Mystery verses Suspense
Mystery: The solving of a puzzle by an amateur or professional sleuth. The Dead body shows up in the first chapter. Several suspects, all knew the victim. Often has a surprise ending.
Examples: Murder She Wrote/ The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun/ Castle
Suspense: There might be a body or not. But there is a crime to solve. The protagonist’s (detective/sleuth) life is continually threatened. The reader is exposed to information the protagonist is not yet aware of causing suspense for the reader.
Examples: No Where to Turn by Lynette Eason/While You Were Sleeping/ The Fugitive
Speculative/ Fantasy/ Science Fiction
Speculative: Life the way it could be if…
Examples: E. T./ Enoch by Alton Gansky/ The Day the Earth Stood Still
Fantasy: The author creates a new world but brings into it present day rules.
Examples: Lord of the Rings/ Harry Potter/ The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Science Fiction: The writer creates a new world in a different galaxy. Has a lot to do with science or technology.
Examples: The Matrix, Star Wars/ 1984/The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
Impress your friends the next time there is a lull in the conversation. "Hey, did you know Nicolas Sparks is NOT a romance author?"