Mystery Author: Strong Women, Great Stories

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I write three series: The Loser Mysteries, The Dead Detective Mysteries & the Simon & Elizabeth (Tudor) Mysteries as well as stand-alones that offer readers "Strong Women, Great Stories."
These days I also answer to Maggie Pill, who writes a cozy sleuth series. Maggie is a lot like Peg, just younger, cooler, and funnier.

Picky, Picky, Picky!

As a kid I was known as a picky eater. Basically, if my mother didn't make it, I was suspicious, and my aunts learned to keep a jar of peanut butter around. That I'd always eat.
Today, I'm less picky about food, but as a consumer of entertainment, I'm still picky. I know that sometimes that comes off as sour grapes or the I-could-do-it-better attitude. That might be true.

I need some sort of logic in my comedy. Anything billed as "zany" or "madcap" is liable to go unread/watched. There are ways to do zany well--Mel Brooks comes to mind--but most of the time I get tired of silliness portrayed as comedic genius. I don't like those people. They need to grow up.

I need plot authenticity in my dramas too. A few nights ago we watched a movie (It was too hot to do anything else!) and though I kept my comments to myself, here are a few logical flaws I noticed.
*The millionaire bad guy had dozens of minions willing to obey his every command. So...he calls in a retired crook who doesn't want the job.
*In order to make the retired crook (let's call him RC) cooperate, MBG arranges his financial ruin if he doesn't take the job. Again, thousands of people in the world who'd gladly help him out, but...
*RC then goes out and gets a bunch of other retired crooks to help him, though it turned out the job only required two guys. None of them wanted the job either, but there's money.
*During the job one of the gang, a complete nut case who shouldn't have been trusted to cross the street by himself, goes berserk and kills the guy they were supposed to "warn" to leave a certain woman alone. The other guy, who should have known better, kills the woman, sorta by mistake.
Remember, these are the good guys in this film. We're supposed to feel sorry for them.

*This leads BRG to put out contracts on all of them. RC tells RBG he should only kill him, not the others, but of course they die horribly, one by one.
*In the meantime there's a girl RC really, really likes, so naturally he tells the RBG, "Please don't hurt her." Yeah, that's gonna work.
*There's also a hooker who doesn't seem to have a purpose except that RC goes to bat for her when a john beats her up and beats the crap out of him...by trespassing onto a corporate property and in front of a dozen expensively-clad witnesses. I guess that shows us how honorable he is...?
At that point I went to another room and read a book.
Now I know this was a testosterone flick, concocted to make a certain type of man happy with lots of  blood and the F word sprinkled like salt on French fries. But is it too much to ask that there be a cogent reason for the way anybody in the film acted at any point in time?

So yes, I'm picky. When I watch, when I read, I need to feel that the characters are acting from some point of logic, no matter how screwed up it might be. Others can dismiss bad writing as "just for entertainment." I want better entertainment than that.

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