Add Killer Mistakes Your Readers Will Love

Howcatchems and Killer Mistakes In Demystifying the Beats, we broadly define two different “types” of mysteries: Whodunits and Howcatchems. The beats for the two types of mysteries stay the same. The Howcatchem is an inverted mystery. The reader/viewer know, usually from the beginning, who committed the crime, and the villain and sleuth play a cat … Read more

Is a Big Mistake a Fast Fail?

“Commissioner, I believe you’re making a mistake here, sir…” “Don’t be ridiculous. I saw it, I tell you… There were no other witnesses.” “Columbo” A Friend in Deed (TV Episode 1974) Demystifying the Beats: Fast Fail“A Friend Indeed” (1974), is one of my favorite Columbo episodes. And it makes a great illustration for one of … Read more

Better Whittle Suspects – A Friend Indeed

Demystifying the Beats: Whittle Suspects “But there’re a couple of things that don’t add up.” “Like what?” “Well, for one thing, the fingerprints.” “Come on, come on, Columbo. There were no fingerprints!” “That’s what I mean, sir.” “Columbo” A Friend in Deed (TV Episode 1974) “A Friend Indeed,” is one of my favorite Columbo episodes. … Read more

Howcatchem Mysteries

Flashlight spotlighting "Howcatchem"

An awkward made-up word that doesn’t really help explain what it means, but the HowCatch’em—or inverted mystery—is the counterpoint to the classic WhoDunIt. In a WhoDunIt, the sleuth and the reader come into the mystery not knowing who committed the crime. As the sleuth gathers clues and puts together the mystery puzzle, they carry along … Read more

Sneak peek of what’s coming this October

Coming October 2022 a clue to writing a killer mystery

Is writing your mystery novel a mystery? Well, don’t fear. The ultimate guide to crafting that mystery work of yours is coming out this October! (Which means, a pre-order is coming soon.) Three years in the making and a collaborative effort from all of us to help you, mystery writers, we couldn’t resist a little … Read more