Booktalk: Play Detective?

Hello, guys! Thank you for great/positive responses to my last Booktalk post. I am so relieved to read so many great comments and input 🙂

Today, I have another topic that I thought it would be interesting to discuss with you.
I might be only me who feels this way, but I am going to share with you my weird? Reading habit that I have when I read mysteries/crime(psychological) thrillers and such.

When you read mysteries or suspense/thrillers do you…

  •  Attempt to predict who the culprit is
  •  Just follow the storyline and pick up the foreshadowing/nuggets in the story; you are content with being able to connect names to the characters/character dynamics.

Pardon me if this question doesn’t make any sense to you, but I actually fall into the latter. when I read mysteries and such, I don’t even care about ‘whodunit’ part, which most of you would deem as the crucial element in mysteries/thrillers, but I am content and comfortable enough by merely being able to connect a certain character with foreshadowing and clues scattered in the plot.

Here’s an anecdote to elaborate on this:

A couple of weeks (or maybe a month) ago, I recommended B. A. Paris, Breakdown to my Japanese twitter friend and then it sparked other bookworms interest and became pretty much all the rage among my Japanese bookish friends.
About a week later, there was a string of tweets going on Twitter in which they were guessing who the culprit was.
As I told you earlier, I don’t even try to figure out ‘who did it’; I simply focuse on following the storyline and enjoyed the writing itself. Generally speaking, my focus tends to be solely on connecting a certain clue to a specific character.
For instance, it is very crucial for me that I get to conjure up what a certain character did in the story when I hear the name. That is what really matters to me and I tend to get frustrated whenever I fail to do so.
I don’t appreciate the feeling which is akin to indigestion; I really, desperately need to be able to connect a certain clue/foreshadowing to a specific character/incident and go like, “Oh, this must be THAT GUY! I knew it!”
If I succeed in this aspect, I don’t really care ‘whodunit’ part. (Which means I need to jot down names/their occupations and such and it can be quite painstaking if there are way too many characters appear in the book lol)

When I told them this, they went like, “Really? You don’t?!? That’s what makes reading mysteries interesting!” lol
And I totally agree with that. It’s just that I simply DON’T even attempt to do so. I might not even possess enough brainpower to play detective or even don’t want to. I really don’t know, but the thing is, it just doesn’t matter much to me. As long as the plot is interesting and the writing is gripping, the culprit doesn’t possess much weight on me.
Well, to be more precise, I probably do try to figure out the culprit, in fact, but it happens in a flicker of a moment and never goes beyond a subconscious level; that’s why I don’t even THINK I do.
But this string of tweets got me intrigued to know how you, my dear readers, feel about this.

Let me pose you a question;
Do you need to play detective and be able to figure out who the bad guy is? or,
Are you like me and happy enough by being able to pick up a certain thing and don’t really care the ‘whodunit’ part?

Honestly, I assume most of you fall into the former; I must be the odd one out lol

Anyways, here’s another book talk for you.
I hope this post sparked your interest and got you thinking!
Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

Thank you for reading as always and I’ll see you in my next post!

40 thoughts on “Booktalk: Play Detective?

  1. Interesting discussion and I didn’t even know there are people who are not playing detective while reading. I always try to figure out who the bad guy is.. I don’t even like books who reveal that person at the start of a novel as much as the ones where you only find out in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m pretty sure that there’s a third option here, being “both”. At least, in my case it’s an option. While reading, I just enjoy reading, the writing, the characters, the story. But as soon as I take a break, have to go to work or simply do something other than reading, my brain starts churning all the information around, trying to figure out who’s the culprit of the story.
    It’s weird, because most of the time I don’t think about that while reading – with some exceptions, but those are always present in everything.

    So, I’m the combo, haha!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. i am also like kathy here. 🙂 i try to find out, who the killer was, but not like: i must need to know NOW! this and this and this is important, i knew it and so on. i just like to get myself into the story. reading about it and sometimes just enjoying, what i am reading. i then often find myself just reading, but then something happens and i am like “aha” and then a thought comes to my head and stays there until it is proven right or wrong. so yeah, i think i am a mix. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I actually alternate between both! With The Breakdown in particular I played detective, but I feel that not all whodunit novels have their “clues” quite nicely laid out for that, and, as you said, sometimes one is just too tired and just wants to enjoy the novel. I don’t mind being wrong if I tried to guess who is the culprit, I actually feel the opposite! I normally make up an opinion on the first chapters and I don’t like figuring it all out in the first pages, it feels like you read an entire book for no good reason, if you already know what happens. So I like being wrong! With Girl in Snow for example I didn’t try to guess, the clues felt a little everywhere and the mystery itself didn’t seem to be the focus anyways…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great discussion! I am a big mystery reader. I do try to figure it out, but I only let myself ponder it lightly around the edges, as I don’t want to miss out on any of the great details by letting my mind go too far. So I’m in the middle! When I read a series, it’s definitely not to solve it — it’s because I love the characters!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jay 🙂 So, you’re in the middle – not to go into too deep, just skim important facts/elements suffice to lead you to a prospective culprit. Interesting! Plus, I totally agree about a series – once you get to know the characters, you don’t want to leave the world!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nel says:

    I’m with the majority. I’m a both kind of person. I like to get to know the characters as I’m reading along and try to guess who the killer is by the end. It’s like watching an episode of Bones for me. My husband and I always try to guess who did it while we’re learning about each player on the board as well as the bones themselves!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. When I read mysteries I never really focus on “whodunit” either! I just read and read and when there are big clues pointing at someone I’m always like “oh they’re trying to make this person seem like the culprit now” I follow the story and see how the author tries to pin the blame on each and every character but I never choose the culprit like “oh it’s this guy, it has to be this guy–clues are going towards someone else but I KNOW it’s this guy” lol I continue reading and open my mind up to how anyone can be the culprit and I’m usually but not always, slightly surprised by the ending.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hunida, your style might be the closest to me except for the fact you sense ‘who did it’ along the way lol
      Quite interesting that I have received so many responses… pleasantly surprised!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Noriko, are you NEVER able to sense “who did it” along the way?! I wish I could be that way so I could always be surprised in the end lol. Like I don’t know if you read “We Were Liars” but I could tell before pg100 what had really happened—I was only a bit surprised about how it happened.

        Liked by 1 person

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