My guest this week is Ramla Zareen Ahmad, who is an avid reader rather than a writer. Sometimes it’s beneficial to hear a reader’s viewpoint, and such is the case this week. She’s going to give us her impressions of love triangles in cozy mysteries.
Ramla Zareen is originally from Pakistan, but now lives in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, with her husband and young daughter. Not only is she an avid reader, but she now has two blogs – one about mysteries and books, and one regarding lifestyles.
Welcome, Ramla Zareen! I’m glad you could stop in and discuss love triangles in cozy mysteries with us.
ON 'LOVE-TRIANGLES' IN COZY MYSTERIES
In Cozy Mysteries, the various characters and their relationships with one another are an important aspect in the stories ...which often makes a romantic sub-plot inevitable.
I enjoy the romance element in Cozy Mysteries, but as a reader, my preference is that it should be discreet with intimate details avoided.
Moreover, I usually desire the protagonist to be happily involved with a steady partner :-)
If the protagonist is not a part of an established couple right from the first book of the series, then I prefer the romantic aspect in the Cozy Mystery series to make natural progression, from initial interaction, between the protagonist and a single member of the opposite gender, to gradual friendship, to romantic relationship, to marriage, etc.
And it's perfectly fine if there are ups and downs, and some romantic tensions, in all of these phases.
But the overall trend should always be to move forward ...and for the relationship to develop, grow and become stronger :-)
I strongly hesitate to get involved in those series where I sense a prolonged 'love-triangle'.
I think this is mainly because, to me, 'love-triangles' create uncertainty ...and diminish the sense of comfort and pleasure that I usually get while reading Cozy Mysteries ...basically by creating a doubt in my mind whether the protagonist will be able to achieve a 'happily ever after' with the 'right person for him/her', or not!
When the protagonist spends a lot of time, that is, more than 6 to 8 books in the series, in trying to resolve this issue ...it can sometimes make him/her seem stupid and immature ...and it also makes me feel bad if it turns out that I had been rooting for the one that the protagonist doesn't chose!
Negative emotions are also invoked in me when a 'love-triangle' is introduced after a couple is already established ...especially if I happen to be fond of the original couple ...and this can also at times make the protagonist come across as a fickle person.
All this further reduces some of the joy and comfort of reading a Cozy.
Moreover, often much attention has to be given for the protagonist to resolve the issue of 'love-triangle' ...and this prevents the main focus to remain on the mystery!
Whereas I feel that though the romance should definitely be present, as it adds to the reading pleasure, it should be in the background, as a secondary part of the story.
Having said all this ...I think that it's only fair to mention that while it's true that I usually find 'love-triangles' annoying ...but I sometimes do manage to ignore them ...if the other factors, such as writing, mysteries, characters, humour, setting, ambience, etc ...are especially well done.
However, I would like to emphasize, that in such cases, I read the books in spite of the 'love-triangles' ...not because of them!
So my respectful and sincere request to Cozy authors is that instead of the 'love-triangles', please use the 'mystery plots' to create the suspense ...and depend on the quality of writing to entice the readers to read the next book in the series. If there is a strong need to incorporate ' love-triangles', then at least please try not to prolong them too much!
Now I would like to conclude by thanking Marja McGraw for providing me with an opportunity to share my feelings and thoughts on this topic:-)
Also much thanks to everyone for their time and patience to read my post :-)
Thank you for your thoughts, Ramla Zareen. I hope you’ll return for another “chat” one of these days.
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