PJ Parrish Talks Sex

The writing team that goes by the name PJ Parrish talk about the sex…or, rather, the lack of good sex…in mysteries.

Why are crime writers such major wussies when it comes to sex? What the hell
happens to most of them when they have to write about it?

I’ll tell you
what happens. They turn trite and sentimental. Or they become boring and
flaccid. And they get as self-conscious as pimply prom dates. Crime writers can
meet murder head on and not flinch, can even render death poetic. But faced with
having to describe copulation — especially in the context of, gasp!
relationships — they can turn out the most dreadful, unbelievable, embarrassing

14 thoughts on “PJ Parrish Talks Sex”

  1. Not quite a mystery writer, but my all time favorite sex scene in literature is from Leon Uris’ “Topaz.” It consists of two words: They loved.
    They loved? They loved what? Danish? Polkas? Linolium?

  2. yes, but there’s nothing worse than a crude bit of sex shoehorned into a gripping whodunnit. I cringed my way through Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons for exactly that reason – fascinating story but the dirty bits (such as they were) were so embarrassingly bad – and badly timed – that I could barely read on!

  3. I’m far from being a prude, but I get really bored with sex scenes in movies. Why on earth would I want to read one in a book, or even write one.
    Unless it’s vitally important to the story, I say leave it out.

  4. I’ve written sex. And I’ve written murder. And murder is easier. When I used to write romantic thrillers, I’d always dread those bedroom scenes because it’s so hard to describe them in a way that doesn’t induce either giggles or groans. Try to be descriptive and you get accused of purple prose. Try the opposite and you end up with, “They did it. And it was good.”
    So any crime writer who thinks writing romance novels is easy should give it a try. Go ahead. I dare ya.

  5. I’ll be happy to send you a book, Rob, if you drop me a note. I don’t post sexy excerpts on my site since they wouldn’t be age appropriate. But, yes. What I write qualifies as sex. The romance usually follows.

  6. If I ever need to have a sex scene in my mysteries, my romance writer buddies won’t let me do it badly. They’ll demand I rewrite until it works well. I’m grateful for them. 🙂

  7. Maybe the reason there is little sex in mystery novels is because grown ups read them? And maybe, just maybe-they’d rather try to figure out whodunit instead of ‘was it good for you?’ Kinda like, ‘been there and done that?’ And then again, just maybe I’m too old to give a damn?

  8. Maybe the reason there is little sex in mystery novels is because grown ups read them?
    As a grown-up myself, I have to come out in favor of sex, both in books and in real life.


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