Vindication. Comeuppance. Schadenfreude.
These are a few of my fav-o-rite things!
Admit it. You like them, too. Maybe not as much as brown paper packages tied up with string or raindrops on roses, but still, quite a lot.
Maybe that’s why I like crime fiction so much. With very few exceptions, the white hat wins and the black hat loses. Justice is served. Righteousness triumphs.
Unlike in real life.
I can’t begin to count all the times I’m reading news reports about one crime or another — major or minor, funny or serious — and the complete opposite outcome happens as I want and/or expect.
Have you ever seen a skunk stamp its feet getting ready to spray? That’s exactly how I look when I read such a report. And then I spray. Luckily for my husband it’s words I spew instead of, um, something indelicate.
Or maybe I look like Yosemite Sam.
But it just makes me so grumpy!
Because I’ve lived many, many years now, I know to take a deep breath, sure in the knowledge that my universe will be right once again, just as soon as I pick up my novel … either the mystery I’m reading or the one I’m writing.
Is it just me or do you read mysteries and crime fiction as a way to create some psychological vigilantism in your life?
(I wanted to ask if you knew how many of those exceptions are out there where the bad guy wins in crime fiction, but I can’t figure out how to do so without giving any spoilers! So let’s just say there are fourteen examples. That sounds about right.)