Why Nigerians Should Read Mystery/Crime fiction

People have asked me why I wrote (and likely will always write) a mystery novel. My answer to the is the same. Why not write a mystery novel? There is a degree of snobbery that comes with crime/mystery fiction writing, some of which are justified as some of them might seem overly prosaic and but what if the mystery /crime fiction is just as litarary as a contemporary classic? Most critics then go quiet.

Bits of other people by Tolu Fapohunda 🌀

What they fail to understand is that all forms of writing is an insight into our own experiences, fears and anxieties, because as we write, we are putting out there, a part of ourselves. It largely depends, as the author, how you write it. In my debut novel, Bits of Other People, a mystery, I explored everyday Nigeria in story and ask you to come along on the ride to engage your cerebrum to solving a mystery stemming from a man’s affection for another woman. I touched on subjects ranging from psychology to youth angst about lack of jobs and hope that a miracle such as winning the lottery (baba ijebu) can lead you to a life you’ve always dreamed of- everyday Nigeria! The style is rich, the dialogue engaging, and the climax, satisfying!

There are benefits to reading and encouraging your children/wards to read mystery novels and one of them is the propensity to expand the thinking capacity. Most readers are tempted to try and figure out the answer to the puzzle/riddle before characters in the story. It engages your mind and makes you more curious about everything around you-which is a great thing!

Here are some listed benefits of reading mystery books:

It strengths the brain and increases empathy.

It builds vocabulary

Prevents cognitive decline.

Reduces stress

Engages the mind

Aids sleep!

I became an overly curious child when I began to read mystery novels at around 12. I wanted to know everything and why things happened and love to ‘get to the bottom of everything’. And you should too.

So, I ask again, why not read mystery novels?

Author: Tolu Fapohunda

I am passionate about mystery writing and since this is a relatively new and somewhat under-explored genre in African literary sphere, I want to change that norm and bring quality African mystery stories to the world!

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