THE STRAND MAGAZINE'S MYSTERY BLOG

DVD REVIEWS

THE TEN BEST WAYS TO FIND AND DEVELOP STORY IDEAS FOR MYSTERIES

THE TEN BEST WAYS TO FIND AND DEVELOP STORY IDEAS FOR MYSTERIES   Let me start with a disclaimer. None of these methods are full proof. All I can really say is that they work for me. And in my decades long career as a working, professional writer, I have found out, either by discussions […]


Ten of the World’s Most Enticing Borders

  Ten of the World’s Most Enticing Borders   Borders have always fascinated me. With just one step, you can cross culture, language, food, politics and much more.  Some are tense. Some are awash with welcome. Sometimes, there’s the swipe of a biometric code. Sometimes, a creaking pole across a dusty road, miles from anywhere. […]


Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's Ten Writing TipsThe Art of Collaboration

The Art of Collaboration As we prepare for the release of our tenth book together, we realize that, by necessity, we’ve learned a lot about the art of collaboration.  Although we’d each been writing individually for over twenty years before embarking on this new chapter of our careers, nothing quite prepared us for the give-and-take […]


Just The Facts: The Attempted Murder of Theodore Roosevelt

Just The Facts: The Attempted Murder of Theodore Roosevelt I’m basically a nonfiction guy, a journalist by trade. I believe in facts. I feel comforted by facts. Also inspired and served by them, as I shall explain. At the same time, I love fiction—to read and to write—because it takes me inside the facts, to […]


DVD Review: Murdoch Mysteries, Seasons 11 & 12

DVD Review: Murdoch Mysteries, Seasons 11 & 12   By Chris Chan   (WARNING: Some oblique spoilers here.)     Murdoch Mysteries, the long-running Canadian period mystery-comedy series, is still going strong after twelve seasons.  The series stars Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch, a police detective and scientist whose inventions are often ahead of their […]


Writing Tips: 5 Tips for Building a Page-Turner

Writing Tips: 5 Tips for Building a Page-Turner   Recently I was a panelist at a conference for writers and readers. The four authors on stage were supposed to share, with a hotel conference room full of fans and aspiring writers, tips for keeping readers turning the pages. How does an author construct a plot […]


ten thrilling reads from historyCan you manipulate your audience to avoid being branded?

Can you manipulate your audience to avoid being branded?   I never felt a thing. No branding iron sat in the campfire at the ranch until it was red-hot, and no screams came from me as my flesh sizzled. But I was branded. And I still am. I came to writing thrillers after many years […]


The Mathematics of Mystery

The Mathematics of Mystery Some novelists are all but born knowing they should write.  Some study literature, or creative writing, become experts is the academic form of the art.  Some belong to families of writers and words are their legacy. But not me. I came to writing via the scenic route, completely oblivious to the […]


damn the old tinderbox! by Matthew j. prigge book review Chris Chan true crimeIs True Crime Good for You?

Is True Crime Good for You?   I never gave much thought to true crime until I began working on my new true crime anthology series. Suddenly it occurred to me that I’d been a consumer of true crime since my teens, though at the time I wasn’t conscious of the fact that all those […]


Search of “Dunits”

Search of “Dunits” We’re all familiar with the term “Whodunit.” Classic mysteries by authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers set the standard that has endeared the genre to millions of readers throughout the years.  The challenge?  Can the reader match wits with the detective and unmask the killer first. […]


View all Latest News