Over at another site I inhabit from time to time, there was a discussion going on about mysteries, likeable characters in books, and more specifically, a subgenre of mysteries known as "cozies". These are mysteries that are more like the ones Agatha Christie used to solve, and which were popular with people of my mother's generation, and some women of mine. My sister also likes these kinds of mysteries, but I'm the oddball. When I was growing up, "cozy" type mysteries were about the only kind you could get, unless you wanted really "noirish" stuff. I never read a lot of mysteries at that time, mainly because they never seemed to go much of anywhere, and I couldn't really engage with the characters. I guess I thought most of them were just to "nicey-nice", except for the ones who turned out to be whodunnit.They were the only ones with flaws or personal problems to solve.
But I'm not here to "denounce" cozies. They are obviously a popular subgenre, and there are a lot of them around. What interested me was, that one of the people who chimed in on this discussion, hated, absolutely hated, mysteries solved by "telepathic cats" or other companion animals. I understand this person's feelings. Besides wolves, cats are my other most favorite animal, so I've tried to read a few of these, and, quite frankly, they are very, very boring!
But this gave me a (sort of) idea. What if there was some way to write a mystery where wolves solved it in some way. Of course there would have to be humans involved too, and it would have to be in some place where there enough wolves to make this a possibility. Maybe Yellowstone? Isle Royale has been done by at least one person. Then how would you get the wolves to go about solving the ,mystery? I have a kind of half-baked idea right now(talk about writer's creativity) Maybe I could get my Dauarga(Neandertals) involved? It's an interesting idea, and to many people it would sound absolutely crazy. Or maybe, to make it slightly easier, I could substitute coyotes for wolves(they pretty much the same habits and reproductive cycle as wolves, and they are very, very common around here, even residing in city parks. I don't know. What do you, gentle readers, think of this? It wouldn't be a cozy, because I don't think I could write thoseII;ve read a few cozies that I've actually liked), so anyone who reads this and likes "cozies" please don't be offended; it's just that my tastes just differ somewhat from yours. In any case, I'm going to tu4rn this around in my brain for a while and see what comes of it. The project might be interesting!
Oh, and any suggestions or opinions, pro or con, will be cheerfully accepted.