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Writing a Murder Mystery Novel

I am writing a murder mystery novel. It is an old school country manor mystery set during the Great War. There will be four murders, an affair, someone crushed to death by a falling gargoyle.

So far, here are the characters:

Reginald, Lord Elgar's nephew

Sir Hillary, a confirmed old bachelor

Lady Foxcroft, the "black widow"

Professor Hyde-White, the esteemed lecturer

Josephina Terry, the great American tragic actress

Rupert Thordyke, a mysterious man

Mr. Kent, the reverend

Sister Agnes, who lost an eye while being a nurse in the War

Oswald, the butler who slurs his words

Inspector Hobson

Lord Edgar Elgar, the owner of the manor who invited the guests

by Anonymousreply 35November 21, 2023 12:21 AM

Any suggestions?

I can give away the ending

by Anonymousreply 1November 19, 2023 6:10 PM

Lord Edgar Elgar is the victim, murdered at the dinner table when the lights go out

by Anonymousreply 2November 19, 2023 6:12 PM

Are you sure there's a market for something so completely original??

by Anonymousreply 3November 19, 2023 6:34 PM

R3 I hope so!

This is traditional, but with a modern twist!

by Anonymousreply 4November 19, 2023 7:10 PM

This sounds like every bad community theater production. I can already see the awkward cast photos shot by a local wedding photographer meant to convey the tone of the story.

by Anonymousreply 5November 19, 2023 8:27 PM

A confirmed old bachelor? So you're writing about Lindsey Graham?

by Anonymousreply 6November 19, 2023 8:30 PM

R5 that's rude

by Anonymousreply 7November 19, 2023 8:33 PM

Does Reginald also happen to be Lord Elgar's heir, OP?

by Anonymousreply 8November 19, 2023 8:36 PM

Shouldn't "nephew" be in quotation marks? I mean, we've been down this path before...

by Anonymousreply 9November 19, 2023 8:38 PM

Is there no role for me?

by Anonymousreply 10November 19, 2023 8:39 PM

It looks like you have 8 male characters and 3 female ones. Why?

It’s always confusing when the cast’s a mosh pit of mustaches running around, waving cigars.

by Anonymousreply 11November 19, 2023 8:45 PM

R8 Here is the big reveal breakdown, I think:

Reginald is actually the son of Lady Foxcroft. Sir Hillary is the father and a homosexual.

Sister Agnes is the sister of Lord Elgar. Lord Elgar was having an affair with the much younger Josephina Terry, who had a coat hanger abortion. Josephina was also sleeping with Rupert Thorndyke, who is a scam artist. Thorndyke was also sleeping with Sir Hillary. Together, they plotted to kill Lord Elgar, but it did not work out because Lady Foxcroft killed him first.

Sister Agnes kills Josephina by throwing a gargoyle from the roof because she thought it was Lady Foxcroft.

The drunken Oswald is killed by being ran over. Complete accident. Not sure by who yet.

The reverend Mr. Kent killed Lord Elgar because he was madly in love with Sister Agnes. He discovered they were siblings had proof. He wanted the fortune and Sister Agnes would mysteriously die of her "illness."

by Anonymousreply 12November 19, 2023 8:48 PM

Dame Maggie, you can play the great American tragic actress, of course! Hell, you could play pretty much any role in this farce better than the community theatre actors that will eventually be called upon when the novel doesn't get published and the local dramatic society is paid to adapt it next season.

by Anonymousreply 13November 19, 2023 8:49 PM


by Anonymousreply 14November 19, 2023 11:15 PM

Any other thoughts?

by Anonymousreply 15November 20, 2023 12:47 AM

Consider adding an upstart Cockney maid who becomes hysterical over the mysterious goings-on. Her screeching and tray dropping will add texture to the story.

by Anonymousreply 16November 20, 2023 5:16 AM

Can a little chimney sweep appear in a cloud of fallling dust at some point?

Maybe a key piece of hidden evidence clatters out onto the hearth along with him.

by Anonymousreply 17November 20, 2023 5:51 AM

R16 and R17 no, this is a drama, not a comedy.

by Anonymousreply 18November 20, 2023 2:16 PM

So, there can’t be an ancient dinosaur egg in someone’s glass case that overheats, hatches, and runs wild?

That could be dramatic.

by Anonymousreply 19November 20, 2023 8:21 PM

Lady Foxcroft smuggles the crucial clue right under the detectives nose by shoving it up her dusty snatch

by Anonymousreply 20November 20, 2023 8:32 PM

OP, you need a colorful detective, amateur or otherwise. "Inspector Hobson" just isn't going to cut it.

by Anonymousreply 21November 20, 2023 8:56 PM

I agree, R21. OP, I suggest you add a picaresque gardener whom everyone dismisses as the village idiot. Only he's very observant and knows a lot about human nature. He announces the solution at the very beginning, but of course no one believes him. Optional: Inspector Hobson steals his solution and takes credit for solving the case, and our gardener lets him get away with it because he "knows his place" in society and would never dream of getting above himself.

by Anonymousreply 22November 20, 2023 9:09 PM

Work prussic acid into the plot.

by Anonymousreply 23November 20, 2023 9:11 PM

The story needs a sassy black maid teeming with wisdom.

by Anonymousreply 24November 20, 2023 9:19 PM

I want to be smarmy about your efforts, but I can't bring myself to smarm.

I offer only one suggestion: Do not make a gay character the murderer.

by Anonymousreply 25November 20, 2023 9:23 PM

There should be an abortion.

Maybe the nun?

Or the nun performs abortions.

by Anonymousreply 26November 20, 2023 9:23 PM

So, Ten Little Indians with a little Clue and a dash of Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte?

by Anonymousreply 27November 20, 2023 9:25 PM

Needs more sex and gore and the twist at the end. There's always the twist.

by Anonymousreply 28November 20, 2023 9:33 PM

A one-eyed nun performing abortions?

by Anonymousreply 29November 20, 2023 9:35 PM

R27 maybe. How do you get clue out of this?

by Anonymousreply 30November 20, 2023 9:51 PM

[quote]r29 A one-eyed nun performing abortions?

It fits the period. Abortions were dangerous back then.

by Anonymousreply 31November 20, 2023 10:06 PM

[quote]Lord Edgar Elgar is the victim, murdered at the dinner table when the lights go out

Oh, and Murder by Death.

by Anonymousreply 32November 20, 2023 10:42 PM

[quote]Shouldn't "nephew" be in quotation marks? I mean, we've been down this path before...

And shouldn't he called Joel?

by Anonymousreply 33November 20, 2023 11:49 PM

People, people, focus, focus! It's 2023... casting this opus is key.

We need to ask and answer the following... who is the 'T' character? Are any of the characters homosexual? We definitely need some 'color' in the cast, don't we?

So let's think outside the box... maybe Sister Agnes is really, Brother or Father Abner (and the habit hides a lot, like a big dick. Professor Hyde-Whyte... is the character really African or from the Islands (which are part of the British Empire? And he's not white at all. Lady Foxcroft... a lesbian, but forced into marriage when young in order to ensure and inheritance... is she the mother of Reginald?

So many possibilities...

by Anonymousreply 34November 21, 2023 12:20 AM

i'm available.

by Anonymousreply 35November 21, 2023 12:21 AM
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