinions of fellow RAM'ers are of Suzanne
> Brockmann. I blush to say that I actually like some of her stuff
> (though I refuse to read her romance-as-romance...).
>>
I read one and enjoyed it. I cannot recall the title but it was a bout a
movie director threatened by religious right types, a Navy SEAL hero, and a
gay FBI agent, (however unlikely that is) was totally out and upfront about
it. The mystery was adequate, I didn't figure out whodunit (most mystery
romances tell you right off who the bad guy is) and the characters were
interesting though the gal was a bit too obstreparous for my taste but then
I'm a guy, agy at that <G> Take care

Ma...@net.ac

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Mar 3, 2007, 7:47:35 AM3/3/07
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On Fri, 2 Mar 2007 18:55:00 -0600, "Stanley Moore"
<smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:

>In romance/suspense OTOH there is little or no story just the trappings of
>detection tacked onto the love interest. Also the way sex is handled is very
>restrained in the classics like DLS and NG, as well as Peters. Contrast the
>"romance" mystery which has hotter sex scenes detracting from the story.
>Maybe I'm showing my age (I'm not a prude, I like the spicy bits) but in the
>case of sex and mystery "less is more." Or more than enough <G>. Take care

I have a friend who sometimes sends me books she thinks I'll like, Karen
Moning (sp), for instance. If the main character has sex in front of me
with the first male she meets in the first three pages of the book, I
can't read the rest of the book. Plot first!

It was a lot sexier in Mary Stewart's first book, Madam Will You Talk,
when the heroine was trying desperately to elude Richard Byron, fainted,
and found him sleeping in her bed when she woke up. At least I thought
so at 13.

blm...@myrealbox.com

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Mar 3, 2007, 4:24:39 PM3/3/07
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In article <45e8c9ac$0$16653$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,

Stanley Moore <smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
>
> <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message
> news:54r59fF...@mid.individual.net...
> > In article <45e8082e$0$8980$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,
> > Stanley Moore <smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message
> >> news:54pj2jF...@mid.individual.net...
> >> > In article <45e78d7c$1$24767$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,
> >> > Stanley Moore <smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:
> >> >>
> >> >> <blm...@myrealbox.com> wrote in message
> >> >> news:54oiutF...@mid.individual.net...

[ snip ]

> > I think we're more or less saying the same thing about Sayers and
> > Marsh, no? I only chimed in here because I thought Marsh's books
> > made an interesting contrast to Sayers's, with regard to what happens
> > when the "guy pursues gal" subplot is resolved. <shrug>
> >
>
> I think we do basically agree. I did like the way that Troy comes across as
> hating her husband's work but gets involved with it just the same.
> Especially since she is an artist and therefore not naturally involved in
> murder. Contrast Harriet Vane who is a mystery novelist and has a natural
> interest. Lord Peter is the one who is the hobbyist compared to Vane the
> pro. Alleyn is a pro and his wife the amateur who gets involved
> incidentally. I do like the way the love interest is handled by both
> writers. It made the books more vivid and interesting. Also in both cases
> there is a progression. Both sets of detectives marry and have kids.
> Alleyn's son grows and changes. In a way similar to Amelia Peabody's menage
> which changes with the times. BTW I like the love interest in the Egyptian
> books too, with complications and misunderstandings that fit will with the
> tale.
>
> In romance/suspense OTOH there is little or no story just the trappings of
> detection tacked onto the love interest. Also the way sex is handled is very
> restrained in the classics like DLS and NG, as well as Peters. Contrast the
> "romance" mystery which has hotter sex scenes detracting from the story.
> Maybe I'm showing my age (I'm not a prude, I like the spicy bits) but in the
> case of sex and mystery "less is more." Or more than enough <G>. Take care

Agreed pretty much on all counts! (well, not sure about Peters,
as I'm not familiar with her series)

Nice thread merge/overlap here with two other current threads, maybe --
the one about whether a romantic (or other?) subplot adds to a series
or just pads the word count, and the one about books you're embarrassed
to admit you ever read. Romantic suspense might fit nicely into the
latter category for some/many, maybe.

Crowfoot

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Mar 3, 2007, 10:47:07 PM3/3/07
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In article <45e8c9ac$0$16653$4c36...@roadrunner.com>,
"Stanley Moore" <smo...@houston.rr.com> wrote:

I guess that's my age too; most sex scenes in most sorts of fiction
leave me cool, at least, if not actively annoyed (Romance writing at
its regular level), but in mystery novels I find a heavy foot on the
pant-and-grab pedal completely off-putting. That's not what I come
to mystery fiction for, and I don't appreciate it as a great, steaming
gratuitously-added side plate to the main course. But then, I've been
told by an editor that I couldn't write and sell Romance because I
prefer a more sparing and delicate touch (which strikes right down
into the reader's gut because of its precision), preferably embedded
in some interesting setting and cast. She said, "No, our readers
always want *less* of all that background stuff and lots more steam."

Sorry for the mixed metaphors -- driving Miss Dinner?

Suzy

Crowfoot

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Mar 3, 2007, 10:48:26 PM3/3/07
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In article <erqiu2l3g6j7458qr...@4ax.com>, Ma...@net.ac
wrote:

Ah, the good ol' days . . . in more ways than one . . . <G>

Suzy

gray...@gmail.com

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Mar 5, 2007, 3:18:20 AM3/5/07
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Hey, guys (especially Crowfoot, the original poster, and Mary), I
think you'll find this funny. www.emilyandlivia.blogspot.com

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