Much of our culture may be fascinated with death, I’m not. In most of my writing murders (but not necessarily killings) take place off camera. Do people read mysteries to indulge their fascination with death. I dunno; some do I suppose. I write murder mysteries because I’m fascinated with life and believe murder to be high crime; the highest IMO. Thus, I believe there are great morality tales in murders. That someone should presume to take life, IMO, means that same someone must be stopped and brought to the bar of justice, whether that be in a court or through the perpetrator’s own penance. The murder victim(s), on the other hand, once dead are no longer interesting to me, and I hope not to my readers. The relatives and friends of the victims become the focus of interest. And the cops and/or detectives also take on prominence. How are all of these folk affected by the murders? And, how are they affected by the murderer being brought down? Why do they care?
So, reverence for dead bodies remains with us but,IMO, barbaric. And, civilization is, unfortunately a thin veneer that often masks man’s baser notions and often cloaks falsely man’s institutions. True civilization is probably man’s greatest good. But it’s, again IMO, difficult to attain and even more difficult to retain. Murder is the ultimate insult to civilization.
Still, reverence for the dead is strong and clearly part of the woof and weave of both civilized and barbaric cultures. And the institutions (religious in particular) that practice this reverence have sponsored some great wonders (the building of cathedrals, ecclesiastical music, the arts, the scribing of books). The darker, less civilized side, of those same institutions does not have to be discussed here except to say that darker side is very real. And, it is interesting, witness Aztec practices or tales of Hades for instances.
So, those are my opinions. And they are why I write murder stories.