THE STRAND MAGAZINE'S MYSTERY BLOG

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Ten emotions I ALWAYS go through whilst writing a first draft (and you will too)Ten emotions I ALWAYS go through whilst writing a first draft (and you will too)

Ten emotions I ALWAYS go through whilst writing a first draft (and you will too)   Amazement – It’s 3am and I startle awake. I’ve thought of the singularly best idea ever! I don’t know why no-one’s written it before. It’s original and clever and I know readers will love it as much as I […]


Collaborating on Novels: A Bed of Roses or Forest of Thorns?Collaborating on Novels: A Bed of Roses or Forest of Thorns?

Collaborating on Novels: A Bed of Roses or Forest of Thorns? It started as an experiment. When we met, we were both journalists and got used to sharing and discussing what we were reading and what we were writing. We started to have conversations about the idea of writing together. It was all very speculative. […]


The Top 5 Books with Sisters in the Title

The Top 5 Books with Sisters in the Title The relationship between siblings is a unique one. It’s also one I have no personal experience with, being a proud only child. (And by the way, it’s not true that we’re weird, spoiled, or lonely!) Of course, not having firsthand knowledge of something only makes one […]


A Stranger Comes to Town & Other Newly Iconic Plots“A Stranger Comes to Town” & Other Newly Iconic Plots

A Stranger Comes to Town & Other Newly Iconic Plots Depending on the source, there are as few as three or as many as thirty-six plots. (Foster-Harris’s trio includes “happy ending,” “unhappy ending,” and “super unhappy ending” AKA “tragedy,” while George Polti’s more nuanced selections range from “daring enterprise” to “slaying of unrecognized kin.”) Seven […]


AudioFile Magazine’s Picks of the Best New Audiobooks for Summer ListeningAudioFile Magazine’s Picks for the Summer’s Best New Audiobooks

AudioFile Magazine’s Summer Audiobook Picks AudioFile Magazine’s Picks of the Best New Audiobooks for Summer Listening   Want a beach listen?  Or something suspenseful enough to make you hide under the covers?  (Of course, that means you have to stay under wraps because the bogeyman is definitely out there.)  Here are our picks for five […]


Writers Do Have Some Pretty Suspicious Internet Search Histories...Writers Do Have Some Pretty Suspicious Internet Search History…

Writers Do Have Some Pretty Suspicious Internet Search History…   My internet search history has to have me on someone’s suspicious-people-to-watch list somewhere. As an author of a YA thriller, I’ve had to research some pretty unusual things. Sometimes they tend to be a little dark; hence, my concern about what the internet watchdogs think […]


FROM JACK REACHER TO SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ENDURING POWER OF PREQUELSFROM JACK REACHER TO SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE ENDURING POWER OF PREQUELS

  FROM JACK REACHER TO SHERLOCK HOLMES THE ENDURING POWER OF PREQUELS “LET’S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING” Those of you humming the song that begins with the title of this piece will likely know the next line is “A very good place to start…” but, for us authors, that’s usually not true. Think about […]


DVD Review– Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe: The Complete Series and Nero Wolfe (Italian language series)DVD Review– Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe: The Complete Series and Nero Wolfe (Italian language series)

DVD Review– Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe: The Complete Series and Nero Wolfe (Italian language series)   Alongside Perry Mason, Nero Wolfe is the foremost American fictional detective.  Created by Rex Stout, the Wolfe mysteries spanned four decades and have been continued by Robert Goldsborough.  Wolfe is larger than life due to his eccentricities.  Wolfe loves […]


Sisters in Literature: Wonderful companions or competitors with a tinge of arsenic?Sisters in Literature: Wonderful companions or competitors with a tinge of arsenic?

Sisters in Literature: Wonderful companions or competitors with a tinge of arsenic? The inspiration for this piece on sisters in literature has been brewing in me since I was six years old when my little sister Susan aged three, sadly died from pneumonia. I’ve avoided writing about it for years, and now looking at it […]


Rules for an Aspiring Techno-Thriller Writer

Rules for an Aspiring Techno-Thriller Writer: I’ve been asked several times for advice to a new techno-thriller writer. I started making a list, and it’s gotten a lot longer than I expected. These are all things I’ve learned since I got into the business. Some were as Tom Clancy’s co-author (apprentice); others were after I struck […]


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