Mystery is a popular genre, boasting a huge established audience. All mysteries focus on a crime, usually murder.
The action tends to center on the attempts of a wily detective-type to solve the crime. And the climax usually occurs near the end, in a leisurely setting where all the elements of the mystery are neatly assembled for the reader’s convenience. The solution, complete with surprises, is then delivered to the characters and the reader alike.
Mystery subgenres include spy, detective, and crime stories. You can find a vast network of mystery writers associations, conventions, and conferences, as well as publications to help mystery writers pursue their craft. For information, contact Mystery Writers of America.
Great practitioners in this genre include Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Earle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason. Present day giants include Carl Hiaason, James Ellroy, Robert Parker, James Lee Burke, and Elmore Leonard.