GET A MYSTERYCLUE is designed to be a weekly, fun column where Shannon Muir takes an idea that comes to mind and just runs with it, to see what she learns along the way. This week finds Shannon thinking about the various aspects of crime – continuing with the “why”.
This question likely ranks as the hardest. Motivation isn’t something that can always easily be shown. Pathological tendencies don’t tend to be immediately apparent.
In mystery and crime writing, a lot of this needs to be derived not only from the finding of clues and the power of observation. Even then, not everything becomes clear on motivation until the suspect is confronted. Sometimes, though, the guilty party doesn’t survive, so these answers are forced to be derived from second-hand evidence such as journals.
Often, getting to the full answer for “why” also requires the “how”, which we will get to next time.