They Fight Crime! How to Write the Amateur Sleuth

They Fight Crime! How to Write the Amateur Sleuth

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Miss Marple is just a nosy old lady. Lord Peter Wimsey is a bored one-percenter. Jessica Fletcher is seriously procrastinating on book deadlines, not chasing down criminals. From cozy to psychological suspense, readers can’t get enough of regular people taking on crime. How do writers craft amateur sleuths with the drive, the skill, and the time to catch murderers in their spare time? Lori will talk about reader expectations for these stories, how to think about what the story needs to succeed, and why amateurs are so popular with readers.


Lori Rader-Day is the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony Award- and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author of Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She co-chairs the mystery conference Murder and Mayhem in Chicago and serves as the national president of Sisters in Crime. Her new book is The Lucky One, set in a true-crime amateur online sleuth community.

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