When do you stop reading a mystery?

Let us know you took the poll (“I took the poll” is sufficient) and be entered into our week 4 Summer Reading Bonanza giveaway. Feel free to expound upon your answer, too!

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31 thoughts on “When do you stop reading a mystery?”

  1. I see that so far, people aren’t put off by romance, language and violence. Now that’s interesting.

    Would some of you share the “other” things that make you stop reading?

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  2. I took the poll. I almost always finish every mystery I start. I do assess things like romance, foul language, ultra violence, and grammar and composition before I start, however. I can get a feel for those things by taking a quick glance through the pages. I also rely on recommendations from friends, Goodreads and from the authors themselves. There are times when I don’t read additional books by an author after I read one book, but I at least do finish that first book. Now, there are lots of “novels” (non-mystery books, biographies, non-fiction, etc.) that I absolutely do not finish because of grammar and composition, romance, foul language, ultra violence, or just non-interest.

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  3. I took the poll~violence, foul language and reassess at the halfway point. If I choose not to finish a book for whatever reason, I skim through and then read the ending.

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  4. I voted as well. Like Betty W, in the rare instance I don’t finish a book, I do tend to skip to the end to read the ending (which will sometimes intrigue me enough to go back and finish the book anyway). 😉

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  5. I took the poll. Usually I finish all the mysteries I start. But if it’s boring, or can’t keep my interest, I sometimes give up on that book and move on to another one.

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  6. I took the poll. I don’t remember not finishing any book I started in 50+ years and very few that I didn’t enjoy.

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  7. I finish *almost* every book I start (for better or worse) but on the rare occasion that I don’t finish a mystery, it’s usually because I can’t keep track of all the characters, clues, and/or plot.

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  8. I took the poll. While I don’t mind suspending belief (most mysteries require a certain amount of that in the basic premise–how many dead bodies does a civilian find in the course of a normal life), I will stop reading if the premise is too outlandish. The other thing that makes me stop reading is poor fact checking. Case in point from television, I was watching a show set in the state I live in. I am a probate paralegal and every single thing the attorney character said about the Florida probate practice was incorrect. The first time, I thought, oh, Kait, don’t be picky. By the third time I was yelling at the screen “check the Statutes, they are online!” I didn’t finish watching the series even though it was on netflix. Would not have finished the book either!

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  9. I will share my ‘other’ reasons… The most common reason I give up on a mystery (or any book) is that I just can’t get into the story. It might be the writing, it might be the characters, it might the story itself, but I end up not caring or being distracted by something in the book. Frequently I’ll come back a few weeks or months later and read right along.

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  10. I took the poll also, and voted Other. I’ll read just about every book I can get my hands on as long as it makes sense, is believable, is not fluffed out with tons of repeated phrases meant to only make the book long enough to be called a book, and keeps me guessing without treating me like an utter fool for having bought it let alone even started reading it. I love books, not conveyor belt cranked out products meant to just fill someone else’s pockets.

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  11. I took the poll. Typos and bad editing. When an animal is tortured or dies (unless it’s peacefully, of old age). When the plot is proselytizing dressed in mystery clothes (I once picked up a book with an interesting hook and put it down when the characters spent too much time wondering What Would Jesus Do).

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  12. These answers are so interesting! Cynthia: I generally get at least 50 pages in before I start wondering if I care enough…and I usually get to at least 100 before I cut bait. This is why my ratings tend to be 4 or 5 star. I don’t finish a book unless I liked it enough to do so.

    Denise Z: I thought about the animal factor, but couldn’t even make myself type it into the poll. I’ve stayed with very few books that have something bad happening to an animal, and usually when I’m done with the book, that’s the only thing I remember.

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  13. I took the poll. I’m finishing fewer mysteries lately. It’s usually because I don’t care enough. I need the writing to catch me up and sweep me along. And take me somewhere that’s worth going to.

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