Thanks for having me as a guest blogger, Mysteristas! I’m super excited to be here, and even more excited about this month’s theme of rebels.
Rebellious characters will always have a special place in my heart. I’m talking about those renegade individuals who have inspired us, stirred something inside of us, and perhaps given us a fresh perspective on the world.
While writing my cozy mystery, I’ve striven to inject some of the characteristics that I especially admire about rebels into my main character. But that begs the question: what exactly is it about these rebels that makes them so likable?
One of the best ways to grow as a writer is to read. A LOT. So, in the interest of research, here are some of my favorite rebellious sleuths (fictional Mysteristas, if you will) and why I think they’re so fun:
Lady Emily (Lady Emily Series by Tasha Alexander): As a free-spirited, port-drinking, society-shirking woman who constantly clashes with her mother, what’s not to love about Lady Emily? The death of her new husband leaves her with freedoms not usually accessible to women at that time period, of which Emily readily takes advantage. Not only that, but she’s smart (an avid reader!), caring, and determined to do everything in her power in search of the truth.
Flavia de Luce (Flavia de Luce Series by Alan Bradley): Flavia is a feisty 11-year-old with a passion for chemistry, an insatiable curiosity, and a constant desire for retribution against her sisters. What makes Flavia especially interesting, though, is that she plays into the fact that people don’t always see her. She’s continually dismissed for being a child, but instead of being upset about this, she shrewdly leverages the oversight when solving mysteries and, in doing so, takes tenacity to a whole new level.
Cassie Maddox (Dublin Murder Squad Series by Tana French): Admittedly, I’ve only read the first book in this series (which I hope to correct soon!) but I was so impressed by Cassie’s character. She may be the only woman on the Dublin Murder Squad, but she’s just as tough as (arguably tougher than) the guys, and yet she still has a feminine side. The end of In the Woods really struck me. She set aside her personal feelings and had the courage to do what was right. In short, she’s a badass.
Robin Ellacott (Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling): Now, I know she isn’t the main sleuth in this series, but Robin is still an incredibly strong character. She’s a detective-in-training, Strike’s second, and without her there would be no mysteries solved. She starts off as a temp secretary, quickly establishing herself as a linchpin, and soon indulges in her dream to become a detective, despite her fiancé’s less-than-enthusiastic feelings about the matter. I can’t wait to see her play an even bigger role in future books as she hones her sleuthing skills!
Nichelle Clark (Headline in High Heels Mysteries by LynDee Walker): Nichelle is a successful newspaper reporter with a knack for knowing when there’s more to a story, and a competitive streak that makes her desperate to beat her rivals to the scoop. She throws herself into every investigation in search of the truth, all while wearing fabulous footwear. She refuses to be dissuaded, even by her handsome mobster “friend” or her ATF agent ex-boyfriend. She doesn’t let anyone stand in her way!
Who are your favorite rebellious characters? Why do you think they resonate with you? How do you write likable rebels?
Kate Lansing writes cozy mysteries and short fiction. Kate is an award-winning short story author whose work has appeared in the Brave New Girls Anthology and the Crossing Colfax Anthology. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and the Mystery Writers of America, volunteering as the Co-Director of Social Media for the Rocky Mountain chapter. Kate graduated from CU Boulder with an Applied Math degree and currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and a chair-napping tabby cat named Maple.