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Mystery with a Little Sex, or Sex with a Little Mystery?

I admit it, I like to read sexy stuff. Sometimes even watch the sexy stuff at websites like Those videos really inspire how I envision the characters in the erotica stuff I read. Complete erotica doesn’t usually do a lot for me though. I like what I read to have a plot, most of the time. Having two characters get intimate with each certainly doesn’t bother me at all if them “going there” is relevant to the story. That said, I’ve never personally written any erotica or even a full sex scene.

‘Relic’ recently got a three star review on the Big River from a reader that said it was well written but not for her. She said she normally reads romance mixed with smut and a little mystery thrown in. ‘Relic’ is a mystery with just a little romance thrown in and one instance of ‘fade to black’ smut. I’ve shrugged off the review but questions remain in my mind.

My leading ladies in ‘Relic’ will appear in book 2 as well which is tentatively titled ‘Busy Bees’. I’m hoping to make both them part of an ongoing series if I can conjure up enough interesting things to keep a rural county Sheriff busy. Their relationship will, of course, develop if I continue with them. So, now I’m torn. The reader I mentioned above would like some smut and other readers have mentioned they would like a more physical relationship between the two ladies too. I’d love to keep my readers happy but ‘smut’ wasn’t in my original plans for the series.

Patricia Cornwell doesn’t include graphic sex scenes in her novels but it’s obvious that her characters have relationships. Ellen Hart isn’t known for sex scenes in her mystery books either but her characters have romantic relationships too and she certainly sells books that lesbian and straight readers alike devour. They’ve both been extremely successful. While, I might never reach their level of acclaim, they’re great examples that you can make it without writing much – if any – smut.

What say you? Do you like a little smut mixed into your mystery fiction or does it not matter to you if the story is good?