Once again, thanks to the insight of professional writer Brad Geagley. He shares how-to advice for the aspiring novelist. His “How To Write a Mystery Novel” can be read in entirety here: http://bradgeagley.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/how-to-write-a-mystery-novel-2/
This excerpt intrigued me. Hope you find the information helpful as you write:
I like it best when a detective is a flawed man, like my poor, alcoholic Semerket, so that in addition to solving the mystery at hand he must also solve part of the mystery within himself. Like the protagonists in Martin Cruz Smith novels, they also become the seat of moral authority. All around them are crimes, official corruption, and indifference, but they remain committed to the truth, regardless of how unpleasant it is. No matter how dark or dismal they are, they become heroic in the process – and your readers root for their success.
In my novel, I’ve done something right — my detective is flawed, committed to truth, and, at moments, heroic. My detective is a she. To me, that makes character development more challenging; male mystery readers I know prefer male lead characters. I am determined to snag one male fan from my circle of acquaintance for my female character. More on that another day.