Nothing new under the sun

I was poking through a certain agent’s website, looking at some of the big names she represents and I came across a synopsis of the latest novel by one of those big names. It’s a mystery about a woman who is suspected of murdering her wealthy husband the night before he is to file for their divorce. The protagonist makes a run for it and finds help from her grown son and his friend. Of course, she solves the crime she is accused of.

You may remember an earlier rant of mine about a novel by a certain big name author and how illogical her plot was. It was essentially the same plot as the novel above, but it was by a different author.

They say there are really only about three plots (or it is four? or five?). Even if this were true, you’d think that two successful writers would find less similar ways to tell a story. I suppose, though, that they have different reader markets, so the same story doesn’t really cross over. And for all I know, this story may be told in a few other sub-markets of the genre.

I’ve seen a few agents writing on their blogs lately saying they are looking for the next big thing. I think they mean gimmick, but, whatever. Maybe there is a saturation coming. I’ve written before of forensics fatigue, and I really do think the pendulum is beginning to swing away from the relentless onslaught of murder mysteries.

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