Crossing the Lines

Crossing the Lines

"As one for whom certain story lines and characters have become as real as life itself, Crossing the Lines was a pure delight, a swift yet psychologically complex read, cleverly ...

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books

This book tells the story of crime fiction published during the first half of the twentieth century. The diversity of this much-loved genre is breathtaking, and so much greater than ...

Brooklyn Wars: An Erica Donato Mystery #4

Brooklyn Wars: An Erica Donato Mystery #4

From the earliest days of the Republic until the administration of LBJ, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was, proudly, both an arsenal of democracy, in FDR's words, and the creator of ...

The Incredible Crime: A British Library Crime Classic

The Incredible Crime: A British Library Crime Classic

Prince’s College, Cambridge, is a peaceful and scholarly community, enlivened by Prudence Pinsent, the Master’s daughter. Spirited, beautiful, and thoroughly unconventional, Prudence is a remarkable young woman. One fine morning ...

Unnatural Habits: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries #19

Unnatural Habits: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries #19

1929: Girls are going missing in Melbourne. Little, pretty, golden haired girls. And not just pretty. Three of them are pregnant, poor girls from the harsh confines of the Magdalene ...

Away With the Fairies: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries #11

Away With the Fairies: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries #11

It’s 1928 in Melbourne and Phryne is asked to investigate the puzzling death of a famous author and illustrator of fairy stories. To do so, Phryne takes a job within ...

Continental Crimes: A British Library Crime Classic

Continental Crimes: A British Library Crime Classic

A man is forbidden to uncover the secret of the tower in a fairy-tale castle by the Rhine. A headless corpse is found in a secret garden in Paris – ...

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How to Start Writing a Mystery Novel

How to Start Writing a Mystery Novel By Steven Axelrod

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The hardest part of writing a mystery novel is starting. I have a friend who dreads launching into the actual text of his book so much that he’s been writing ever more complete outlines for more than five years. The outlines might turn into some sort of complete narrative eventually, but I suspect it will be dragged down by the bullet-point boredom of a boardroom sales pitch. Knowing everything in advance is comforting but comfort is not what you should ... Read More

Feature

Found and Bespoke: When Mystery Writers Mislead

Found and Bespoke: When Mystery Writers Mislead By Steven Axelrod

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People at book signings often wonder if there’s some trick or secret technique for writing a mystery. They ask about plot, as if that were the key. The plot is an engine, but engineering the spark plugs is the more significant task. Spark plugs ignite the mixture of fuel and air causing a small explosion which creates hot gas. The gas pushes the piston down.  And what is this small critical component of the plot that powers the novel’s crankshaft, ... Read More