The Barnes & Noble Review
Have you thought of joining the ranks of the world's top mystery writers? Sue Grafton, queen of the Alphabet Mysteries (A Is for Alibi, B Is for Burglar, and so on), and co-editors Jan Burke and Barry Zeman cover everything it takes to write a successful mystery, from preparation to specialties. The ingredients for brewing up an unforgettable plot and compelling characters, choosing a point of view, infallible structure, dialogue that works, and rippling pacing, are served up here in a host of contributions from some of the most respected writers in the genre.
The book is itself a journey through some still-uncharted territory -- the great mystery of the writer's art. It serves as a superb guide -- with shared anecdotes regarding both successful and failed attempts at various techniques -- by writers who have managed to find their niche and triumph in the genre. In the section entitled "In Search of the Novel," George C. Chesbro sums it up by recognizing "one of the greatest thrills a fiction writer can experience: discovery." The art of discovery is the true journey of writing mysteries. So, all you aspiring mystery writers -- discover, plot, craft, and most of all write, write, write. The next spellbinding mystery to hit the bookstores may be yours. (Evie Rhodes)
Mystery writers are the magicians of fiction. We're the illusionists, working with sleight of hand in the performance of our art. With this book, we'll be taking you behind the scenes so you can see how the riddles are created and the illusions sustained.
Like many Writer's Digest publications, this work serves as an excellent resource for the published and the would-be author. Editor Grafton, herself the successful author of the Kinsey Milhone series, orchestrates the contributions of many distinguished detective/mystery writers, including Tony Hillerman, Lawrence Block, and Ed Hock. This how-to book differs from other Writer's Digest books in that the articles move sequentially through the process from preparation to publication. The specialties section focuses on mysteries for young people and short story mysteries. A good choice for both public libraries' and writers' book shelves.-- Martin J. Hudacs, Solanco H.S., Quarryville, Pa .
A comprehensive mystery writing guide. The contributors, all members of the Mystery Writers of America, present informal essays on the special aspects and problems of writing mystery fiction, including making stories more taut, more real, more immediate, and more fraught with tension. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)