I am about to write a mystery murder novel and need some help

by Michelle Perry
(ontario, canada)

I have done romance novels involving intrigue and romance but am now doing my first romance murder mystery for my teenaged kid and am not sure about what exactly I am doing so any helpful tips on the crime scene, investigating clues and solving the case would be appreciated if you don't mind.

Is it like solving a murder mystery weekend party game to do the book? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am on a deadline and have to have it out by Christmas time as it is my first double novel I have ever done and have several more to do before Christmas as I am on a time crunch here, thank you.

My response:

I think you might have come to the wrong place - I know a bit about murder mystery games, but I'm afraid I don't know anything about how you'd structure a novel. I suspect the differences are significant!

In a murder mystery game, the clues need to be scattered around the players and not be too cryptic because you need to allow people to solve them. In a novel I don't suppose you need to be so careful - you know your detective will solve the murder.

Good luck on your novel - do come back and tell us about it when it's published!

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Jul 09, 2011
Start with the murder
by: Steve (GMMG)


I'm no expert, but I tend to start with the murder. I work out how the murder was committed (and the events either side of the murder), and from that I get a series of potential clues.

(It's hard to do this without being specific.)

The clues then need to be scattered around the game - whether in things that characters have spotted, incriminating items, articles or news reports, and so on.

Next step is to think about red-herrings. Who else has a motive to murder, who else could have the opportunity or the means. The murderer tends to be the person who had all three - the red-herring characters just one or two.

I hope that helps.

Jul 09, 2011
similiar !
by: Anonymous

well your murder mysteries are almost the same as what i am doing with the book as it is the clues i am working on and don;t have a really good idea of where to place them or how to get the people to find them and solve them so that is why i asked you as you do games on murder mysteries. i am not doing an indepth novel for a mystery but more or less what they call a cosy one, that is where your stuff comes in as it is right up there with my kind of novel i am writing that is why i asked for your help. i have amateur detectives in it and it isn;t full of the blood and gore of tv or movies or more gorey detailed novels, but a simple mystery is all to be solved. thanks
michelle perry

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