Youdunit Whodunit! How to Write Mysteries

Youdunit Whodunit by Nicola Furlong Improve your writing today with YOUDUNIT WHODUNIT!, a short and practical how-to guide to CRAFTING mystery stories.

“Nicola Furlong has written a fun, engaging ‘how to’ book about writing mysteries. She is witty, thorough and she certainly knows what she’s talking about.”

(Maureen Jennings, author of the DETECTIVE MURDOCH series and co-producer of MURDOCH MYSTERIES, the successful spin-off TV series.)

Buy on Youdunit Whodunit!

Buy on Youdunit Whodunit!



This e-book offers simple tricks and techniques, supported by concrete examples, which you can apply immediately to novels, short stories, screenplays, radio dramas or television scripts.

Covers specific writing essentials, including:


  • Key Elements of a Three-Act Tragedy
  • Beginnings with a Bang
  • Into the Belly of the Middle Ground
  • Nailing Endings


  • Picking Points of View
  • Concocting Major, Secondary and Minor Characters
  • Dialogue Ditties


  • To Plot or Not to Plot
  • @#% Ideas
  • Twists and Turns
  • Gotta Have Pace
  • Kicking up Suspense
  • Clues and Red Herrings
  • Flashbacks and Transitions
  • Types and Styles of Mysteries


STRUCTURE: Chapter 2: Hit ‘Em Early, Hit ‘Em Hard

Hook and shock your audience by rocketing straight to the main crime or another crime so something important is happening, has just happened or will just happen.

Set up the central plot problem (e.g., kidnapping or murder) or a major plot problem (like a stolen artefact or a missing person). This forces your villain forward; there’s no turning back.

CLUES: Chapter 18: Is That A Clue Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Clues are the traces of guilt left behind by culprit. A good clue will eventually point in the right direction but initially seems to point in the wrong direction, or it means something different than expected, or it points nowhere.

Earl Stanley Gardner described clues as sequences; in other words, he suggested that a clue is a succession or series of related events. The succession of related events may occur close together or many pages or chapters apart.


“… a snappy guide that effectively covers the bases for the beginning mystery writer. You’ll pick up useful insights into plot, character, point of view, suspense and so much more. The many tips should also help you find your unique style. If anything will kick start your first foray into crime writing, this great little resource will. I sure wish it had been around when I waded blindly into writing.”

(Mary Jane Maffini - author of the Camilla MacPhee, Fiona Silk and Charlotte Adams mysteries.)

“…This crash course in mystery writing is as jam packed with gems… For those starting out, or for authors who want to keep their writing on track, YW has twenty-two chapters in three basic innings: Structure, Character, and Story. With a wealth of pithy examples taken from selective authors, she cuts to the chase…” (Lou Allin,

“…a brief but savvy overview of writing mysteries…text is written in and clear conversational and reader-friendly style…good for those new to mystery writing and…for more experienced writers. And, besides covering the requisite need-to-know information, there are frequent helpful tips…would buy it again, if I lost it…highly recommended.” (William Polm,

“A brisk, informative read for new-comers to the mystery genre.” (J. Rosemary Ross,”>

Buy on Youdunit Whodunit!

Buy on Youdunit Whodunit!

As you may be aware, reviews are the lifeblood for sales for indie authors like myself. If you appreciate my mysterious little primer, please consider posting a review on Amazon, GoodReads, etc.) to let others know. Reviews GREATLY help my sales. Thank you!