Who is she?
Contributor
Written by
Jade Bald
April 2018
Contributor
Written by
Jade Bald
April 2018

My love of mystery did not begin with Nancy Drew or Pretty Little Liar books (the latter I would discover almost a decade after it debuted).It began during my early teens, when I learned my favourite actor Orlando Bloom-who, I admitttedly, sixteen years on, still fan over-was in the British drama series 'Midsomer Murders'.It was an English cozy mystery that revolved around the village of Midsomer.Detective Constable Inspector  Barnaby, as well as doting husband and father, has to solve a variety of murder mysteries where he lives in Midsomer.It's been 21 years running now, it's that good; though sadly the first Barnaby has been replaced.After that, it snowballed into the series 'Rosemary and Thyme'.That was a series which revolved around two gardening friends, who while doing gardening jobs, would have to solve mysteries that happened. I can't get enough of British mysteries now I've subscribed to Acorn TV and Britbox Canada. 

    There are too many mystery series to list, but I will say 'Agatha Raisin', 'Vera' and 'Marcella'.I've recently discovered the lure of Scandinavian mysteries, which are a little different than the who-dunnit, cozy mysteries of Britain. I know this is uspposed to be about writing-not tv, movies or sexy celebs-but it's relevant enough.I've read an article written by the famed British murder historian Lucy Worsely who explains that Anglo society (those countries of the commonwealth) began it's interest in murder in the 19th century. This was a time when people moved from the countryside into cities, where everyone became anonymous and one never knew their neighbour.Writers of the time examined this phenomena of living in such close quarters and yet never knowing who you lived near by using it as a plot device in fiction. 

   'Pretty Little Liars' is definitely an indulgence, both in the literary and the Netflix sense.I discovered this YA series about three years ago, wanting to try something different. I was pleasantly suprised at how good it was.This was seven or eight years after it had debuted.I hadn't been one for that kind of fiction during my years at high school, but it was written during the time I was in it, so there was some familiarity of events, singers, or brands.It was almost like reliving that time in my life, but in a small well to do town of Rosewood, where everyone could afford Tiffany and Louis Vuitton and where secrets once buried came to light three years after a girl named Alison Delaurentis went missing.I can say I relished the entire seven seasons of the series on Netflix and even follow the  PLL handle on my Twitter feed.It's something of a pop culture phenomena, just as British murder mysteries were two hundred years ago.I've read four of the sixteen books straight through and only stopped to get a breather.Sara Shepard knows how to write mysteries.

I myself have tried over and over (and over) to write mysteries but they never seem to work.I can't seem to get it all straight.The clues, the motives, the mystery to be solved or the murder to play out.I can never settle on where it's set (the UK? Canada? The USA?), should it be a domestic thriller, an international thriller, or a YA thriller? I have dreams of becoming the next Sara Shepard, Gillian Flynn, or Paula Hawkins, but that wouldn't happen in a thousand years.If there's one thing I've learned on the path to writing fiction, you shouldn't copy someone else's work.You need to be creative, unique and find some other way to write about missing people, a murder, or mistaken identity.

   

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