Why People Love Mysteries
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Why People Love Mysteries

What is it about the detective story that have caused them to stand the test of time?

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Why People Love Mysteries
MonicaVolpin on Pixabay

Ever since Edgar Allan Poe first penned the first detective stories featuring the illustrious and eccentric Dupin, the public has been fascinated and thrilled by stories of mystery. But why? I'm currently on an Agatha Christie binge, reading every Hercule Poirot story I can get my hands on. And because of that, I've been asking myself this question: What is it about the detective story that have caused them to stand the test of time, inspiring so many television shows and movies, not to mention hundreds of thousands of novels?

Everyone likes to see good triumph over evil. We don't like to believe we could live in a world where murderers and robbers escape punishment and walk free among us.

In the real world, crimes often go unsolved. Whether it's a theft or a murder or some other crime, hundreds of cases are never closed. With mysteries, we can escape into a world where no evil dead goes unpunished.

Human beings are naturally inclined to enjoy puzzles. And what better puzzle than one that takes several hours or days or even weeks to read, to study, to attempt to solve?

There's nothing more entertaining (to me, at least) than reading a mystery novel and guessing as you read, trying to figure out who committed the crime. 90% of the time I'm wrong, and on the few occasions I've been right, I've never been able to guess at the full back story or how the perpetrator was able to commit the crime. And even though I'm never 100% correct, I still think it's so much fun!

These stories usually have endings that tie everything up nicely.

Again, in the real world, life doesn't go perfectly. We don't always have a witty retort at hand, or the perfect supplies to complete something we're attempting. In mysteries, the problem is always solved, and answers are always available. The reader can sit back, relax, and enjoy the story unfolding before them, without having to worry about some key piece of information being left out and screwing up the rest of their lives. Mysteries allow us to escape reality better than nearly any other genre of literature.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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