Mysteries are generally one of two kinds.
On one side of the mystery coin, I’ve read and very much enjoyed G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, Father Brown, and The Club of Queer Trades all of which are short story collections. I’m also very familiar with Sherlock having watched several screen renditions. The unifying themes seem to be complexity and murder.
On the other side of the mystery coin, I’ve read many Boxcar Children books and the same story with a different name for the kids. Some may include The Brixton Brothers series in this group, though I believe that series is an awesomely different animal. The unifying theme is simplicity and accidentally stumbling upon robberies and mix-ups.
I enjoy both camps, but I wanted to try my hand at the genre so I decided, to cut down the middle. Tame crime with clever criminals. Written for teens and young adults, my story would have comedic elements, a first person detective, and be above all clean. Of course, since we’re dealing with criminals here there will be danger.
I think the art of writing mysteries is placing all the pieces to the puzzle in plain sight, writing a detective who’s dumb enough to not fit it all together immediately, and making the reader believe he’s smart so they don’t look beyond the thought process. I don’t know if I’ve accomplished that yet; but I sat down and wrote a short story, a series of intertwined events and people. Enter: Diamond!
To keep it short and keep it moving, I wrote light on description and very little background on the MC. I highly enjoyed creating quirky characters though. 🙂
A series? Yes. I don’t have a number because I’m going to keep it open ended. As long as the ideas keep coming, and I have hands and sight to write (or at worst siblings to dictate to) I want to keep writing them.
Oh yes, the story isn’t just for me. I am planning on releasing it mid- to late- January if it survives editing and beta reading. It will be only an eBook for now.
Do you like mysteries? What do you think makes a good mystery?