Summer Guest Blogger — Kirsten Weiss

My New York City apartment is tiny and hot, but my blog has plenty of room for summer visitors. Today, I welcome my third Summer Guest Blogger — Kirsten Weiss, author of paranormal mysteries featuring Riga Hayworth. I’ve read and enjoyed two books in this series. Kirsten’s blend of mystery & magic is a wonderful mix!

Here’s Kirsten’s Post:

The Paranormal Mystery Genre

In case you missed the drama, amidst great howling and gnashing of fangs, author Charlaine Harris wrapped up her Sookie Stackhouse series of vampire/mystery/romance/suspense novels this year. Many fans were furious Sookie didn’t end up with the romantic hero of their dreams. The embattled author, a 60+ grandmother, had to hire bodyguards. Though in fairness, she’d been reduced to getting bodyguards long before this particular scandal erupted. Some of her fans were overly ardent.

What is it about the paranormal/mystery/romance blend? Before Ms. Harris hit it big with her Sookie Stackhouse series, she was a just another mystery writer, producing mid-list books. But when she took her mystery plotline, added a heavy dose of supernaturals, and mixed well…

Literary magic.

According to statistic from, 71% of Americans claim to have had a paranormal experience. Thirty four percent believe in ghosts, and 42% believe in demonic possession. And even for those who don’t believe, I’m willing to bet a good percent still enjoys a good paranormal spookfest.

And if you don’t want to go all the way into horror, a mystery novel provides a solid structure to hang paranormal on, with the mystery of the paranormal adding a dash of spice (and creepiness) to the more human whodunit.

But as a genre, “paranormal mystery” hasn’t really broken out yet. Yes, there are hugely popular paranormal mysteries, like Juliet Blackwell’s witchcraft mysteries, or the Sarah Booth Delaney mysteries by Carolyn Haines. But you won’t find them easily searching for “paranormal mystery” on Amazon. The genre has become muddled with urban fantasy or even contemporary fantasy. This frustrates the heck out of me because if the primary plot is mystery, as a reader, I’d like to know it. Today, a good part of the suspense in a paranormal mystery is whether one will be able to identify it as such prior to purchase.

About the Author

Kirsten Weiss is the author of the Riga Hayworth series of paranormal mystery novels. Here’s the blurb from her latest, The Infernal Detective:

Murder. The undead. Irritating relatives.

When Riga Hayworth finds a dead body in the bedroom, it’s par for the course. When the corpse drives off with her fiancée… That’s a problem.

Riga knows dead. More intimately than she’d like. So when a murdered photographer walks away from her pre-wedding party, she believes there’s necromancy afoot. And when she discovers that several of her wedding guests are under the influence of dark magic, she’s certain. But how can she catch a killer and stop a necromancer when even her nearest and dearest are lying to her?

Marrying romance, mystery, and the metaphysical, The Infernal Detective is a fast-paced urban fantasy, where nothing is quite as it seems, and magic lies just beyond the veil.

“A high-voltage, cleverly-spun mystery that I couldn’t put down. Riga Hayworth is addictive.”

–        Diana Orgain, Best-selling author of The Maternal Instincts Mysteries

Link to Youtube Video


Kirsten_Infernal_detective-book_kindle_1563x2500 compressed


    • Candy

      It is! And I enjoyed the previous mystery. Kirsten manages to balance the supernatural/paranormal/magic with the mystery plot line and that is the real magic.

    • If you believe in telepathy, then you’re right in there with 41% of Americans, according to I’m actually a little surprised the number isn’t higher, because I have two sisters who are very skeptical of pretty much all paranormal, but both have had telepathic experiences that have made them believers.

  1. I have a huge list of books waiting to be read. This book looked familiar so I had to check. Yep, it is sitting in my kindle app, waiting for me already.

    As our tastes in certain styles becomes more focused we will continue to see my sub genres being born. At times it is frustrating because with choice comes indecision, but without choice some of us have a harder time placing our work in the right places.

    • Candy

      The entire category thing makes me nuts!
      I’m always writing just to the left or the right of a genre’s definition. Marketing becomes the big issue. As I read lots of genres and sometimes I even push myself to read books in genres I find completely unappealing, I wish we were less focused on the categories and more on the writing.

  2. Genres can be infuriating, though they do come in handy for deciding the gist of what I tend not to like, though I’m always willing to give a book from any genre a try so long as the writing is strong.

    • Candy

      As a big “trans-genre” reader… I wish more people were willing to jump the lines between genres for the sake of a great story. Marketing seems to be the biggest hurdle. That’s where the genres seem to be critical.