How To Write A Mystery


Ya know what’d be cool about being a mystery writer with a huge international following like Joe Nesbo or Lee Child? I’ll tell ya.

You have super-fans. Not regular “I really like this guy’s work” fans, but total hardcore ones.  These people devour every book you write and place an importance upon them that is way above what a regular reader would afford your books. They live for your next book.

Mysteries are filled with shocking surprises. So you, the international mystery writer, have the chance to unleash a totally unique surprise.

What you do is this — you write your best book ever. The plot is supertight and the action is gripping. The protagonist is the most evil dude the world has ever seen and the victim is the sweetest, most loveable person on earth.

But you don’t release the book. You put it aside with directions in your will that it only be released after your death. Because everyone knows how much hype there is for the first artistic product that emerges after a popular artist’s death. It’s always huge.

So you die and the book gets released. The hype is unimaginable. Super-fans grab the book and devour it. Their minds reel through twists and surprises. The tension rises like a freight train barreling toward a woman tied to the tracks.

But then your hero-detective totally blows it. He misses the easiest clue in the world, something even a pre-schooler would get. And then the killer walks scot-free while mocking the detective. THE END.

All around the world super-fans shout “WHAT THE FUCKKKKK!!!!

But a month later you post the real ending on your website. As expected, the hero sends the evil dude to the pokey. And the very last sentence of your very last mystery reads: “Thanks for taking part in my biggest surprise ever. And thanks for all the support over the years.”


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3 thoughts on “How To Write A Mystery”

  1. Oh, but why wait until you actually die? You want to be able to enjoy the joke while you’re living.

    So you stage your own death, and hide on a private island somewhere, incognito. You wait until the book comes out, everyone gets upset, the real ending comes out on your blog and everyone is saying what a great writer you are, after all.

    Then you suddenly “come alive” and give everyone the real surprise!

    If you really want to make the whole thing fun, you can turn your death into a mystery as well.

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