Building a Mystery
by Jody Feldman
To my dismay, I got about a dozen-million Barbie dolls for my 7th birthday. To my further dismay, when my friends insisted we play Barbies, they also insisted that the only way to play was to have them go shopping or make dinner or watch the kids. I wanted them to explore caves or hunt for buried treasure or solve unsolvable mysteries.
So, it should be no surprise that my go-to books growing up were in the lane of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, and later, Agatha Christie. Given a choice, I still gravitate toward mysteries and thrillers.
Now that I'm in the midst of writing one, it's all the more that I appreciate the skill it takes to write something taut and surprising with just the right amount of twists. It might be the hardest thing I’ve ever written.
No wonder my friends found it too complicated to play those Barbie games with me.