Need a plot for your mystery novel-try this


If you want to write a murder mystery, or something more mysterious click/tap here for a list of unsolved murders and deaths dating from before 1800 to present day. If one intrigues you then take a hand at solving the murder on your own. I did this with “Loonies in Hollywood” in which I took the true life, unsolved murder, of silent film director William Desmond Taylor, and using the crime scene evidence, the most mentioned suspects, I chose the one mostly likely-to my thinking- and ‘solved’ the murder. 

Edgar Allan Poe also used the unsolved murder of Mary Rogers, a popular young woman, perhaps the first to became famous for doing nothing other than being so beautiful, that she attracted dozens of men each day to the cigar store in which she worked, attracting so many that newspapers began writing about her. For doing nothing. Poe took the story and using all the evidence wrote “The Mystery of Marie Roget.”

Those are but two examples and if you do a little research you will find many murder mysteries written by authors who based their story on an actual murder. They, like you, can do the research, examine the crime scene, take a look at the suspects, come to your own conclusion, and  then write the mystery. The benefit is that the story ingredients are all there for you, ripe for the picking that you can pluck straight off the tree and cook up the solution. It makes coming up with an idea on your own a mute point. And if it is a famous case, you will tend to sell more books, because famous cases, no matter how old, have followers.

I offer this as an option. I wrote “Silent Murder” based on nothing but my imagination, and if yours is hyperactive then drain your brain of all it has to offer. But if you get stuck for an idea, by all means, use the resource by clicking/tapping here.

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How I dropped the bloody knife for Amazon after three days

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The cover on the left was done for my murder mystery about a serial killer murdering sound men in 1927 Hollywood; a killer with the crazed idea that he could prevent sound movies by killing technicians working to bring talking pictures to reality.

The victims were all killed by a knife, all from behind, and without any struggle, as if the killer silently came up behind them. Since the story takes place during the silent era of motion pictures and the killer was silent in his methods, it created, I thought, a clever play on words, not a killer pun, but a good one nonetheless. That is the reason the woman who did the cover put in the knife. I liked the image because it reflected the era and method of the serial killer.

But my opinion does not matter. Amazon’s opinion does, whether I agree of disagree. They did allow the cover, it was there on my Amazon page for a few months and no doubt would still be there except for what I tried to do. When I tried to set up an ad campaign through Amazon Marketing, the campaign was rejected because of the cover. It is their policy not to show images considered threatening, among other things. They can set their rules, it’s their right, but I doubt that censoring the image of the bloody knife is going to lessen the violence in the world.

The content of the book is anything but violent, the murders off-screen as it were, and the descriptions of the crime scenes are not overly descriptive, gory, gruesome, or yucky.

There will be times in our lives, many times, where we are faced with compromises. A smart person knows what battles to fight, and when, and how and why. This is a compromise I can live with. The funny thing is, in reference to the three days, I changed the cover following the rejection and resubmitted. It was rejected again. The change was on my Kindle Direct page where I uploaded the revised cover. But I discovered, thanks to an e-mail from Amazon, that it can take up to 72 hours for the new image to migrate to my public Amazon page. Just when we think we live in a world where things can change in one or two clicks I find we are in the dark ages. Three days!

But the migration is complete, the ad campaign is live, and the world is wonderful.