Multiple award-winning author, Jacqueline Seewald, has taught creative, expository and technical writing at Rutgers University as well as high school English. She also worked as both an academic librarian and an educational media specialist. Seventeen of her books of fiction have been published to critical praise including books for adults, teens and children. Her short stories, poems, essays, reviews and articles have appeared in hundreds of diverse publications and numerous
anthologies such as: THE WRITER, L.A. TIMES, READER’S DIGEST, PEDESTAL, SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY MAGAZINE, OVER MY DEAD BODY!, GUMSHOE REVIEW, THE MYSTERY MEGAPACK, LIBRARY JOURNAL, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. She’s also an amateur landscape artist and enjoys listening to blue grass music. She loves hearing from readers. Her writer’s blog can be found at: http://jacquelineseewald.blogspot.com
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There seems to be some confusion as to whether romantic mystery and romantic suspense are the same genre of fiction. In fact, they are not. In my Kim Reynolds mystery series, there are three main characters featured in the novels which are romantic mysteries, the fourth book being THE BAD WIFE. Kim Reynolds, librarian sleuth and reluctant psychic, is the central character in this series.
In romantic suspense, the mystery is secondary to the romance. Plot focus is always on the romance while the mystery merely offers a plot device, usually ways to bring the hero and heroine closer together.
In a romantic mystery, the love interest is secondary. The mystery and finding its solution is the key plot factor. The romantic aspect usually serves to provide added depth to the main character(s) and make them more real to the reader.
In romantic suspense there is always a happy ending with the couple united at the end in the love of their lives. In romantic mystery novels, which are often part of a series like mine, that is not necessarily the case–although it can be. Also in a romantic mystery series the main protagonists are more like real people with their lives changing and their character developing. Ideally, these novels are not static–one reason a romantic mystery series can grow in popularity and recognition.
My latest novel, THE INHERITANCE, is a stand alone romantic mystery. Romance and mystery elements are about equally balanced. It’s a fast-paced mystery with cozy as well as romantic elements.
As a reader, I enjoy both types of genres and consider each very satisfying. As a writer, I like to experiment with both types of fiction as well.
Any thoughts or opinions on this subject? Do you prefer one type of genre over another and if so why?