It was common for authors to write leaflets describing the latest horrible crime in the sixteenth century. Characters like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys have been opening up the joy of solving mysteries to younger audiences for nearly a century now.
Mystery Fiction has always grabbed the reader’s attention and has allowed them to think in-depth.
For instance, Only Murderers in the Building has become one of Hulu’s hit mystery fiction series. Mable, played by Selena Gomez, has three friends; they call themselves “the Hardy Boys.”
They solved mysteries made up in their imagination in “The Arconia.” “The Arconia” is a building where all three of them met. Mable lived in the Arconia when she visited her aunt and stayed with her.
The Mystery in the Mystery Fiction
Spoilers ahead for Only Murderers in the Building, so read further at your own risk.
Hulu’s hit mystery fiction series starts when a death occurs in “The Arconia”. The police declare it a suicide, but the lead protagonists of only murderers don’t seem to believe that Tim Kono’s (Julian Cihi’s) death was anything less than murder.
Oliver (Martin Short), a director, Charles (Steve Martin), an actor who played Brazzos and Mable meet in an elevator for the first time in which Tim Kono was a few minutes before his death.
They meet again when The Arconia is evacuated after Tim’s death. They bond on a true-crime podcast and decide to visit Tim’s apartment for clues.
Oliver decides to make their investigation into a podcast. When they visit his apartment, they soon realize that this was less a suicide and more of a murder.
They dive deeper into the investigation; there are a lot of suspects in the case, one being Sting (who played himself).
Even Selena was considered a suspect at a point in the series as she hid she knew Tim Kono from Oliver and Charles. She was also seen with the tie-dye sweatshirt suspect who was there in “The Arconia” during Tim’s death.
After following Mable, they soon learn that Tim Kono and the tie-dye sweatshirt guy were all part of the Hardy boy’s group about which Mable had told them earlier.
There were four of them Tim Kono, Mable, Oscar (the son of cleaner at Arconia), Zoe (the rich party girl whose family owned the third floor).
Zoe dies from falling off the building, of which Oscar was falsely accused and suffered jail time. Tim Kono told Mable that someone else was there after Oscar left Zoe, but he didn’t tell the police. After this incident, the Hardy boys stopped talking to each other.
In solving Tim Kono’s death, they discover the culprit behind the death of Zoe. As the suspect is also considered in Tim Kono’s death mystery, but the murderer was not the same.
Zoe was murdered by the Dimases, who also ran an illegal jewelry business. The Dimases where however not responsible for Tim’s death.
The show displays the beauty of mystery and putting clues together. The bassoon cleaner in Tim’s belongings made them realize it was Charles’s (bassoonist) girlfriend Jan. It was a murder of passion as Jan liked to poison people and was in an intimate relationship with Tim.
She found a ring and thought Tim was cheating which made her poison him in jealousy. She then made him shoot himself, making it look like a murder. She also poisoned Charles, but Mable and Oliver get to him in time. They solve the mystery, and the murderer is arrested.
Details in Mystery fiction
Explaining why details matter the most in mystery fiction Alan Harris Goldman writes, “Like the detective hero, the reader must pay close attention to even seemingly insignificant details.”
In a similar manner, the fans of “Only murderers in the building” made it their mission to gather clues in every episode to figure out who the murderer was. They made their way to Reddit, discussing the theories of who may be behind Tim Kono’s death.
Goldman also states her views about mystery novels that “an apparent early solution to the crime will be false, especially if put forth by the police.”
Likewise, Tim’s death was declared a suicide by the police, but the lead protagonists collected their own clues, which stated otherwise.
Why was “Only Murderers in the Building” such a hit?
It has a unique approach in casting actors; two older men Oliver (Martin Short), Charles (Steve Martin), and a young woman, Mable. The Trio Decides to solve the case of Tim Kono and become close friends. This is different as the age gap friendships are not usually shown in shows.
Another example of this can be Jamal and Abuelita in “On my Block,” solving the Roller World money mystery. The age difference was there, but their friendship erased that gap. There is a wholesome feeling in such friendships shown.
In Only Murderers in the Building, there is less a feeling of Charles and Oliver being old, but instead, they have unique characters. Another plus point for only murderers was Selena working in a show after a while. I being a Selena fan, know it was a big deal.
The feel of the show is very fall and cozy; it is perfect to bing watch.
The other most important reason for me was till the end of the show; I was not able to figure out who killed Tim Kono. I do usually figure out mystery fiction series when I watch them. The story kept misleading who the suspect was at a time. It was the cat owner, Sting, Mable herself, and the Dimases.
The charm of Mystery fiction is in the small clues and details that the protagonists seem to have a keen eye for. These small clues, like the trash bag Tim was carrying with him to the elevator while Mable, Charles, and Oliver were with helps in solving the mysteries.
Mystery Fiction plays with the mind of the viewer and makes them go into the nitty-gritty of the matter. That is what pulls the viewer in; it is the curiosity that continues until the season finale. The finale also leaves the viewer on a cliffhanger, making them wait for season two.
“Only Murderers in the Building” did the same when Selena Killed Bunny in the end and was arrested by the police.
Since I like to guess what happens next, I believe Bunny would still be alive, and the case would be gone as Bunny went into Mable’s apartment without her permission.
Well, we can’t be sure until the next season is released on Hulu.
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