Dear Miss Snark,
Since I read your advice not to mix genres in query letters I've been planning to market my novel as a mystery. The problem is that although I throw out some hints early on, the 'mystery' itself doesn't emerge till page 100 or so. I've also tried to make the book stylistically interesting. Is 'literary mystery' a viable genre option, or should I just leave well enough alone?
Nothing makes me want to set my hair on fire faster than hearing "I've tried to make the book stylistically interesting". You tell me that in a query letter, I'm reaching for the lighter fluid.
And when you say the "mystery" doesn't emerge till page 100, that's akin to saying the "the plot doesn't start till page 100".
And avoid the use of the word "literary" with "mystery". Tell me where it goes in the bookstore. That's all.
I'm gonna suggest you scan down the previous posts till you come to the one that has a bunch of crit groups and the Crapometer Annex listed in the comment column. The post title is "Miss Snark is Clueless" I think.
I have a feeling you need some readers to look at this before you send it off to hot-headed Miss Snark or her colleagues.