on 16 May 1999
Simply put, Beinhart's book is one of the best "How to Write..." books I have ever read. Unlike many books in which the author mostly inspires the reader and/or shares what has worked for him or her, Beinhart gives multiple examples from contemporary and classic works, as well as from his own experiences. I knew that this book had fire in it when I found myself outlining my plot, characters, etc. as I read along. I was also pleased with the Beinhart's honesty about the business and politics of the publishing industry. This book deserves a space on the shelf of every mystery writer--published and unpublished.
on 20 March 2013
This is a really practical how to guide to writing a mystery novel. Although I was well underway when I started reading it, I found it so useful that I'm working my way through the whole book. It has loads of useful excercises, that will, if you do them all, actually result in a fished novel. Great!
on 28 October 2009
I've been stuck on my novel for awhile and decided to read a book on writing to see if it'd get some juices flowing. My novel is only partly a mystery, but I was looking for some pointers and I got them.
I like Larry's style. He's not egotistical and he's not preachy or pedantic. He can be self-deprecating, and he livens up his prose with examples from a variety of books. He's obviously read a great many mysteries and knows his genre. I didn't learn anything earth-shattering or ground-breaking or any other sort of terra-related metaphor, but it helped me become a bit more cautiously optimistic about my own writing, which is what a good book about writing should do.
on 2 April 2005
I've read a few of these 'how to' manuals and this is head and shoulders above the rest. You won't need another. A tip: if you've already tried to write a mystery/crime novel - untutored, as it were - you will get much more out of this book than if you haven't; unless you are a genius, of course.
on 10 December 1997
This book tells what you WANT to know,how it is done,how to get past the difficulties and finsh the bugger,by a well known, published,damn good writer,not some critic who has'nt written a crime novel or someone who made up a list of what to do from other books.This is the Real Deal!