There are three probable problems to be solved when reading a mystery story, they are: Who did it? What is it? and How did it happen? Mystery stories involve matters that remain unexplained and they involve the quality of being obscure, and they are usually dealing with puzzling crime. Mystery stories are meant to keep the reader in suspense and shock right up until the end. This suspensful element is what keeps the reader coming back for more mystery stories. In every mystery story there are the same essiental elements that put the whole story together to make it a successful mystery. These essential elements include characters that are all involved in the basic problem to slove, the problem itself and the final solution to the problem. Without these elements the major events in the story will not come together as a mystery story.
The main character like in every story is the most important part of the story. The protagonist will determine in which direction the plot will grow. All characters are involved in the basic problem to solve. In a mystery story there are four essential characters, the hero, the sidekick, the villan and the victim. All these four characters add to the development of the plot and each character is as crucial as the other. With interesting and different character personalities, it adds to the excitment of the story by using the characters personalities to see the story in different views. In the short story Afraid All the Time , Jane Baum was quite the unusal character. She had a mental problem because she could not get used to living on a open farm where she lived because she was accustomed to living in a large city. "Jane was terrified of everything, from the animals attacking her, the chickens at night and the sound of quietness." (Pickard 3) Jane's character was effective to this mystery story because her character gave a twist to the story. Jane's condition worsened and she eventually breaks down and goes on a killing spree, because she is convinced that everyone is out to get her.