Evelyn Cullet has been an aspiring author since high school when she enjoyed writing short stories. She began her first novel while attending college later in life, and while working in the offices of a major soft drink company. After taking early retirement, she finally has the chance to write full time. As a life-long mystery buff, she's a former member of the Agatha Christie Society, and is a current member of Sisters in Crime. When she's not reading mysteries, reviewing them or writing them, she enjoys playing the piano, is an amateur Lapidary, and an organic gardener.
Check out her guest post below:
As a long-time member of the Agatha Christie Society, I have to admit that after reading all her novels, and discussing them, she did influence my writing in that her amateur detectives witness or hear of a crime, feel responsible for solving it, know the people involved, are lead astray by various red herrings, and in the end, use their "little gray cells" as Poirot would say, to put all the information together and solve it.
My underlying story structure is basically the same as Dame Agatha's--a cozy mystery--that is, a close-knit group of suspects all with motive. No gory, graphic description of the murder, and no explicit sex scenes. On the other hand, I can't help putting in more action and suspense, a little humor, and a hefty dose of romance.
In a great mystery, I look for a solid plot. Because I'm playing a kind of game when I read a mystery, plot has to come first, above everything else. I enjoy a good plot twist or two, and I like the challenge of solving the crime before the detective does, and the pleasure of knowing that everything will come together in the end. Another facet I look for is if the author has done his/her research. I like to feel the author knows what he/she's talking about and has gotten all essential details right. And finally, I have to like, relate to, or at least admire the major characters. I want to care about the people in the story, so they must be interesting and believable, and their actions have to make sense.
These are only a few aspects I look for in a great mystery, but I think they are pretty universal to all mystery readers, and to all who write mysteries.
Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, Wendi. It's been fun.
Thank you, Evelyn, for sharing more about Masterpiece of Murder with us!
If you want to know more about Evelyn and where you can pick up your own copy of her brand new mystery novel, check out her official website here, follow her on Twitter, or stop by Amazon.
Also, be sure to stop by here and enter the giveaway to receive two free copies of Masterpiece of Murder! Happy Friday everyone!