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The murder must always be believable

I just finished reading a mystery novel in which a wife was pushed over the side of a cliff while trying to reconcile with her estranged husband. The husband was the obvious suspect, but in the end it turned out to be her jealous, wheelchair-bound sister who actually...

Is your mystery novel playing fair?

One of the best parts of a mystery novel is its interactive feeling. Readers attempt to solve the puzzle alongside the sleuth. So, as authors, we must play fair and provide the reader with genuine clues. But what exactly does “playing fair” mean? For...

ROUND UP THE (UN)USUAL SUSPECTS …

Every suspect is hiding a secret. Let me repeat for emphasis: EVERY SUSPECT IS HIDING A SECRET. It’s just that only one of them is hiding THE secret. The others don’t want your hero uncovering that they’ve stolen family heirlooms, was responsible for the happy...

What makes a good murderer?

You know that dramatic reveal at the end of a good mystery where the sleuth explains who committed the murder and why?  **SHOCKER!** The author had all those details worked out well before the first page. A good mystery writer begins the book knowing the murderer’s...