I enjoy paranormal fiction, but reality can be extraordinary, too. Detectives can use deductive reasoning, careful observations and creative thinking to put together the solution to a mystery without the help of supernatural powers. Since I read, and write, conventional mystery fiction AND stories with paranormal elements, I’m conscious of how and when magic fits into the mix.
All too often, a magical power becomes the edge that enables detective (amateur or professional) to prevail. I recently read an interesting mystery set in London’s West End Theater District. Being a theater geek, I was charmed by the setting and really enjoyed the backstage scenes.
The premise was that the son of a prominent family of actors bombs out on his first foray on stage and disappoints the family by leaving the theater to become a cop. He returns to solve a theater-related murder, sent largely because of his insider knowledge of the theater.
The author had me in thrall until the detective gains his special insights from ghostly visitations. He could just have easily ascertained important information by simply being smart and having an unusual combination of skills and background.
Oh, well… sometimes I love it when the detective calls on magical powers, but sometimes the only power is high wattage grey matter. Magic OR Brains… Magic AND Brains… Lots of things to think about while writing!