Writing Your First Mystery
This short guide introduces topics that will arise before you tackle your first mystery. Some will be familiar; others will have you scratching your head and doing some real thinking. You’ll be grappling with the elements of plot and the underlying structure of the mystery novel, the whodunnit, and the thriller. You’ll have fun–and sometimes it will be hard work.
A free edition of Writing Your First Mystery is available below. Help yourself!
Please provide your name and email address for your free download.
If you like it, please consider leaving me a short review on Amazon.
I also write another series set in Sierra Mountain Village featuring Detective Dex Stafford of the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. The setting bears a resemblance to the colorful mountain village in California where I live. But, I assure you, only nice people live here and no one can remember the last murder, except in the pages of Payback. A second title in the series is in the works.
What Reviewers are saying about my work:
Book Snoop: Nice to see something new to me in a murder mystery.
Edie Dykeman, BellaOnline’s Mystery Books Editor: Top-Notch New Series
Samfreene: One smart cop, one feisty activist and one smart nine-year-old that just might
follow in her father’s footsteps.
Patty: I am buying more copies to give as Christmas gifts. Enough said.
Gael Bailey: You get where you want to know what happened to the characters after the
book ended. I read it twice and enjoyed it more the second time.
If you favor characters like in Stone Barrington and Harry Bosch, you’ll love this book!
ToughLadySpeak: Brusque language, original insight and surprisingly semi-hard boiled
prose from a female author who is not afraid to push the envelope.
Jim Conn, former Mayor of Santa Monica: Wonderful character studies and a glimpse into
the underbelly of one of America’s best known liberal cities and one of this country’s most
popular international tourist destinations.
Best ChickLit: Rip Off is a ripping good yarn if I ever read one! The small novel is packed to the brim full of action, death and deceit – plus high-tech burglaries to boot!
Mayra Calvani: Multi-genre author and reviewer: An excellent job in bringing upscale Santa Monica and its people to life, with its luxurious condos and leftist politics.
Jim Lockhart: “Mar Preston’s Payback is an attractive, skillfully done melding of an American police procedural story with an English village mystery.
Jodie Renner: Even though I was reading very intently, the ending still caught me by surprise. The author also gives us some great insights into California mountain politics and current ecological issues of the area. I’d rate this Mar Preston’s best book so far, in many ways. And it’s nice to learn a few things while being entertained. An absorbing read!
On Behalf of the Family
This review is from: On Behalf of the Family (A Detective Dave Mason Mystery) (Kindle Edition)
Car on fire in a parking garage. Body in passenger seat burned to a crisp. Euuie. Such a lovely place as Santa Monica has crime? And such gruesome crime?This is a wonderful police procedural, with Dave Mason, oh, pardon me, DETECTIVE Dave Mason, of the Santa Monica Police at the scene, along with an overeager female detective, Fredericks and his longtime partner Art Delgado working to solve what looks like something building up to be a hate crime. The victim was a young female, her distinctive totebag thrown free of the burning car containing a scarf. She is ultimately ID’d as a Muslim, the daughter of a very wealthy Turkish family.What a great book this was. Dynamite plot, a likeable detective with a wobbly love life, and some interesting facts.Do you know the story of the Genocide, as the Armenians call it? Around 1921, the Turks started pushing the Armenians out of that region and then stole their land. A forced march, on which many died. Others were slaughtered in their homes. Some say the Kurds did the slaughtering and grabbed the best land. This all happened more than one hundred years ago, and is vehemently denied by the Turks to this day.See why I liked this book so much?
I’d love to present two free copies of On Behalf of the Family to readers who sign up for my mailing list this month. Please go to the Contact Page to send me your email address. I can’t imagine a situation in which I’d give your email address to anyone else!
- Critique Groups and Beta Readers
- A Reader’s Attention Span
- Choosing The Books I’m Reading
- Perfection in Home and Word
- The Guilty Pleasures of Crime Fiction
Writers with more than one publication seldom work alone without help from a critique group, a writing partner, or a paid editor. This means they are sharing their Work In Progress (WIP) or completed drafts with peer reviewers. Good writers … READ MORE »
How long do you give a new book to hook you? Readers of contemporary fiction don’t have the attention span and discretionary time that readers had in the 1900s. Or even a decade ago. Now, readers will skim until they … READ MORE »
I read a lot. In fact, it’s my major recreation. Most writers do. It’s not that we’re looking for ideas. Writers simply enjoy the dance and frolic of the printed word. And there’s something primitive in all of us, harking … READ MORE »
It’s not easy selling a house or finishing another murder mystery. I find myself combing the fringe on the downstairs rug and setting up a search in Word for every time I’ve over-used the word “grin.” In short, polishing to … READ MORE »
I never wanted to hang out in a cop bar, or be a cop, but I’ve always been fascinated with police work and that’s why I write police procedurals. Most law enforcement jobs offer bursts of excitement, danger, and thrilling … READ MORE »