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DenimSoul
11-05-2005, 10:32 PM
Should a Christian mystery novel include a murder? Mysteries are normally based on a murder but it does seem very unChristianlike to think of ways to bump people off?

I really draw the line at thinking of unusual or unique ways to kill people. I'd hate to give anyone a new idea of how to off someone.

I'm stuck in a debate with myself. I have a mystery series with a great hook in mind but I'm debating over the death in the book? This is my first attempt at this genre. I want to finish this manuscript by the end of the year if at all possible.

Is it okay to murder someone in a Christian mystery novel?

Feedback please.

Ralyks
11-05-2005, 11:53 PM
Yeah...a book that includes some unique ways to off people would be very un-Christian, like plunging a knife into his rolls of fat while he's on the loo, or driving a tent peg through his head after bringing him some milk, or having the workers kill the son of the master as he travels through the fields, or...oh, wait, that's the Bible!

It's a very good thing the stories in the Bible don't have to meet the modern standards of morality for Christian writing. It would be a very dull tome.

Perks
11-06-2005, 12:01 AM
Yeah...a book that includes some unique ways to off people would be very un-Christian, like plunging a knife into his rolls of fat while he's on the loo, or driving a tent peg through his head after bringing him some milk, or having the workers kill the son of the master as he travels through the fields, or...oh, wait, that's the Bible!

It's a very good thing the stories in the Bible don't have to meet the modern standards of morality for Christian writing. It would be a very dull tome.

Lol! That was great and I agree. Also, there are people, even Christians, who are wired with a curiosity of how they respond to the darker images possible in this life. This in no way means that they wish harm to come to anyone, they are just interested in the clockworks in their own heads. The only safe avenue of exploration of this trait is fiction. The reader can chart his reaction, know his own mind better and - hey presto! - no one gets hurt. Everybody wins. So I say, hack and maim away - it's not real!

Puddle Jumper
11-07-2005, 07:44 AM
Should a Christian mystery novel include a murder? Mysteries are normally based on a murder but it does seem very unChristianlike to think of ways to bump people off?

I really draw the line at thinking of unusual or unique ways to kill people. I'd hate to give anyone a new idea of how to off someone.

I'm stuck in a debate with myself. I have a mystery series with a great hook in mind but I'm debating over the death in the book? This is my first attempt at this genre. I want to finish this manuscript by the end of the year if at all possible.

Is it okay to murder someone in a Christian mystery novel?

Feedback please.

This is my 100th post! WOO!!!

I'm not big into murder mysteries but I don't see any reason why not. I doubt people who would be picking up a Christian novel to read would be doing so to find out ways to kill a person.

Unique
11-14-2005, 11:24 AM
Is it okay to murder someone in a Christian mystery novel?

Feedback please.

I don't see why not. As long as it wasn't the Christian doing the murdering. (Unless it was self defense) Then you could add in all the subplot bits of his tortured guilt....

Footsteps
11-14-2005, 04:29 PM
Dorothy Sayers certainly found no conflict between her career writing murder mysteries and her strong Christian faith.

Among her many devotional poems is this prayer:
JESUS, if, against my will,
I have wrought Thee any ill,
And, seeking but to do Thee grace,
Have smitten Thee upon the face,
If my kiss for Thee be not
Of John, but of Iscariot,
Prithee then, good Jesus, pardon
As Thou once didst in the garden,
Call me "Friend," and with my crime
Build Thou Thy passion more sublime.

Betty W01
11-29-2005, 02:47 AM
Check out Sally Wright's Ben Reese mystery series. And John Anderson's (hey, John!) And yeah, Sayers was a godly woman who wrote murder mysteries. She seemed to find no conflict, and she was a marvelous writer, too!

DrCaelinPaul
12-09-2005, 02:22 AM
This is an interesting thread :) I am in a similar quandry in a series I am writing called the Light on the Hill Mysteries. So far I haven't had to kill anyone off, but everyone loves a good "whodunnit" mystery. I don't see the problem with killing people off, it would seem the writer has the responsibility to moderate just how it is presented so as not to de-christianize their writing :)

Gravity
12-10-2005, 06:21 AM
[QUOTE=Betty W01]And John Anderson's (hey, John!) QUOTE]

I hope you meant John ROBINSON. If I'm not mistaken, John Anderson was the lead vocalist for Yes, and he...wait a minute...he spelled his name J-O-N, not...never mind. :)

John (the other one)

Master Bedroom
12-14-2005, 10:25 AM
I am not big on Christian novels, though they are very popular these days.

I have thought of a good scene though, that I think would play well within a Christian story...



This Christian has a gun and he is pointing it at a guy who murdered his daughter.

The guy says, “No wait, I thought you were a Christian.”

And this is the great part… the Christian guy goes, “Yeah… but I can be forgiven.”

And fires the gun, hitting the murderer right between the eyes.



It could be like the Christian version of, Dirty Harry’s, “Go ahead, Make my day.”



That’s the closet thing, that I will ever get to writing, Christian fiction, but hey if anyone wants to build a story around that, feel free.

TLHines
12-14-2005, 04:50 PM
There are plenty of Christian writers creating murder mysteries and suspense/thriller novels. Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker are probably the two biggest names in the genre right now. I also loved the recent "Comes A Horseman" by Robert Liparulo.

ldumont999
12-15-2005, 04:56 PM
An other great suspense author is Brandilyn Collins. Her current series is the Hidden Faces Series (Brink of Death, Stain of Guilt, Dead if Night, Web of Lies). I believe last year she signed a nine book contract with Zondervan and she's been touring with Randy Ingermanson (Oxygen - also from Zondervan). She is an amazing writer and her book Getting Into Character is very helpful when it comes to Characterization.

Betty W01
12-16-2005, 07:32 AM
Yes, I meant Robinson, not Anderson - just goes to show you shouldn't post when on muscle relaxers... http://www.clicksmilies.com/s0105/party/party-smiley-004.gif Sorry, John....

Betty W01
01-14-2006, 12:16 AM
I just discovered another mystery series that includes Christian characters and theology: the Benni Harper series, by Earlene Fowler. Fowler does a good job of making her stories gripping while still interjecting truth in them.

L.Jones
01-25-2006, 04:51 PM
Steeple HIll, a division of Harlequin, has launched a Romantic Suspense line that is doing very well. I bring this up because it is one market you can still reach w/o an agent. The books can be found anywhere so next time you're in a grocery or big box store, you might think of picking one up to see what they are buying.

I've always been a bit peevish on this topic, btw, because mysteries and suspense and that ilk have been able to actually portray things more realistically and push envelopes more than romances in this marketplace.

annie
Luanne Jones
Heathen Girls (available now - not a CBA book ;))
aka
Annie Jones (Sadie in Waiting Dec 04, Mom Over Miami, June 05 April in Bloom - April 06 - Steeple Hill)

NancyMehl
01-29-2006, 03:30 AM
One reason I like mysteries is that we are allowed to "catch the bad guy" and make certain that justice prevails! I think that falls right in line with our Christian beliefs!

My newest novel, Malevolence, is a little dark - kind of like Frank Peretti meets Patricia Cornwell. My others are softer, yet they all involve a murder. I try to stay away from things that are too graphic. Also, there is no profanity or sexual content.

Just an FYI - Barbour is opening up a new mystery line. They're looking for cozy mysteries. I believe there is a growing market for readers who like mystery but don't want to endure some of the trashy stuff out there.

I bought a book a while back by an up and coming mystery author. I read about the first four pages. If you have to use the "f" word ten times on every page - in my opinion - you have nothing creative to say. It was a huge waste of time.

And btw - one of the best Christian mystery writers around...our own John Robinson. If you haven't read his books - get them. You'll be hooked!

Nancy

Bigbunny
02-18-2006, 02:37 AM
It's a very good thing the stories in the Bible don't have to meet the modern standards of morality for Christian writing. It would be a very dull tome.

That's funny, because the first novel I wrote was a modernization of a story from the Old Testament, and I gave up on it because I realized I could never have it in a CBA bookstore.

theengel
02-18-2006, 02:55 AM
What about GK Chesterton's Father Brown series? These are the classics of classic mysteries.

And did you know Marry Higgins Clark was a devout Catholic. I beleive she interviewed on EWTN a couple of times.

TLHines
02-18-2006, 06:59 AM
That's funny, because the first novel I wrote was a modernization of a story from the Old Testament, and I gave up on it because I realized I could never have it in a CBA bookstore.

Not necessarily. Christian fiction is pushing a lot of "traditional" boundaries these days--you'll find a lot of books on the shelves that wouldn't have even sold two or three years ago. It's a growing, vibrant genre, and that's a good thing.

Bigbunny
02-18-2006, 10:02 AM
That's encouraging. Of course, I still have it, it's just in the bottom of the drawer.

Edgarallenwannabe
02-19-2006, 05:53 AM
Always good to keep those manuscripts around. Let's see, I have a science fiction epic laying on my shelf around here somewhere....

And in response to TL Hines, it's a good to see. I previewed a copy of the "Horsemen" novel at my local Christian bookstore, and it looked promising.

Gives me hope for my supernatural/spiritual/kill all the vampires novel!

Kevin Lucia

Branwyn
02-19-2006, 07:19 AM
Although not a Christian, I suffered from the same dilemma. It took a while to talk myself into. I thought about it for quite a while and realized, if I wanted to write a mystery(unless it's a kidnapping) someone had to die. Not much of a murder mystery without a murder.

You need the dynamics of good vs 'evil'. I think it could be a great tool to enlighten folks and entertain them.

Good luck!

TLHines
02-19-2006, 10:34 PM
Edgar - Oddly enough, I know of at least one CBA novel with vampires releasing this year. Yes, vampires. That shows you, at least a bit, what kinds of new doors are opening--there's room for extrabiblical material.

Also, go read "Comes A Horseman" now. It's not only a great book, it's also indicative of the kind of edgy work being produced in the CBA.

TLHines
02-19-2006, 10:37 PM
You need the dynamics of good vs 'evil'. I think it could be a great tool to enlighten folks and entertain them.

Exactly, Baywitch. The Good vs. Evil dynamic is at the heart of almost all drama, and is something that resonates with people of all cultures and beliefs.

Edgarallenwannabe
02-20-2006, 04:05 AM
Edgar - Oddly enough, I know of at least one CBA novel with vampires releasing this year. Yes, vampires. That shows you, at least a bit, what kinds of new doors are opening--there's room for extrabiblical material.

Also, go read "Comes A Horseman" now. It's not only a great book, it's also indicative of the kind of edgy work being produced in the CBA.

Nice. I have a very simple theory regarding vampires...they're evil and must be destroyed! Of course...what happens to the Christian who gets infected...what happens to his soul...?

Little glimmer into my work.

And yeah, Horseman looks good. I plan on picking it up for my Birthday. And yeah, that little novel called "Waking Lazarus" looks okay, too! ;)

TLHines
02-20-2006, 06:48 PM
Oh, hi Kevin! I didn't realize edgarallenwannabe was you--guess I need to actually pay attention once in a while. :)

Edgarallenwannabe
02-20-2006, 07:13 PM
Hi Tony! Yeah, this was actually how I first found your website; I saw your post and followed the link. I spend my free time...as sparse as it is...hangin' out on this a few other boards...this, by far, is the one with the most resources, although www.faithwriters.com (http://www.faithwriters.com/) looks promising.


That's good to hear about the CBA. CS Lewis said something that really reflects my ideas on fiction, "We need less Christian novels, more Christian writers". Nice to know that more room is being allowed for creative inspiration.

This doesn't fit into this thread, so I'll get into this at another time...but I'd be real interested in having an email/PM chat with you on how you got published...did you go through an agent, publisher, First Edition, writer's convention, etc. Just tryin' to a find a chink in the publishing world's armor, God willing.

Kevin Lucia

Betty W01
02-21-2006, 02:53 AM
For those who are interested in morality questions when it comes to vampires and werewolves, check out Kitty and the Midnight Hour. Not a Christian book, and it does have some graphic stuff in it, but the moral questions she raises are really interesting. If you read it, come on back and let's talk. (The next book is supposed to be Kitty Goes to Washington. I can't wait!)

Edgarallenwannabe
02-21-2006, 04:47 AM
Where would I find that? Amazon or BN?

Edgarallenwannabe
02-21-2006, 04:49 AM
Found it on Amazon. Maybe I'll order it, and give it a whirl.

NancyMehl
02-22-2006, 01:59 AM
A follow up on Barbour's new mystery line...

I sold my proposal to them. The working title is: In the Dead of Winter. They are calling the new line: Spyglass Lane Mysteries. They can contain a murder - but don't have to as long as the mystery element is there.

They plan to publish 32 titles per year - with all of them going into a new book club.

For anyone interested, the guidelines are on their Web site.

Nancy

Edgarallenwannabe
02-22-2006, 03:47 PM
Congrats on selling the proposal. Perhaps I'll look into writing a mystery someday...of course, it would actually have to be good....;)