How to Write a Mystery
By Larry Beinhart
Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345397584, 240pp.
Publication Date: July 1996
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So you want to write a mystery. There's more to it than just a detective, a dead body, and Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with the candlestick. Fortunately, Larry Beinhart--Edgar Award-winning author of You Get What You Pay For, Foreign Exchange, and American Hero--has taken a break from writing smart, suspenseful thrillers to act as your guide through all the twists and turns of creating the twists and turns of a good mystery.
Drawing on advice and examples from a host of the best names in mystery writing--from Raymond Chandler and Mickey Spillane to Scott Turow and Thomas Harris--plus some of his own prime plots, Larry Beinhart introduces you to your most indispensable partners in crime:
*Character, plot, and procedure
* The secrets to creating heroes, heroines, and villains ("All writers draw upon themselves and their experience. While the whole of yourself might not be capable of being either a serial killer or an FBI agent, there are parts in each of us that are capable of almost anything.")
* The fine art of scripting the sex scene
*The low-down on violence ("A crime novel without violence is like smoking pot without inhaling, sex without orgasm, or a hug without a squeeze." )
*And much more!
From the opening hook to the final denouement, Larry Beinhart takes the mystery out of being a mystery writer.