The linear structure of the Patriarchal makes it ideal for the traditional mystery whodunnit. Follow the thread of clues to find the killer. The detective is the curator of the narrative, looking at an event from the past to catch the villain. The focus is on evidence and finding the narrative that explains the puzzle. The detective is the hero, the murdered the obvious victim, even if he had it coming, and the killer is the villain. What seems chaotic is orderly when the final piece of the puzzle is found by the sleuth.
There are no shortage of suspects. Everyone has a motive in these tales. The victim very often is a horrible person. Often they are bad spouses, embezzlers, swindlers, blackmailers, or just a miserable person spreading oppression and unhappiness all around.
The mission of the hero is to shine a light and wrap up the case.
Here, it is all about the Who, with the How and Why being secondary considerations.
The Matriarchal also has mysteries, but they are of a different kind.
Here, it is all about the Why.
What drives someone to act in a certain way? The motive is the heart of the mystery, and the Matriarchal focuses on all sorts of mysteries, not just the murder mystery.
The exploration of emotions and how they drive our logic is the core of the Matriarchal. It is all about the psychological and people's differing interpretations of reality.
It is not a whodunnit as we can know the killer ahead of time; in fact, the villain may be the one telling the fable. As stories can overlap and intersect, the mystery is not about the Who, but the Why.
We learn to see a single event through multiple perspectives. As the clues give us a portrait of the tragedy, enigma, or curiosity, we understand the Why, which in turn, gives us a better understanding of the Who.
The detective in these tales is the curator of the human psyche: the puzzle is not linear, but a chaotic tangle where the detective rides the wavelengths to understand the bigger picture.
In fact, a single story can deal with overlapping mysteries: we are not confined by the linear. We are free to explore how lives and events intersect, causing bigger problems that must be solved.
It is a different kind of story told in a more relaxed style than the traditional mystery. It is about understanding others: what happens in conflicts and how simmering problems explode at a common point. The detective looks at the rubble before piecing together the story. Like a Kintsugi artist who puts the pieces back together, the detective of Matriarchal mysteries finds the broken pieces of hearts to fix the problems that have casualties.
But the Matriarchal detective is often proactive: he or she spots potential tragedies and moves ahead of the villains, stopping the breakdown and destruction before it happens. The detective is ahead of the killer because he can read the writing on the wall and act to stop it. There is no clean up, but getting to the scene before the villain and outsmarting the wicked.
The Matriarchal is about thinking about the future, not being a slave of the past. We are free agents, and the detective is the guide to happier futures by preventing tragedies in the first place.