When it comes to reading, I'm not a genre snob. I enjoy classic literature as much as I do space operas, I'm not ashamed to admit I love romance novels, and I'm a mystery lover would never pass up a good mystery book. Whether it's a caper story or an old-fashioned whodunit, once I start reading a mystery novel, I can't put it down until the truth is uncovered. If mystery is your favorite genre, then you know that the addiction to solving crime is just one of the many struggles all mystery lovers understand.
I got hooked on mystery novels when I was a kid. My shelves were lined with Nancy Drew books, the entire Boxcar Children series, and even my mom's secondhand Mary Higgins Clark novels. I'd stay up way past my bedtime reading stories about stolen jewels, missing neighbors, and, even though I was probably way to young for it, stories about kidnapped children and murdered women. As I got older, I started broadening my reading horizons, but my love for the mystery genre has never wavered, and I think it's because whether it's noir fiction or crime fiction, stories of seasoned detectives or confessions of amateur sleuths, mystery novels all have one thing in common: they're unputdownable.
If you've read all of Sherlock Holmes's adventures and gone through every Agatha Christie book, then you know exactly what I mean. Because it doesn't end with reading addiction, here are 11 other struggles all mystery lovers understand.
1. No One Is Ever Who They Seem
The sweet nanny could be the one who kidnapped the baby, and the creepy neighbor upstairs could turn out to be the real crime fighter — when it comes to mystery novels, the thing is, you never really know. Murderers hide in plain sight, narrators can't be trusted, and even the most sinister characters *might* not be as evil as they seem. In a mystery novel, no on is who they say they are.
2. The Internet Is the Devil on Your Shoulder
Spoilers are the worst, but damn, are they tempting. Mystery readers know the Internet is like that little voice whispering in your ear, telling you to Google whodunit before you've even made it past the first chapter. You have to shut off your phone, close your laptop, and disconnect, otherwise, the Internet WILL win.
3. A Series Is Never Long Enough
When you find a mystery series you like, you can't get enough of the books. You love the characters and can't wait to learn more about their troubled pasts, and you're even invested in the secondary characters that pop up from book to book. You think you have enough volumes to sustain you, but inevitably, you reach the end, and whether it's a trilogy or 25 books, mystery series are never long enough. Never.
4. Being Interrupted Is the Actual Worst Thing
Everyone hates being bothered when they're reading, no matter what the genre, but being interrupted mid-mystery? It's the actual worst thing, because even the slightest distraction is keeping you from finding out where the body was dumped or who helped dispose of it. What don't your friends, roommates, spouses, kids understand about this?!
5. Sleep Just Gets in the Way
Who needs sleep — or exercise, or food, or even a social life for that matter — when there's a crime to be solved? You can sleep once the hideout has been discovered, the conspiracy has been uncovered, and the murder has faced justice. The truth never sleeps, and neither will you!
6. It's Impossible to Stop Obsessing Over the Clues, Even When You're Not Reading
If a mystery book is really good, then even when you're not reading it — you know, when you're at work or on a date, those other non-reading activities you have to do — you can't stop thinking about it. You'll be in a meeting, and suddenly be thinking about the significance of that scarf found at the scene of the crime, or you'll be at the grocery store and stop dead in your tracks when you realize you know exactly who killed the nanny. For a mystery lover, the lines between the book and reality can get a little blurry.
7. Sex and Murder Go Hand-In-Hand, Which Is... Confusing
Most people don't think of homicide as hot, but mystery readers know there's something sultry about a good murder mystery. The detectives are scruffy and sexy, the stakes are high and your heart is racing, and I'll be damned if justice isn't a turn on. But when you start feeling sexy when you hear the words "We found a body"? That's the real struggle.
8. That Creepy Feeling Sticks Around, Even After You've Closed the Book
Mystery novels are inherently creepy, of not down right scary. They feature dark and stormy nights, deserted back alleys, and lots and lots of sociopaths. Mystery lovers might have hearts racing and blood pumping while reading through a suspenseful scene, but they also have to deal with that uneasy feeling that lingers even after the book is done. If you love mysteries, they you know that sinister feeling sticks with you, especially if you're doing something like walking to your car alone, or even just going to bed.
9. Everyone and Everything Seems Suspicious
The best friend you've known for life, the new mailman in the neighborhood, and the van you keep seeing parked on the block? Murderers, spies, and thieves, all of them! Well, not really, but you do have your suspicions. After reading so many mystery books, how could you not? It seems like everyone has a secret in your novels, so that must mean people IRL are hiding things, too. Trust no one.
10. When You Really Did See It Coming, But No One Believes You
After you finish a book, you try and tell your friends you so called that twist before the end, but no one believes you! The thing is, you read so much mystery you really did see it coming, but all the haters dismiss your mystery solving abilities. The struggle is real.
11. No Matter What, You MUST Read Until the Very Last Page
When you're reading, the main mystery of the book is usually resolved a few pages before the book ends, but that doesn't mean you should stop reading. No, a real mystery lover understands the struggle of having to hang on to every last word, because even though the criminal was caught or the mystery was solved, there's always some truth waiting to be uncovered in those final sentences — and sometimes, is changes everything you thought you'd figured out. Isn't mystery fun?
Images: Warner Bros.; Giphy (11)