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Fantasy Mystery concept.

I love gritty fantasy and I'm a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes... can something like this exist? I feel like I could go either way. A Mystery with a hint of fantasy or a Fantasy with a mystery aspect. I'd like to know anyone's thoughts. I also agreed with a post I read here yesterday, there are way too many European Medieval setting stories and I'd like to incorporate some kind of North American territory. I laugh because I'm probably reaching too far.
 
There's entire series based on magic detectives or ordinary ones in magic worlds. Garett P.I. of the latter and the Dresden Series of the first and probably hundreds of more. And if you like gritty and dark fantasy not in Euro style worlds, Black Company is the sort that heads south more and more (and goes into an insane desert). Granted they go to the jungles and an Indian style one. But yeah, the Fantasy Mystery is certainly a thing that exists.
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
There is an entire genre dedicated to this:

Paranormal Detective.

Usually, the detective MC has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts, and maybe a couple other supernatural tricks, though some are kick-ass wizards in their own right. Exorcisms occasionally feature in the plots. Vampires, werewolves, and demons make frequent appearances. However, many authors who do this genre write themselves into a major plot logic problem:

Technically, this is genre is related to Urban Fantasy. Big thing with this genre is that while magic and supernatural creatures exist, it all needs to be kept quiet less the mundane folk catch wind and go on a witch hunt (literally). However, the problem is the wizards and assorted supernatural entities behave so outrageously that becomes effectively impossible. Usually, the authors just apply a paper thin patch over this and move on.

The best 'outs' are:

1 - The Awakening - thousands or tens of thousands of people across the world wake up one morning and discover they can change shape or cast spells, or some such. What caused the Awakening can make for a good long term plot device. This might or might not be accompanied by a partial or total failure of modern day technology.

2 - The Arrival - A portal opens to another world, or more than one, letting tens or hundreds of thousands of elves, dwarves, goblins, and other supernatural creatures into the world. As time passes, some native Earth humans might or might not also develop paranormal abilities. Again, this might or might not be accompanied by a partial or total failure of modern day technology. Were I to go this route, I'd have the modern tech work AND magic work erratically within ten to twenty miles of the portals. Past that, on our side, a wizard would be reduced to a few minor tricks and oddball spells, while on the 'magic side,' only isolated, simple bits of tech would work past that range.

3 - The Other World - the tales take place on another planet altogether, hence negating the need to keep the paranormal secret. This could be combined with option 2.
 

JGCully

Scribe
I did it. I gave Fantasy Detective style stories a go with my series 'Haldred Chronicles'.

My pitch was 'A fantasy detective series set in a post war world'. I've so far 4 books involving vampires, ghosts and others.

I'm enjoying writing in this sub-genre. It's something a little different and it's given me an excuse to write from unusual perspectives (from a ghosts point of view for example)

Working on my 5th book in the series now.
 
Thank you so much for this. It's good to know it can be done. The post apocalyptic aspect ties real well into it. I'm curious what difficulties you came across constructing worlds in this genre.
 

JGCully

Scribe
Post war as apposed to apocalyptic. The war has been devastating but not completely so. More like after the War of the Roses. It leaves scope for a government to still exist and govern, and also for the bad guys to want to restart things, providing the primary antagonists of various kinds.

I started by setting the majority of stories in a major city, building up its background and culture, then building up the various visitors to it as the Meta plot advanced. Politics and intrigue as well as plain old murder. Everyone has an agenda. In book 4 I had enough material to visit a different nation and do more world building as part of the plot.

With the paranormal aspect, that's normally handled by one character 'being' paranormal. I've had vampires and ghosts do that for me. The mystery is in the case everyone is involved in in some way. Either as suspects, witnesses or as investigators. My challenge is getting them all to meet up in a realistic manner at the right time in the story.

I'm now returning to the city with book 5 but with experienced characters who have various cases under their belts. Finding them something new to face is difficult but I'm getting there.

I'm working on a new villain


Thank you so much for this. It's good to know it can be done. The post apocalyptic aspect ties real well into it. I'm curious what difficulties you came across constructing worlds in this genre.
 
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