Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sleuthfully Speaking

Here at SS&A we've been discussing the ideal traits for our favorite mystery character...the young sleuth. I think we'll all agree that intelligence, ingenuity, and improvisation are mandatory. But in terms of my favorite trait, I've gotta go with loyalty.

I love it when a young sleuth has a personal stake in a case due to it's harmful affect on friends and/or family. The willingness to sacrifice time, grades, maybe even their life, to save a loved one brings an added emotional note to the story. Also, it gives us a little more insight into our sleuth. How far will they go when it's about someone they love and not just a job?

My favorite example is and always will be Cody from Reality Check by Peter Abrahams. Not a detective, just a guy in love who jumps in his old beater and drives cross-country to an unwelcoming environment for the girl he loves. 

In those kinds of situations, I don't believe there's a lot of difference between a Teen (or Tween) detective and the grizzled veterans in adult novels. Loyalty doesn't have an age limit.

Lamar "L. R." Giles writes for adults and teens. Penning everything from epic fantasy to noir thrillers, he's never met a genre he didn't like. His debut YA mystery WHISPERTOWN is about a teen in witness protection who investigates his best friend's murder and stumbles on a dark conspiracy that leads back to his own father. It will be published in Summer, 2013 by HarperCollins. He resides in Virginia with his wife and is represented by Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Find out more on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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