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  1. #1
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    A question about genre

    I've been querying agents for a while and am beginning to wonder if I am correctly categorizing the genre of my work. Can anyone provide what an agent thinks the genres thriller and mystery are? Obviously, I can look up the dictionary definitions but I'm not sure these are the same as what an agent would use. I've pasted my synopsis below so that (perhaps) people can suggest which genre I should use. Thanks in advance.

    THE CARTHAGE CONNECTION SYNOPSIS


    After two unsuccessful digs, one in Israel and one in Tunisia, archaeologist ERIN MATHEWS is facing the loss of funding for future digs and the dreadful prospect of going back to teaching. Her current excavation, in the silt-filled seaport of ancient Ephesus, is also turning out to be a bust. The arrival of her boyfriend CRAIG JOHNSON an ex-CIA agent, does little to raise her spirits. But when she learns that a boat she and her team are excavating may contain scrolls rescued from the storied great library at Alexandria, everything changes. Her quest for these historic artifacts becomes the adventure of her life.

    Mossad operative REBECCA SCHULER, sanctioned to work in Turkey, is tracking the mysterious Cult of Tanit. This group, that traces its roots to the founding of Carthage, is also after the scrolls. Cult members believe their ancestors rescued invaluable artifacts when the library was burned in 48 BC. The Mossad believes the Cult wants the scrolls to fund terrorist actions in Israel.

    A group of renegade Cult members begin a series of attacks to stop Erin. Further complicating her plans, an Egyptian, dispatched by his governmentís Department of Antiquities, is sent to claim the treasure for his country. Erinís colleague is seen making a deal with this man and is murdered by rogue Cult members. The murder prompts Craig to talk Erin into giving up her dig, but she is determined to make the discovery to rescue her failing reputation.

    Even with the involvement of the local police, Cult members find ways to thwart Erinís efforts. They break into a storage shed, where discovered relics are stored and there is a malicious nocturnal disruption of the dig site. As upsetting as these events are they do not prevent Erin from continuing her search. The Cultís actions escalate to car chases, blackmail, a ransacking of Erinís hotel room and even armed assaults.

    In a frenzied attempt to locate the treasure before anyone is hurt, Erin directs her team to dig in the debris field where artifacts from the boat are soon discovered. Certain she is days away from finding the scrolls, Erin enlists the aid of Craig and Rebecca to help with the excavation. Soon sixteen crates, clearly of Egyptian origin, are uncovered.

    With permission from Turkish authorities, Erin begins the delicate task of opening the first treasure chest. The Cult leader, desperate to claim title to the scrolls, appears at the site where he is quickly placed under arrest. While Erin breaks an ancient seal and works through the heavy waterproof lining of the first box, Cult members launch one last vicious attack. The deadly assault is brought to an end by a large team of police, aided by both Craig and Rebecca.

    At last, with the representative from Egypt, the handcuffed Cult leader, Turkish authorities and of course Erinís graduate students all looking on, the contents of the chests are revealed. Erinís excitement is barely controllable as she removes one ancient scroll after another. Her wildest dreams have been realized Ė a fantastic history making discovery of lost knowledge from the ancient world.



  2. #2
    Senior Member SapphireBlue's Avatar
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    Ooo la la--Alexandria, Carthage--you're a writer after my own heart. I'd say a thriller. You could consider tightening this to be shorter, if you are using this synopsis as a query.

  3. #3
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    Hi SapphireBlue, I got bitten by the travel bug a long time ago and love visiting interesting places around the world. A few years ago I decided to begin using some of the locations I've visited during the past forty years in my stories. This is the third in a series I am working on. All are the same type of story. I'll take your advice and call them thrillers. I am using the above as my synopsis - my query is, of course, much more brief.

  4. #4
    Senior Member SapphireBlue's Avatar
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    Ah, good then. And I hope your query mentions your travels--that would be a great distinguisher. Good luck!

  5. #5
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    In a mystery, you don't know just what's going on or who's responsible until the end. In a thriller, you do, but you don't know if they'll succeed or not. To me, at least, this looks more like a thriller.

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