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The Elements of Mystery Fiction

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The Elements of Mystery Fiction

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The Elements of Mystery Fiction
Writing the Modern Whodunit
By William G. Tapply
Poisoned Pen Press, 2nd ed., (2006)
ISBN: 978-1590581155

Also available in Large Print and Kindle

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - Posted June 15, 2012

William G. Tapply's classic writing book, The Elements of Mystery Fiction: Writing the Modern Whodunit has been fully updated and expanded to meet the needs of the modern mystery writer. Tapply is the author of more than twenty mystery and suspense novels, including the famed Brady Coyne mysteries series. His book, The Elements of Mystery Fiction has long been the standard guide for novice and experienced writers looking to break into the mystery market. This is not simply a 'how-to' book that teachers you the nuts and bolts of how to write a novel, from finding your story to revising your story. Rather it is also designed to explain to you the basic elements that go into the formation of a mystery novel and to help you learn a lot of techniques and tricks of successful mystery writers - without having to go through years of trial and error to discover these truisms on your own.

This new edition of The Elements of Mystery Fiction, in addition to Tapply's sage advice also includes new chapters, that include not only interviews with, but also chapters written, by some of today's notable writers and publishers. These chapters will help you to understand the ins and outs of the publishing industry and some of the finer points of mystery writing. These added chapters include: While writers of every ilk will find this book invaluable, it will also be of interest to mystery readers. This is because the book not only explains the mechanics that go into writing a mystery, but it will help you to analyze the structure and effectiveness of the book you are reading, as well as explaining the various forms that a mystery novel can take. Along the way you also learn about the history and development of the mystery as a unique genre. Both readers and writers will come away from this book with a solid understanding of how mystery novels are written and the unique elements that go into crafting a solid mystery plot. The Elements of Mystery Fiction is essential reading for anyone desirous of learning how to write a solid, well-crafted mystery, and I highly recommend this book to everyone with an interest in mystery fiction!


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