Driving home, I'm listening to the Jack Reacher audiobook Personal narrated by Dick Hill. I'm thinking about how much research must go into these novels. It's work, but it must be enjoyable. Discovering details about the people and places that round out the characters of a novel. It's like flipping over the pieces of a puzzle. Each piece makes the process more interesting and the finish that much closer.
This novel is set in Seattle and Paris and other locations in Europe and the US. I've already listened to it once so the second time through I get to hear more detail.
The crime novel, as a genre, has a shape. The shape of these novels look similar. The names and places change, but they've got similar ingredients.
In a bakery, there are maybe 12 ingredients mixed over in different ways to make muffins and cakes and croissants and scones and cookies. Same ingredients, different proportions and temperatures and bake times. The crime novel is the same. There's a tough guy or gal, a romantic interest, smart counterparts that are never as clever as the main character, but are used to show us how intelligent and skilled they are so it can go unsaid. There are travel experiences to showcase familiar destinations and historical and architectural details that show us how the star is broadly educated and well read. A crime happens and our hero puts their specific expertise to use solving the crime before getting back on the bus to nowhere. Predictable, but still entertaining. Interesting how that works.