How many moving parts does it take to build a mystery novel?
Do you want the short answer? (lots)
Or the long answer? (lots and lots)
Now, I’m not whining over the terrible fate of being a mystery author. Actually, I like being a mystery author. I like building intricate plots and craftily connecting seemingly disparate elements that you never expected. I like writing cliffhanger chapter endings and dialogue that kills (pun intended).
But it does take alot of scribbling and planning and editing and coffee drinking, all while elbowing (literally) the dog away from the keyboard. Sometimes all goes swiftly, other times not so much.
Right now, as I slog away on the 4th Detective Emilia Cruz, KING PESO, I’m stuck on the little matter of how one key bit of evidence is revealed to Emilia.
Elementary, my dear Emilia
How can Acapulco’s first and only female police detective Emilia find the clue without getting herself into more danger? Here are the choices:
1. Snitch (also known as stoolie) on the street tells her: Emilia pays somebody for information
2. Online research and discovery: criminal posts a YouTube video, information is about a business with a website or listed in a business registry, etc
3. Part of a parallel investigation: another cop finds out somehting relevant to her case and shares it
4. Forensic evidence: DNA testing; fibers or dirt provide context and additional information, tire treads, etc etc
5. Anonymous caller: tip comes in through a hotline or to police station
6. Ballistics: gun used has a history known to the police
7. Autopsy results: something about manner of death or body provides important information
8. Cold case files: the current case is linked to a past unresolved case
9. Photography: video or still photos capture information relevant to her case
10. Witness: witness at the scene of the crime tells all to Emilia
Hmmm. #10 would be so easy.
I hate easy . . .
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My great-uncle Nicky was the second-to-the-youngest of my grandfather’s five brothers. He was missing most of his right index finger. During WWII, while my grandfather turned out copper ship hulls as a foreman at the Revere Copper and Brass rolling mill,...read more
My most recent book, 43 MISSING: Detective Emilia Cruz Book 6, was inspired by the events of September 2014 when 43 students from a teacher's college in the town of Ayotzinapa, near Acapulco in Mexico's state of Guerrero, disappeared in the nearby town of...read more
Fall is here. Our New Year’s resolutions petered out long ago and the holidays, with overspending and family drama, loom on the horizon. In this season between what-might-have-been and what-will-overwhelm-us-soon, dive into one of these life-changing...read more
I'm author Carmen Amato. I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat. More