Do all Book Genres Share This?

I’ve thought about this quite a bit. It’s the one thing I can say all genres share. Every well written book in every genre is actually a mystery book.

What I mean is just about every author aims to leave the reader guessing by not being predictable. Mystery is mostly crime fiction at this point, but that’s an arbitrary classification. Any author who keeps their cards close to their chest throughout the story is actually writing a mystery.

Not every book is a mystery and not every author writes them, but I’d argue that every genre is full of mysteries and mystery writers. Even if these works are classified differently.

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “Do all Book Genres Share This?

  1. I seriously was thinking about this.. well in very similar terms, not too long ago! Without a bit of mystery or something to keep us guessing what will happen, there is no story. After all, why read something if we know how it ends 😉 This is spoilers stink haha.


  2. Maybe it’s a mystery we’ll never solve…haha. But seriously, genre is arbitrary, and there’s so much that can’t be categorized by a single genre. While browsing a bookstore today, I was dismayed to find such a tiny horror section, which was 80% Stephen King. Then there’s the “fiction” section, the “mystery” section, the “romance” section, the “thriller” section, etc…genre can be useful up to a point, but it’s also arbitrary and subjective.


    • I worked in a bookstore for a year and our horror section was the same. He’s pretty much the only author who would actually sell in horror. I guess I understand the need for genres because people need some idea as to what they’re getting, but I just hate the way mystery is categorized.


  3. I have actually had this thought as well. I totally think you are right. Some books are more mystery-oriented than others, but if a book is predictable, then it is plotted badly! So it has to have some intrigue.


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