How To Write Killer Historical Mysteries: The Art and Adventure of Sleuthing Through the Past Paperback

How To Write Killer Historical Mysteries: The Art and Adventure of Sleuthing Through the Past Paperback

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Emerson, author of the Lady Appleton and Diana Spaulding mystery series, turns her hand to how it’s done in this useful guide to writing historical crime fiction. Drawing on her own works and those of her fellow historical-mystery writers (Kerry Greenwood, Alan Gordon, Carola Dunn, and others), she lays out, in commonsense sequence, the stages of planning and writing a historical mystery. Chapters on choosing setting and character, research, crafting a plot, and selling your book offer much of the same information as similar chapters in other how-to books for mystery writers, but the information is nicely tailored for this particular genre.

The core of the book is Emerson’s personal take on writing and selling historical mysteries, but it also includes contributions from over forty other historical mystery writers ―practical advice, anecdotes, and suggestions for research―and input from assorted editors, booksellers, and reviewers. For both historical mystery writers and readers.


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Emerson, author of the Lady Appleton and Diana Spaulding mystery series, turns her hand to how it’s done in this useful guide to writing historical crime fiction. Drawing on her own works and those of her fellow historical-mystery writers (Kerry Greenwood, Alan Gordon, Carola Dunn, and others), she lays out, in commonsense sequence, the stages of planning and writing a historical mystery. Chapters on choosing setting and character, research, crafting a plot, and selling your book offer much of the same information as similar chapters in other how-to books for mystery writers, but the information is nicely tailored for this particular genre.

Editorial Reviews



From Booklist


Emerson, author of the Lady Appleton and Diana Spaulding mystery series, turns her hand to how it’s done in this useful guide to writing historical crime fiction. Drawing on her own works and those of her fellow historical-mystery writers (Kerry Greenwood, Alan Gordon, Carola Dunn, and others), she lays out, in commonsense sequence, the stages of planning and writing a historical mystery. Chapters on choosing setting and character, research, crafting a plot, and selling your book offer much of the same information as similar chapters in other how-to books for mystery writers, but the information is nicely tailored for this particular genre. Published writers probably won’t find much here that they don’t already know, but budding historical novelists will discover a wealth of helpful tips and may want to keep a notebook handy to jot them down. The book finds its niche and fills it well. --David Pitt

About the Author


Kathy Lynn Emerson is the author of over fifty works of fiction and nonfiction written under the names Kathy Lynn Emerson, Kaitlyn Dunnett, Kate Emerson, and Kaitlyn Gorton. Many of them reflect her interest in life in sixteenth-century England and she maintains a series of mini-biographies online as “A Who’s Who of Tudor Women.” She won the Agatha award for mystery nonfiction for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries: The Art and Adventure of Sleuthing Through the Past. Currently she writes the Liss MacCrimmon Scottish-American Heritage Mystery series (Ho-Ho-Homicide, 2014) as Kaitlyn Dunnett and as Kathy Lynn Emerson writes the Mistress Jaffrey Mysteries (Murder in the Queen’s Wardrobe, 2015), featuring Elizabethan gentlewoman, sleuth, and spy Rosamond Jaffrey. For more information, visit Kathy's webpages at KathyLynnEmerson.com

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