Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Can you add to the Murder-Motive list?

Anyone see Castle last night?

Stephen J. Cannell said there are three reasons for murder:

1.) Money
2.) Love
3.) To cover up a crime

As a mystery writer, I thought through my books and why my people have killed and I came up with a fourth -


I agree that every motive boils down to a limited number of reasons but I don't think REVENGE can be broken down into the list above. I believe REVENGE stands on its own.

What do you think?
Do you think something is missing from the list?
Psychotic behavior doesn't count for the murder myster list.

Ooh - self defense or accidents. Those two stand on their own and could make quite a good murder mystery if the victim-killer covers up the killing for some reason. That reason probably from Stephen J. Cannell's list of three...

Hmmm, self defense and accidents aren't murder, are they?

What can you come up with?


Bonnie said...

How about jealousy? Was that Castle episode where he was playing poker with three mystery writer's - Cannell and I forget the other two. It was a great episode.

Live Out Loud said...

I think jealousy can be in the Love column...

Yes, it was a great episode! The other two writers were James Patterson and Michael Connelly.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I don't think accidents & self-defense are murder & I am betting most of the time the reason behind revenge or jealousy comes from money or love.

"to cover up a crime"--a crime that was probably committed because of money or love.

No wonder they say "the love of money" is the root of all evil! :)

Live Out Loud said...

Good points Veggiemomof 2. Jealousy could come from job promotion or constant 's/he's got a better life than me all the time no matter what' and it has nothing to do with love or money but it is amazing how many motives fall back on a handlful (or less) of reasons. Like colors - all colors come from - what, five? Three? I think there's three primary colors.
In the case of rainbows, nature and crayon boxes it's so pretty.
In the case of murder...a bit scary, actually!

Literary Kitty said...

How about eternal youth? If you were a vampire and you were going to drink their blood....

Do vampires count??

Live Out Loud said...

Hmm...That'd be self-preservation. Not exactly self-defense but...I'd say murder and good motive.

Money? Nope.
Love? Love of self maybe.
To cover up a crime? Ooh, many possibilities for it!

I was thinking straight mysteries but there's a lot of room for every genre.

I like how you think, Literally Kitty!