Writing The Kind-Of-Not-Quite-Perfect Murder Mystery

My first (and possibly only) attempt at writing a murder mystery was… educational, to say the least. Here are a few things I learnt along the way.

  1. You will have to plan. A lot. A LOT.
  2. So much will you have to plan that, after a while, you may start listing plot points on any blank surface you can find.
  3. So much will you have to plan that you may end up getting sick of your characters, even if they aren’t complete jerks. And especially if they are.
  4. You might find yourself talking about murder a lot. In a casual conversation, my dad and I found 23 ways to murder someone. Yikes.
    How I felt after a while

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A Year in Books: June (‘The Monogram Murders’ by Sophie Hannah)

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Image from Goodreads

Plot summary: The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah features a character originally created by Agatha Christie, the famous detective Hercule Poirot. One evening, a flustered woman tells Poirot that she is going to be murdered. Later that night, Poirot finds out that three guests have been killed at the Bloxham Hotel, each one found with a cufflink in his or her mouth. While Poirot tries to solve the two seemingly unrelated mysteries, the murderer prepares to strike again…

Positive: The plot is very intricately designed! Even if you manage to guess some parts, the full story is very difficult to foresee, and the ending will likely surprise you.

The story mostly progresses at a reasonable pace. It reveals just enough to keep you satisfied, but still wanting more. As Poirot tells his policeman friend Edward Catchpool, he is not only a detective but a teacher, guiding Catchpool (and the reader) to use “the little grey cells.”

Continue reading “A Year in Books: June (‘The Monogram Murders’ by Sophie Hannah)”