Start reading The Busy Writer's Tips on Writing Mystery and Crime on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
The Busy Writer's Tips on Writing Mystery and Crime

The Busy Writer's Tips on Writing Mystery and Crime [Kindle Edition]

Marg McAlister
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Kindle Price: £2.66 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Kindle Summer Sale: Over 500 Books from £0.99
Have you seen the Kindle Summer Sale yet? Browse selected books from popular authors and debut novelists, including new releases and bestsellers. Learn more

Product Description

Product Description

By popular demand, here it is at last: a newcomer to the Busy Writer series - Tips on Writing Mystery and Crime! Thank you all those authors who have waited so patiently. I look forward to reading your finished mystery novels one day soon.

A glance at any best-seller list will tell you how popular mystery, crime and thrillers are with readers. Most of you will find this perfectly understandable! There's nothing like the thrill of the chase and the intellectual challenge of trying to guess 'whodunit' or 'whydunit' before the sleuth.

If you're the writer, this presents you with a challenge. You have to juggle a lot of balls at once. You need to:
  • come up with an intriguing mystery (or an edge-of-the-seat thriller) that will keep readers up long past bedtime
  • keep your sleuth busy tracking down the perpetrator
  • weave in and bring to life other significant characters
  • leave a trail of not-too-obvious clues (trying to pull the wool over the reader's eyes), and 
  • walk in the shoes of the villain, ensuring that he is a worthy opponent. 

Oh, and did I mention that you also have to write tight scenes, build the suspense, create believable conflict, and choose the correct viewpoint as well?!!! Not to mention the research...

Good thing, then, that this is all covered in The Busy Writer's Tips on Writing Mystery and Crime!

Readers also get a bonus PDF with resources for Mystery/Crime Writers and a collection of all the reference articles mentioned in the book.

In the words of Kathryn Fox, internationally acclaimed author of medical thrillers (Cold Grave and five others):

"I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Marg McAlister's books to any aspiring or accomplished writers. She shares priceless insights into structure, characters, setting, action, suspense and importantly, emotional punch. I'm working on my eighth and ninth books, and I still go back to Marg's books when writing. I have no doubt that following Marg's advice saves time, energy and rewrites. A necessity in any crime writer's library!"

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 229 KB
  • Print Length: 84 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #138,378 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Marg McAlister has been an avid writer since she was about 9 years old, and has worn many different writing hats over the years. Marg has written fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children. She was on the Committee of Romance Writers of Australia for four years, and has run workshops at various RWA National Conferences.

The author of more than 60 books for children, she has also tapped out short stories for school magazines and numerous short non-fiction pieces for popular magazines and educational publications.

In 2001, she set up a website for writers ( which now hosts hundreds of articles for writers of both fiction and non-fiction, as well as e-courses in creating plots and characters.

Marg is the author of five correspondence courses on writing now marketed by Open Colleges in Australia, and has been a ghostwriter for business professionals and others on the international speaking circuit as well as a staff member of the Writer's Retreat Workshop in Kentucky, USA. This workshop, established by Gary Provost, has been designated by USA Weekend as the writing program "vacation that can change your life".

Marg's current projects include how-to books for writers on Amazon Kindle, as well as a new fiction series.

Visit Marg's Facebook page at and join in the conversation!

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Info and ideas 23 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm interested in writing in this genre and as I haven't written mysteries before I ordered it. There is lots of great info and tips and ideas in there that I wouldn't have considered so I think this is a great guide if you are thinking about writing mysteries and crime. Would recommend.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect 'How-To' Book 4 May 2013
By Robyn - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'The Busy Writers' Tips on Writing Mystery' describes every step of the journey to write a book that will draw readers in and not let them go until the last page. Marg McAlister builds her ebook like a good mystery, starting with the characters, how to generate plot ideas, clues and red herrings, keeping the reader on the edge of the seat, conflict, point of view, building suspense and so on.  I especially like the internal links within the book that lead to more information on a particular topic, e.g.  5 Ideas for Plot Twists, Turning Points in a Novel. The difference between this book and others I've read is the attention to the 'how to'. Both novice writers and those with some writing experience will benefit from the excellent advice this ebook contains. In fact, so convinced am I by Marg's advice I'm going back to re-write the ending of my latest mystery story for children. 
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mentor On My Kindle 4 April 2014
By Roger F. Shepherd - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Marg McAlister has been my mentor since I found her helpful Series on Amazon. I have most of her "Tips For Busy Writers" but this Mystery & Crime Tips book has been the best resource for me and if it were a paperback it would be heavily dog eared, highlighted and underlined.

After reading thru her deas and guides, I have changed the way I read mysteries and crime novels. Now I know why I loved Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammett, and Mickey Spillane, and other great writers of their era. They really knew how to develop characters that I still remember.

An author who can keep my interest in figuring out the plot, "whodunit" and "whyhedunit" all the way to the last period, with fast paced action, smooth dialogue, interesting settings, enough clues to keep me turning pages and then come up with a twist like Harlan Coben ,is what I enjoy reading and what I aspire to produce as a writer.

Marg gives helpful advice to the novice eg. Should I write a Mystery or Suspense novel? What are the different categories of crime and mystery novels? How to come up with ideas, How to develop Ideas into stories. She even gives links to useful articles for plotting.

Her examples are excellent in showing how to build characters, create "Red HerringS" drop in clues, set up conflict, and create character back grounds.

There are many more tips fully explained in Mystery & Crime that in my opinion, no novice or seasoned writer will want to be without. This is simply another treasured resource of Marg McAlister's work that I found and highly recommend to my Amazon friends.

Roger Shepherd
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Helpful Book from Marg McAlister 13 Jun 2014
By Kathryn - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book really helpful with some great tips on writing mystery and crime. Best of all was Marg's advice on coming up with an idea by picking characters out of a hat! I will find this method helpful in all my writing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!! 14 May 2014
By Rebecca Vance - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great reference book, written plainly and to the point. Ms. McAlister gives the author an abundance of information packed in a few pages that are easy to flip to when needed, from the handy table of contents. I would highly recommend this book to any author that wants to write mystery and crime fiction, especially the beginner. It helped me considerably on my work in progress, and I highly recommend it to others.
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepped for my mystery 14 May 2014
By Umar - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good read. Provides all the basic foundations for a mystery. You, however, determine how cleverly it's done. Well worth the read.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category