Mystery Writing in a Nutshell: The World’s Most Concise Guide to Mystery & Suspense Writing

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!

+ + + + +


“In the minimalist tradition of Walter Mosley’s This Year You Write Your Novel, you’ll find that Mystery Writing in a Nutshell packs a lot of punch per page. As a veritable checklist for what a story should cover. . .”
–American Society of Journalists and Authors

“The result of John and Andrew McAleer’s collaboration is a slim, readable book (Mystery Writing in a Nutshell) that will guide anyone in the right direction and help them avoid the pitfalls if they just read it before sitting down to write. It is so full of good advice that one wonders how they managed to make it so concise.”
—Midwest Book Review

“Simple and straightforward. The nuts and bolts of mystery writing.” –Kirkus
“. . .short nuggets of good advice. . .”
—Mystery Scene

“Excellent. Chock full of great ideas.”

“In Mystery Writing in a Nutshell John and Andrew McAleer provide a roadmap as well as a collective wealth of information for the writer (or reader) of mystery.”
—Poisoned Pen Classic Crimes

“Andrew McAleer’s Mystery Writing in a Nutshell is like brainstorming with a smart and savvy writing pal.”
—Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha Award-winning author of the Charley McNally novels

“After all these years, I still learned a few things myself from these pages. I’m sure you will too.”
—Edward D. Hoch

“Like father, like son, is, in this case, a very good thing. Mystery Writing in a Nutshell combines the best of both McAleers, and is first rate.”
—Robert B. Parker, New York Times best-selling author of the Spenser and Jesse Stone novels

“Erudite. The most practical and thorough book on crime writing ever written. John and Andrew McAleer’s Mystery Writing in a Nutshell is the Strunk and White of the genre.”
—Robin Moore, New York Times best-selling author of The French Connection

“John and Andrew McAleer share their collective wealth of information on the nuts and bolts of creating the ultimate page-turner. Suspense, structure, character development, voice—Mystery Writing in a Nutshell has it all. A staple for the established and aspiring crime writer.”
—Margaret McLean, Under Oath

“John and Andrew McAleer’s Mystery Writing in a Nutshell provides an essential roadmap to the path of mystery publication. The Write Stuff for every crime writer’s toolkit!”
—Kris Neri, award-winning author of Never Say Die

+ + + + +

Amazon (Kindle Edition)