How We Write Mysteries

How We Write Mysteries


We’re co-authors of ratiocinative fiction
Inventing plots full of character friction
Scattering clues for the villain’s conviction
Co-writers of mysteries!

We begin by inventing a devious plot line
Some elements are his and some are mine
Our method is to mix them and then refine
This foundation of mysteries!

We’ve long since agreed its champion will decide
If something stays in the plot that the other derides
When working together there’s no room for pride
In co-writers of mysteries!

One will draft a scene or a chapter and then
The other polishes it once, and if need be again,
Savagely wielding the editorial pen
On the draft of the mystery!

Research is necessary before we start to write
Toiling at the task through the hours of the night
At least midnight oil sheds a pretty sort of light!
On writers of mysteries!

Some collaborative authors’ language singes
We advise colleagues fit strong door hinges
Since a slamming exit often impinges
On the writing of mysteries!

Our individual writings differ in ways distinct
But the blended text reveals no obvious links
Though Mary tends to ramble while Eric’s more succinct
Just as well for the mysteries!

We’re scriveners who, when the manuscript’s done,
Send it to the press and say “Wasn’t that fun?”
And then start on researching for another one
A co-authored mystery!

The husband and wife team of Mary Reed and Eric Mayer are the authors of the John, Lord Chamberlain mystery series. The American Library Association’s Booklist Magazine named the Lord Chamberlain novels one of its four “Best Little Known Series.”

Mary Reed and Eric Mayer also write under Eric Reed. The Guardian Stones is the first novel in that new series.