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Mystery Writing in a Nutshell [Paperback]

Our Price $ 10.16  
Retail Value $ 11.95  
You Save $ 1.79  (15%)  
Item Number 381051  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   120
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5" Height: 0.28"
Weight:   0.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 15, 2007
Publisher   James A Rock & Co. Publishers
ISBN  1596635053  
EAN  9781596635050  

Availability  63 units.
Availability accurate as of May 29, 2017 09:51.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

Item Description...
Edgar Allan Poe Award winner, Pulitzer Prize nominee, and best-selling author John McAleer, Ph.D. (Harvard), taught crime fiction at Boston College for nearly four decades, nurturing authors like George V. Higgins (The Friends of Eddie Coyle), Chuck Hogan (The Standoff), Margaret McLean (Under Oath), James Devlin (Elmore Leonard), and Ted Murphy (the "Belltown Mysteries"). Now he and his son, Andrew McAleer-also a mystery author and Professor of Crime Fiction at Boston College-share the secrets, techniques and art of crafting the mystery novel. Mystery Writing in a Nutshell is an invaluable resource which, step-by-step, takes the writer through the mystery-writing process from creating suspense and strategizing plot twists to hiding clues and enriching character development and much more. With this guide to mystery writing at your side, it is only a matter of time before your novel is afoot ABOUT THE AUTHORS John McAleer is the Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning author of Rex Stout: A Majesty's Life and a best-selling author of fifteen other books including the critically-acclaimed mystery, Coign of Vantage. A Professor of English Literature at Harvard and, later, Boston College for more than half a century, Professor McAleer also worked as an editor of The Armchair Detective, served as a vice president of the Mystery Writers of America and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Andrew McAleer is the author of three mystery novels and serves as the president of America's oldest continuing literary society, the Boston Authors Club. He teaches Crime Fiction at Boston College, is a member of the Private Eye Writers of America, the editor of the award-winning Crimestalker Casebook and a recipient of the Sherlock Holmes Revere Bowl Award. Mr. McAleer practices law privately in Massachusetts. Edward D. Hoch is a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master, an Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning author and one of the most prolific writers in the crime fiction genre. A tireless contributor to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Mr. Hoch served as president of the MWA and was the 1991 guest of honor at Bouchercon.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Why this book should be required reading for all mystery writers!  Oct 10, 2007
As an avid mystery reader (from Doyle to Fforde), I did not expect to find this peak behind the curtain to be so enlightening or entertaining. Mystery Writing in a Nutshell should be required reading (and kept handy as a reference guide) for anyone who is a mystery lover and/or writing/editing a mystery or supsense novel. I have been disappointed too many times by mystery writers who do not follow these most basic of rules (to paraphase, if sex is not important to the plot, don't use it). As a result, I don't seek out their next book.

Thanks to the authors for giving me an insight as to why I love the authors I do (and what they have done correctly to earn that esteem)!
Short but Sweet  Oct 4, 2007
This book was concise and full of helpful hints. The book was organized like a college professor organizing his lecture notes, which not all readers will appreciate. I would recommend this book as a companion to a meatier book on writing mysteries as there is not a lot of detail on voice and character development and such.
100-Page List of Cliches  Oct 1, 2007
Although previous reviews suggest otherwise, this book does not contain any substantial guidance on structuring a plot, creating suspense, developing characters, or, really, writing a mystery at all. It is a rambling list of to-dos and to-don'ts, nearly all of which are either basic common sense (hide clues, be accurate, don't cheat the ending) or cringe-inducing (incorporate advertising copy into dialogue, give your protagonist a hat, and transcribe detailed driving directions). The filler interviews tacked on to the end of the book just add insult to injury. At 100 pages, the book still felt too long - a complete waste of time and $10.
Another Classic Is Born  Jul 12, 2007
This book is destined to become a classic writing text, much like that other perennial favorite, THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by Strunk and White. Instead of focusing on grammar and sentence structure, however, this book concentrates on how to assemble a suspense or mystery novel, from the first, throat-grabbing word, to a final denouement that is both surprising and inevitable.

It tells the writer how to create an atmosphere of suspense and mystery. It discusses narrative hooks and back stories. It opens the eyes and the mind to a myriad of ideas that surround a writer every day; the kind of ideas that are certain to hook the reader and reel him in. It covers the details of reality that are absolutely essential for any story. It stresses the importance of those critical components that are required for all genre: credibility and plausibility.

Clues, voice, point of view, plot, character development; all are spelled out in a clear and concise writing style that is almost impossible to misinterpret or misunderstand. Indirectly, this book also tells the writer, by example, how to edit, how to hone, and how to polish the words and make them shine by their own inner light. And it does all this in less than seventy pages!

The rest of the book includes the authors' insightful interviews with Rex Stout, Robert Parker, Margaret McLean and William Tapply.

If I could give this book a ten-star rating, I would quickly do it. Alas, five is the upper limit here so I will have to accept that.
But if you are interested in writing at all, regardless of genre, it is my pleasure to highly recommend MYSTERY WRITING IN A NUTSHELL. It is a joy to read and will surely become one of the writing community's "desert island" choices for many years to come.

Russ Heitz
Any aspiring writer seeking to professionally establish themselves...  Jun 9, 2007
The combined effort of best selling author John McAleer (and a winner of the Mystery Writers of America annual 'Edgar' award) and Andrew McAleer (Professor of Crime Fiction at Boston College and the author of three published mystery novels), "Mystery Writings In A Nutshell: The World's Most Concise Guide To Mystery And Suspense Writing" truly lives up to its title as a 100-page compilation of succinctly presented tips, tricks and techniques for crafting good mystery fiction whether as a short story or a full length novel. From defining mystery and suspense, to the concept of a narrative hook, to diverse elements for story ideas, to enriching the context of the story, to the use of motives and weapons, to character development issues, to plotting out a story, "Mystery Writing In A Nutshell" covers it all in crisp, 'user friendly' detail. Of special note is the concluding section devoted to 'Miscellaneous' offerings that include a number of invaluable entries including 'Conversations About Writers and Writing' and 'A Short Essay on Writers Influencing Writers'. Any aspiring writer seeking to professionally establish themselves in this popular and demanding genre should read what John and Andrew McAleer have to say in the pages of "Mystery Writing In A Nutshell".

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