The short answer
is mystery. But the genuine answer is much more complicated than the one word.
write off mysteries as being about murders. But the double-edged dagger of
mysteries is not all mysteries are murders, and not all murders are mysteries.
John Lennon. Many witnesses, and Mark David Chapman, admitted he shot Lennon,
and plead guilty to the charges. Murder; but no mystery.
As for other
mysteries, many have nothing to do with murder. Only recently was evidence
found of the last resting place and what happened to Amelia Earhart. Buried
treasures and sunken wrecks have fascinated people for many generations. But
more importantly, to me, it is the human aspect of the mysteries.
In Secrets of
the Gold, there are many mysteries as subsets of the one mystery. One of the
main characters, Duff, has amnesia of anything prior to two years before the
story starts. He has a wallet full of licenses saying he can drive any vehicle,
but he doesn’t know why. His driver’s licenses list his home address, but he
has never gone there for fear of what he might or might not find. In his jacket
are secreted eighty-eight ingots of gold worth more than a million dollars, but
he doesn’t know why. In his mind, he questions what kind of person walks around
with a bulletproof jacket worth a million dollars?
Bean reaches a
breaking point with living in foster care. It has bounced her from an abusive
home to an abusive home. She sees a motorcycle packed for travel. In the café,
she sizes up the biker. She needs what level of desperation to randomly put her
life in the hands of a stranger? But the question goes both ways. How is Duff
to know he can trust her not to kill him? It is a human drama people can relate
to at an incredibly primal level. Most never see the question arise with such
an acuteness… but dating? Getting married? Staying at a stranger’s house in a
B&B? It is all there. Trust is a mystery we can all identify with.
The mysteries of the human nature and heart are the subtler, but no less powerful to write about. Sometimes, they can even beat out a good old-fashioned dead body.