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 where seemingly disparate elements eventually are revealed as critically connected. 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. Once I’m into a plot, it takes over. While I’m doing the daily needful, I’m mentally trying out different plot devices and personalities to see if they will fit the outline. 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 Emilia find the clue? I came up with 10 ways:
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 . . .
If you have more suggestions, please leave a comment. Otherwise this whodunnit might end up as a sortadunnit.
In other news
I’m still pinching myself:
“Screenwriter and director Emily Skopov is pleased to announce the acquisition of film and television rights to the Detective Emilia Cruz series by mystery author Carmen Amato. The series, which includes the novelsCLIFF DIVER, HAT DANCE, and DIABLO NIGHTS, as well as a collection of short stories, features Emilia Cruz as the first and only female police detective in Acapulco. Physically tough yet emotionally vulnerable, Cruz must be her own moral compass as police investigations pit her against Mexico’s drug cartel violence, government corruption, and gender bias against a woman in a traditionally male occupation . . .
“Having been approached by two other film producers, Amato ultimately chose to work with Skopov in large part due to their shared view that the time is right for an entertainment franchise that puts Latino characters center stage in substantial, complex and diverse roles that transcend simplistic categorizations.”
Read the full press release here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/writerdirector-acquires-rights-to-groundbreaking-emilia-cruz-detective-novels-300084734.html
Get the first Detective Emilia Cruz for just $0.99 today! It’s a trip to Mexico you’ll never forget!