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Suspense/Mystery Chick Lit is on the Rise, You In?

Home / Forums / List of Forums / Women’s Fiction / Chick Lit / Suspense/Mystery Chick Lit is on the Rise, You In?

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    Suspense/Mystery Chick Lit is becoming all the rage. It’s a twist on the classic chick lit we love. It’s taking our protagonist and her emotional struggle and dropping her in a life or death situation.

    Imagine how Bridget Jones would react to holding a gun, while standing next to a dreamy detective, but knowing she has to keep it together long enough to keep herself alive, and then she can ask the super hot detective for his phone number.

    It’s the flawed character that draws a reader to chick lit. Chick lit readers know they are flawed individuals, because every human is. Chick lit readers root for the underdog, the clutz, the gal trying to keep her emotions from leaking out at inappropriate times. It’s the protagonist’s happy ending she so richly deserves after 90,000 words of sheer unpleasantness thanks to her boss, her shoes, her lover, her friends, her mom, etc.

    Now place this flawed character in a hostile situation and her personality traits kick into overdrive. Suddenly, you get a giggle and shiver. No longer are murder mystery’s left in the hands of strong, level-headed FBI women who kick ass. We love those women, too, but let’s face it we can relate to the ordinary girl finding herself in an extraordinary circumstance.

    Who’s in? Who’s working on suspense/mystery chick lit? Let’s talk it out.

    One issue that has been expressed regarding my main character by a suspense thriller editor is that she is too emotional. I wrote her like that on purpose. What to do…

    Describe your main character.



    Great topic Karen. I’d like to see more of this kind of thing, since Chick Lit gets a bit samey, covering the same topics and struggles. Give a main character a more serious challenge and a gun & I’d love to know what happens!
    It’s interesting that the editor mentioned that, but then it could be that she is expecting one genre and you are writing another. Until Suspense chick lit is a more established thing, perhaps editors and agents will try to put it into one box or another and not accept it for what it is. Here’s to proving there IS an audience for it!



    I wrote a chick-lit/murder mystery last November for NaNo, in which a biracial call-center agent finds out that she’s an heiress to a great fortune from her insanely rich American father. Her companion/watcher/hot love interest is a hacker with a serious grudge against her family, and a lot of people end up dying along the way before she finds out the truth. It’s not all seriousness and Agatha Christie-esque angst, though; there’s some humor involved (mostly coming from the call-center setting), and since the rest of the story is set in Hawaii, there’s also a bit of swimsuit-shopping and luxurious spa days along the way.

    Needless to say, this is the next NaNo that I’m adapting into a screenplay, after I used another one of my chick-lit stories as a basis for my Script Frenzy project this April.



    I’m currently plotting out a story where my main character has bought a beautiful apartment in a building which used to be a hotel – and something’s not quite right.

    It’s more horror / mystery / chick lit than action though.

    Would you consider Kay Scarpetta from the Patricia Cornwall books similar to what you’re referring to?



    This gave me tingles. What books would you recommend in the genre for newbies?



    I read everything from Chick Lit to graphic mysteries and thrillers. “Cozy Mysteries” which seem to be lighter and targeting women, seem to be on the rise. I love when women’s fiction novels have an element of mystery involved. It helps propel the plot far more than just wondering about the social/relationship issues that the genre often revolves around. While I wouldn’t consider my WIP to be a mystery, it certainly has an element of mystery, some clues, a quest, and a secret not divulged until the very end.



    My normal work is always women’s fiction/chick lit. Recently I started writing a story that would be described more as a thriller. It is told from the male’s perspective and was initially supposed to be a short story about him.

    Of course, the smart, quirky female entered the picture and practically took over.

    In my last critique group I introduced them to this story. They loved it. But I still wasn’t sure who my audience was for this book. So it is great to see that there is a growing trend of the chick lit mystery or thriller. I think that could really work for this story.

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