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
The Balance Careers
Yes! Disguising Demons is ready and will be released on October 19th, 2018 but is available now for pre-order. Check it out. This book, #4 in the Dusty Kent series, is set in Port Douglas, in Far North Queensland. It is an idyllic setting visited by the rich and famous from around the world including Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Glenn Close, Kylie Minogue and many more. See gorgeous photos from my visit to Port Douglas here.
Here's the awesome cover designed by Yocla Book Cover Designs.
What Dusty discovers in her quest to find the truth about the murder of a gentle Buddhist monk shocks her and and has her Irish assistant questioning whether they should continue with the case.
This 4th book in the Dusty Kent Mysteries following Murder in Murloo, A Devious Mind and Rippling Red is certain to captivate you.
Let all your cares fall away; read a Dusty Kent today.
Sometimes readers think the Dusty Kent Murder Mysteries need to be read in sequential order like a serial (a story that is published in several parts over a period of time). That is not the case. The Dusty Kent Murder Mysteries are a series (several books that deal with the same subject or feature the same character) much like Agatha Christie’s Poirot series. Each Dusty Kent book is a stand-alone story. The books can be read in any order and you don’t need to read all the books if you don’t wish to. (I hope you do!)
The other confusing issue is genre. On Amazon.com the Dusty Kent series is listed in the 'Mystery, Thriller and Suspense' category. Wow! That is so broad and potentially misleading for readers. For those of us who are particular about the type of crime novel we want to read, choosing a book from such a wide range of styles can be time consuming. I don’t want to read thrillers or suspense. I want a jolly good murder mystery. BUT under the sub heading of Mystery you could find: police procedurals, murder mysteries, mysteries that do not involve murder, cosy murder mysteries, whodunits and goodness knows what else. Choosing the one that is just right is not quick and not always easy.
The Dusty Kent books, such as Murder in Murloo, are not thrillers or suspense. Murder in Murloo is a murder mystery. But what sort? Easy! A whodunit.
Once I would have called Murder in Murloo a cosy/cozy mystery. However, cosy murder mysteries are now often associated with the very light, often humorous, style of detective fiction. They are like pavlovas: light and sweet and devoured easily and quickly, leaving the reader smiling and licking their lips.
A whodunit, on the other hand, is more like a fruit cake: light enough to rise in the oven but with a substantial filling that can be savoured with leisurely deliberation. Sometimes the filling has a few nuts and sometimes even a little alcohol, but the ‘cake’ is essentially wholesome.
I hope that helps you decide whether a Dusty Kent Murder Mystery is the sort of book you would like to read. I hope the answer is yes because as Lawrence Wargrave said in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None:
‘...no artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone.
There is a natural craving for recognition which cannot be gainsaid.’
JB (writing as Brigid George)