Sept 07 – Mystery Monday

Write a Mystery or suspense story with this plot line:

“A killer is on the loose, having broken into the home of a wealthy woman and left her for dead. He absconded with a few items, then left the initials, ‘M.A.’”

To mix things up a bit, create a sleuth who is not such a good guy/gal, and a villain who has some amiable traits.  Maybe your detective is a womanizer or is mean to her Mother, and your criminal stoops down to pet puppies.

Also, remember that setting is a vital aspect of mystery.  Root your reader in that chilly Autumn night in New England, or in the sultry late afternoon of Mississippi.  Perhaps the murder occurred at Christmastime, amidst bright colored lights and the aroma of freshly baked cookies.  In all cases, use your five (or six!) senses to make this time and place feel real.

So get writing, for the game is afoot!


Carol Clark is a fiction writer and poet, and enjoys creating flash fiction and short stories in the Literary and Mainstream genres.  She is now trying her hand at Mystery, Speculative fiction and Fantasy.  Carol has worked for (5) years as an Editor with www.EveryDayFiction.com, where she indulges in the pleasure of poring over daily flash submissions in every genre.  Her muses include a feisty charcoal grey cat, gardening, cooking and long walks.

21 thoughts on “Sept 07 – Mystery Monday”

  1. OK, I was stumped for a little while with this one! Sometimes, I’ve really got to think to figure out how a prompt can fit in with the universe I’m playing in this month…part of why I chose fan fiction again…

    What came out might solve the mystery it’s unwise to count a Vulcan to solve a mystery when the ‘clues’ are based on assumptions and a clear lack of evidence.

    The ending made me smile, too….


  2. Ha! I love how everyone is writing ‘mystery is not my strong suit’ and yet so many of you gave it a shot anyway. Trying new things, stretching yourselves…in the best traditions of StoryADay. I salute you all!

  3. I couldn’t do much with this prompt, but since I didn’t write yesterday, I used that prompt, which I loved, instead. (Link posted in comments on Day 6)

    1. I’m with you on the mystery and suspense, not my thing either. I thought there was a hint of Sherlock Holmes in your story, although I was lost with the knife and fork arrangement, maybe because I’m English!

      1. I didn’t spend as much time on my table setting research as I would have liked, so I’m likely a little off on some of it. I didn’t stick with that element enough to see it through. And I thought the prompt was right in Sherlock’s wheelhouse, but I tried to lean on some of my favorite American detectives to help me along.

        1. I enjoyed the banter and the sense of character in your detectives. I also like how you planted the detail about the coin, and the detail about how Shamus caught it. These are the kind of things that make a story sing.

      2. Ah Malcolm, you haven’t experienced the urge of a Brit-in-the-US to judge people harshly for eating with their fork in their right hands (I was raised to be a table-manners snob!!). Americans do indeed stab food with their fork in their right hand, cut it with the knife in the left, then put the knife down, transfer hands and begin eating with the fork in the left, knife on the table. I’ve tried it, but it’s too hard for me to eat without a knife to shovel things onto my fork with!!

        But perhaps in this story, Chris, you just need to trim the language about the silverware, make it tighter and more clear, if you were going to rewrite this piece. I often find that I overwrite details like this in the first draft, and pare them back in a rewrite.

        P. S. Malcolm, in case you’re now tempted to use your arcane US cutlery knowledge in a story, they don’t call it ‘cutlery’ but ‘silverware’, which leads to the delightfully confusing phrase ‘can you bring some plastic silverware?’ 😉

        1. Yes, I think I’ll either cut that out entirely or perhaps refine it so it makes more sense. I don’t know why I rushed through that part, although I have been slow with the writing this month. I *do* hope that picks up.

      1. I think the mystery is more for the police department. The audience gets to be in on it.

        The initials are actually what created the story. Once I saw those and thought of how to tie them to the killer, everything else fell into place.

    1. That’s a very intriguing start to your story. I wouldn’t worry too much about not closely following the prompt. Your title gives a good degree of intrigue and mystery as well. I’m not really into mystery or suspense, so I will struggle as well. The main thing is to write, what you write is a personal thing.

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