If you’re reading a Dusty Kent Murder Mystery you’re reading a Masala Mystery. A Masala Mystery? Seriously? Yes! It’s a murder mystery enriched by a blend of different spices such as chilli, allspice, cinnamon and mace, and sometimes black cardamom and nutmeg. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Don’t be alarmed; I can explain everything.
You see, outside the general classification of Mystery Novel, murder mysteries have many different categories. Brigid George’s Dusty Kent Murder Mysteries do not fit neatly into any of them. Instead, they contain elements of several different categories, which earns them the intriguing title of Masala Mysteries.
In India the word ‘masala’ (məˈsɑːlə) is often used to describe a dish enriched by many different spices, such as Masala Chai. From that usage evolved Masala Movies – Hindi films that combine several different genres. And now we have Masala Mysteries.
A Masala Mystery has strong elements of the Traditional Mystery, with murder (chilli) as its foundation. However, murder and its associated issues is explored in more depth and not treated humorously. In addition, a Masala Mystery has elements of the Whodunit (allspice), the traditional Cozy Mystery (cinnamon), and Detective Fiction (mace). Masala Mysteries can also include aspects of the Suspense Story (black cardamom) and the Locked Room Mystery (nutmeg).
It’s all just a bit of fun on my part but I kinda like the term Masala Mystery. Brigid George’s latest Masala Mystery is due out at the end of this year.
For those of you who would like to know more about the many types of murder mysteries I’ve outlined some of them below.
The general category of Mystery Novel with the basic plot elements as follows:
Here are some of the categories that come under the broad umbrella of Mystery Novel:
Readers are not necessarily aware of all the sub genres of crime fiction. As a result, a reader who buys a Mystery Novel expecting the fast paced story of a thriller will be disappointed if they are actually reading a Forensic Procedural or a Traditional Mystery (or a Masala Mystery).
My thanks to the good people at No Worries Curries for helping me to match appropriate Indian spices to the various murder mystery elements.
Wikipedia - Crime Fiction
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