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Amazon links to my stories: Autumn Breeze, A More Perfect Union, Double Happiness, The Wolves of Sherwood Forest, Neanderthals and the Garden of Eden can be found down the right side of the blog.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


It's Father's Day, and like some mystical surprise gift, a fellow male author from New Jersey (I lived there the first half of my life and left a piece of my heart to beat again when I visit) connected with me.

Richard Brawer will talk about how he handles romance and about his upcoming romantic suspense novel. I hope you'll comment.
RICHARD: My novel, Murder at the Jersey Shore is a volume of three full length mysteries featuring detective David Nance and his girlfriend Bobbie Walsh. The stories are set in Eastern Monmouth County New Jersey in the towns of Red Bank, Colts Neck, Rumson, Fairhaven, Sea Bright, and Asbury Park. This area is generally referred to as The North Jersey Coast.

Bob has asked me to comment on the following question: My blog readers are mostly romance writers or readers. You're a mystery writer. How do you handle romance or the lack of it in your stories?

The majority of detectives in the mystery stories I have read have a girlfriend. Most of the girlfriends are minor characters and do not have much to do with the story except to have sex with the detective. In my mysteries, the detective’s girlfriend works with him to solve the murders.

To keep the readers involved with the relationship between the detective and his love interest, I gave them a number of conflicts. It is conflicts that keep the readers turning the pages to see how the characters resolve their problems. David and Bobbie fight, make love, break up and re-connect. As a result the novels, although true mysteries, do have a romantic aspect to them.

The following are excerpts from the 29 reviews on Amazon for Murder at the Jersey Shore.

“I especially like the way David and Bobbie play off each other throughout the three novels.”

“What really grabbed me was watching the hero deal with his issues, eventually with a measure of success, while his girlfriend dealt with him and her issues involving him.”

“The on again off again relationship between David Nance, the detective, and Bobbie, his girlfriend, adds another dimension to his vivid characters making them sympathetic as well as engaging.”

Another of my mysteries, Murder Goes Round and Round set in a fictional decaying New Jersey Resort also has a romantic aspect to it. The sale of a million dollar antique carousel is the motive for the murder. Here are excerpts from some of the reviews:

“Lots of fascinating info on the history and making of carousels and the rather sweet romance that develops.”

“There was also a sideline romance which took place. I could have done without that personally, but it didn't take away from the story. Very worth reading.”

“The story was romantic.”

In conclusion, whether to incorporate a romance in your mysteries is up to you. It can be done. Readers looking for a pure mystery may not like the romance as you can see by the middle review above. Others may find the romance an integral part of the story.

Personally, I like to write the romance aspect because then my books will appeal to more than just mystery readers. With the practice I garnered writing the romances in my mysteries, I wrote my first romantic suspense novel, Love’s Sweet Sorrow, coming out in September.

Love and faith are tested as Jason and Ariel are caught in a battle to expose smugglers selling weapons to terrorists. Read more about Love’s Sweet Sorrow at my website below.

Richard Brawer writes mystery, suspense and historical fiction novels. When not writing, he spends his time sailing and exploring local history.  He has two married daughters and lives in New Jersey with his wife. Read more about his books at his website: [check out Richard's covers on his website]

Richard Brawer                                                                  Bob Richard

THE JERSEY BOYS, THE FOUR SEASONS, 1963, WALK LIKE A MAN. For Father's Day and for anyone who loves their songs:


Richard Brawer's Murder at the Jersey Shore cover:


  1. I am a female thriller writer who writes and loves dark mysteries. But I always enjoy a book better when there is some element of romance or love story, not as center, but a vital part of the life of the main protagonist, be it a man or woman. this gives a richer tone to the life of the protag and makes the plot more involved. Thelma Straw in Manhattan, former MWA-NY Bd member

  2. Hi Thelma,

    Thanks for your comments. I agree. In romance, RWA has a catagory called xxx with romantic elements or just romantic elements. I'm sure yours and Richard's would fit nicely in our world, for contests and/or cross-marketing.

    Anytime you'd like to take this little stage of mine let me know.