While visiting my folks in Santa Monica a few weeks back, my mom gave me a few of her mystery novels. Among them was The James Joyce Murder, by Amanda Cross. I’d read Cross’ Death in a Tenured Position years ago, but had forgotten than she’d penned a book about Joyce. How fun! Eagerly, I started the novel that first night of my visit.
a photo of my copy of the book
Half way through, I was wondering where the heck the murder was. These days—or so we aspiring mystery writers are told in no uncertain terms by those who deem themselves qualified to give advice to aspiring mystery writers—the murder must occur within the first chapter. And within the first few pages is even better.