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The Murder Beats: Structure in Genre Fiction

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For many writers of genre fiction, structuring a book is a real pain point. The Murder Beats solves that problem.

Award-winning author Neil Plakcy has written over fifty novels in mystery and romance, taught college level writing for over twenty years, and lectured at conferences and to writers' groups about the mechanics of writing.

In The Murder Beats, he demystifies many different ways of structuring a book of genre fiction, focusing on element such as beats, scenes, acts, tropes and universal fantasies.

Liberally studded with examples, The Murder Beats can take your nascent manuscript to the next level.

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Bucks County Mysteries: Being John Church

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Jeff Berman is in freefall. He's been denied tenure, then lost his follow-up job as a presenter on the History Channel. But rock bottom comes fast and painful when he learns that the love of his life, the charismatic, passionate, and devastatingly self-destructive Pascal Montrouge, has died. 

At Pascal's funeral, Jeff meets his lover’s parents, who explain that the man Jeff knew was a completely invented identity. As a journalist, Pascal played with facts, and he did the same in his life, where he was the consummate fabulist, fooling everyone a little, and Jeff most of all. 

Distraught and betrayed, Jeff is compelled to dig into the dark secrets of his lover's life. His exploration is part amateur sleuth story, part meditation on the nature of love. As Jeff solves the mystery of Pascal’s life and death he learns how he can move forward into his next chapter. 

A book for everyone who has ever loved and lost.

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The Art of the Deal (Angus Green short story)

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Angus investigates a theft from an art gallery in Miami

I love writing about Angus and art. It gives me an opportunity to create a mystery as well as indulge in my interest in art. And it lets me bring in Lester as well.

Black Cat Weekly is a great venue for mystery short stories. If you haven't checked it out, here's an opportunity for you.

Black Cat Weekly #53

Unruly Son: Mahu Investigations Book 12

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A Missing Mother and Son

A mother and her neurodiverse teen-aged son are missing in one of the parks surrounding Honolulu, and homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka must use his knowledge of the landscape, and of human nature, to tackle this case, with more twists and turns than a mountain trail.

Pressure mounts from civic and tourism leaders, as well as the news media. Kimo must confront old adversaries as he negotiates tricky questions. What does it mean to be a parent? How can you protect your children while at same time preparing them to be free someday?

The heart and warmth of Kimo’s ohana will provide the answers in this thrilling new mystery from an award-winning author.

Buy for Kindle or in print.