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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  /

How important are clues in mystery books
Morgan St. James - 12:46am Jul 12, 2011 PST
Writes mystery novels, short stories, column-Las Vegas Examiner (Books and Writing)

Clues and they way they are "dropped" into mysteries can intrigue a reader, confound them, confuse them or challenge them. The lack of clues can anger a reader. It is no fun to have a twist or solution dropped on you at the end of a book or story with no prior indication. Do you believe the reader deserves some valid clues to solve the mystery, even if it was a very subtle clue buried in prose at the beginning of the book?

Do you get angry when a surprise ending comes "out of the blue?"

Previous MessagesEarliest MessagesOutlineRecent Messages (1 previous message)
Barbara Bassett - 12:04pm Jul 23, 2012 PST(#2 of 3)
(pseudonym of B.L.McAllister)

One mystery I read recently (Murder on Safari, by Elspeth Huxley) tossed in, at the denouement, page citations of each clue used in the solution. This deals with a problem that could (maybe) arise at times, in which a reader might say, "well, I don't recall anything like that being shown!" I'm not sure how difficult inserting those references was for the author and publisher, but it seems like a useful idea to me.

Fran Hinkel - 05:49am Jul 26, 2012 PST(#3 of 3)
You can check out anytime you like...but you can never leave!

Oh, I love that idea - coming from a reader's viewpoint.

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Writing Mysteries  / How important are clues in mystery books

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