The Clue is in the Mystery Itself

It’s all a mystery to me, friends.

I love a good mystery, particularly detective fiction. Everything in this genre of writing, especially in the modern era, boils down to the attention to the smallest of details. The sleuth of the story stumbles upon or is given some sort of problem, finds clues, and morphs those little life details into a solution. They take the time to analyze every detail and assess the situation. There’s an artistry to the mystery novel that is absolutely the most intoxicating thing to me.

I’ve even loved mysteries since I was crime solving little girl in my elementary school library.

When I was little, I devoured almost every Nancy Drew book. Each book, written by a plethora of different authors as I would later sadly learn under one name, found our titular protagonist somehow in the midst of some sort of mystery. Clues would pop and leave a trail that would lead Nancy to the perpetrator of the crime of the novel. Sure, the novels were cheesy, but they were perfect for a little girl just learning the craft of crime solving.

As it turns out, this spunky little crime solver wasn’t the detective of the century.

I then grew up and fell right in the arms of literature’s most famous detective: Sherlock Holmes. Now, there are all sorts of fictional detectives out and about on bookshelves nowadays, but no one can compete with the game changing Holmes. Up until his debut on the emerging literary scene of the end of the nineteenth century, most detectives just happened upon clues and, poof, the mystery was just solved without any real explanation of how everything happened.

Not Mr. Holmes.

Homes had a process. Clues weren’t just random plot devices. They were tools and details necessary to construct the narrative of the solution of the crime. Crime scenes were sacred places that could withhold the key to solving the crime. Hell, his methods even altered the way real life crimes themselves are solved. Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous protagonist developed a literary world where the audience saw the story unfold with Holmes’s methods. They reshaped the literary and real world in the most positive way. Though, his style is not for everyone.

Straightforward detective stories not your thing?

There’s even mystery stories for those who prefer the fantasy novels. Southern Vampire Mysteries (aka the books True Blood were based on) are particular favorites of mine.  They contain all the elements of a proper mystery novel with an added spice of sex, supernaturals, and a touch of sin. Yet, even half-naked vampires and fairies couldn’t compete to the most difficult and rewarding mystery of them all.

Life.

Life is the greatest mystery of life that we have to solve. It might be a cliché to say this, but clichés are usually based on the absolute truths of life. We are constantly trying to solve the mystery of us, of others, and of every little aspect of out lives. Soul searching is the mystery of us.

I think that’s why I don’t give up when I want to quit. Every day presents a new clue to a problem that leads to a solution that raises another question and mystery to solve.

Life is a mystery I’m constantly solving and that, dear readers, is elementary.

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