THE STRAND MAGAZINE'S MYSTERY BLOG

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The Key to Creating Great CharactersThe Key to Creating Great Characters

The Key to Creating Great Characters Among the great strokes of good fortune — and there were many junctures where I could have gone awry — was the decision to write about, via fiction, my small marina family at Tarpon Bay, Sanibel Island, Florida, where I was a fishing guide from 1974 to 1987.  This […]


Top Ten Tips On How NOT To Become a Mystery Writer...Top Ten Tips On How NOT To Become a Mystery Writer…

Top Ten Tips On How NOT To Become a Mystery Writer… Are you a mystery lover with a yen to write your own novel but unsure how or where to start? Do you have a great character or winning plot in mind but just can’t get past an opening chapter or two? Rest easy: banishing […]


THE TRIP TO DOTY ROAD THE INTERROGATION David Bates (Illinois exoneree), as told to Sara Paretsky (Part II)

THE TRIP TO DOTY ROAD THE INTERROGATION David Bates (Illinois exoneree), as told to Sara Paretsky   After another interval, perhaps two hours, Curly returned with a different detective, not Moustache. They unhooked him from the ring in the wall and put him in a chair with his hands cuffed behind his back. Curly was […]


Exclusive Excerpt from James Patterson's latest Novel: The Black Book!Exclusive Excerpt from James Patterson’s latest Novel.

Exclusive Excerpt from James Patterson’s latest Novel: The Black Book! PATTI HARNEY stops her unmarked sedan two blocks shy of her destination, the narrow streets packed with patrol cars, the light bars on top of the units shooting a chaos of color into the night. Must be twenty squad cars at least. Patti ditches her […]


THE TRIP TO DOTY ROAD THE INTERROGATION David Bates (Illinois exoneree), as told to Sara ParetskyTHE TRIP TO DOTY ROAD THE INTERROGATION David Bates (Illinois exoneree), as told to Sara Paretsky (Part I)

THE TRIP TO DOTY ROAD THE INTERROGATION David Bates (Illinois exoneree), as told to Sara Paretsky   few can imagine any circumstances that would lead them to confess to a crime they didn’t commit, espe­cially if the crime is a heinous one. But false confessions happen often, sometimes because the people who con­fess are overwhelmed […]


female friendsBFFs or Mortal Enemies? Ten Books That Explore Female Friendship (Part II)

BFFs or Mortal Enemies? Ten Books That Explore Female Friendship (Part II)   For me, the stakes in female friendship—and I can only speak as a straight woman here—are just as high or higher than in romantic ones. We trust our women friends with so much intimate knowledge; why is that? Our hairdressers know for […]


BFFs or Mortal Enemies? Ten Books That Explore Female FriendshipBFFs or Mortal Enemies? Ten Books That Explore Female Friendship (Part I)

BFFs or Mortal Enemies? Ten Books That Explore Female Friendship (Part I)   For me, the stakes in female friendship—and I can only speak as a straight woman here—are just as high or higher than in romantic ones. We trust our women friends with so much intimate knowledge; why is that? Our hairdressers know for […]


Ten Funny Moments from Mysteries, Novels, and Much MoreTen Funny Moments from Mysteries, Novels, and Much More

Ten Funny Moments from Mysteries, Novels, and Much More On paper, the idea of a brutal murder or two doesn’t exactly sound like a laugh riot. But there’s a Joss Whedon quote that gets thrown around the Internet a lot these days: “Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the […]


Top Ten Literary SpiesTop Ten Literary Spies

Top Ten Literary Spies Movies depict spies and writers idling around disreputable gin joints in disheveled trench coats or sporting tuxedos and tossing quips between martinis. Implausibly, practitioners of writing and espionage not only share many of the same occupational clichés, they are frequently intertwined in a secret world. “I won’t say I’m interested in […]


Women Writers for a Waning Winter

Women Writers for a Waning Winter As winter days wane into the eventual thaw of spring, here are a few recent offerings from the first ladies of felonious fiction to help you capture the slow burn. First up is Lisa Gardner’s outstanding Right Behind You (Dutton), which revisits FBI profilers Pierce Quincy and Rainie Conner, […]


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