Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I Love A Mystery...Or Is It A Thriller?

The types of novel I write are styled as "medical suspense with heart." I have to confess that log line was suggested to me some years ago, and I liked it. When I adopted it, I gave no thought to whether I truly write suspense. Did I really? Or were they mysteries? Perhaps they were thrillers. What's the difference, anyway.

Before I tell you what I've heard as the "official" definitions for those terms, let me confess that what I write sometimes falls into one category, sometimes another. And really, what does it matter? If the reader enjoys it, I don't care what label goes on it. But here's what former agent Nathan Bransford says:

Thrillers have action.
Suspense has danger (but not necessarily action)
Mysteries have something you don't know until the end.

That having been said, I suppose what I write are either medical mysteries or suspense. But they have a bit of romance as well. I usually say they have just enough for women to enjoy them, yet not so much that a man throws down the book in disgust.

When it comes to contests, I usually have to classify my books as romantic medical suspense. On bookshelves... well, those titles are usually shelved by author name. I guess, as William Shakespeare said several centuries ago, "What's in a name?"

If you'd like to chime in with a comment, I'll choose one at random to receive a signed copy of my novella, Silent Night, Deadly Night. Don't forget to include your email address (in this format--Dr R L Mabry at yahoo dot com--to avoid web crawlers). What genre is the novella? It's either mystery or suspense...or maybe it's a thriller. Do you care?

Tweet with a single click. "What's the difference in mystery, thriller, and suspense novels?" Click here to tweet.

19 comments:

  1. Interesting definitions. I see all of these having action of some sort. Either way it makes for great reading. Lill dot Kohler at gmail dot com

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  2. All of your books are great reads...I love them all! This is one I have not read to date.
    jacsmi75 at gmail.com

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  3. Mystery or Thriller love both. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom.

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  4. I bought this ebook a while back but haven't had a chance to read and review it yet, but I will!
    I love your medical suspense books. Not as crazy about thrillers, especially when they include blood and guts.

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  5. Mystery/suspense is my favorite genre.

    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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  6. I love mystery and suspense books. Thrillers I'd probably enjoy too as long as there isn't anything graphic/gory in it (that goes for movies too). Time4us2havetea at yahoo dot com

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  7. I agree--if the book is good, I don't care what the genre or length is. :-) pat at ptbradley dot com

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  8. Who cares? Not me. As long as it keeps me turning the pages, I don't care what genre it falls under.
    debsbunch777(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. Thanks for clarifying the difference Richard! I've always wondered myself.
    As for me, it makes no difference the novel/novella genre, as long as it's a good mystery/thriller/suspense :-)

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  10. I like all three and the definitions were great.
    karenskrayons at gmail dot com

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  11. Thanks to everyone who has left a comment so far. I especially appreciate the nice words from those of you who've read my other books. Keep the comments coming--I'll pick a winner after the weekend.

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  12. It doesn't really matter to me whether, mystery, thriller or suspense. I like all three. Interesting to read the difference though. Thank you for sharing.
    anne at rightler dot com

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  13. I would love to read your novella and it doesn't matter if it is a mystery, thriller or suspense! I enjoy mysteries and suspense and thrillers are fine, as long as they aren't gory and gruesome!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and this giveaway
    Connie
    cps1950 at gmail dot com

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  14. I like it all but I definitely like there to be some action going on in any suspense novel I read. I want to be held captive on the edge of my seat until the end!

    duhpaynes[at]gmail[dot]com

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  15. I'm not fussed about the labelling, but good to know. I love them all.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  16. I suppose I do look at what books are labeled as, but I also read the blurb about them, before I decide if I want to read it. I love historical fiction and will almost always read those. Suspense, especially medical suspense, interests me greatly, partly from interests I had as a young college student.
    bettimace(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. Dr. Mabry, as long as you keep writing great books I personally won't be overly concerned about their category. I love the thrilling medical action that keeps me in suspense until the very end (if I can restrain myself from skipping to the end to find out what happened!). I admit--I like the romance but really read them for the medical thriller parts. And I love the Christian element! Thanks for writing!

    Ann Thrash-Trumbo
    thrash trumbo at g mail dot com

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  18. I've just chosen a winner--Trixi wins a copy of Silent Night, Deadly Night. Thanks for all your comments.

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