Isle of Murderers man is not guilty but everyone else on the island is a killer
…The idea of taking a fall for someone is not new, but getting inside the mind of someone who gets paid a million dollars to sit on death row until his conviction is overturned is not an overdone trope. What does he do when he gets out? Is he free? If not, does he resent that and respond in a well-thought out vengeance, perhaps arranging for his boss to get put away. Does he head off to Cuba or the Caribbean and realize after a few months that nearly everyone around him in the nice houses is escaping something? The main character could be guilty in the reader’s mind all along, then found innocent, then it turns out he’s complicit in the murder for taking the payoff. Or he’s innocent, and we watch a detective prove him innocent, who then finds out he’s had a big payoff after he gets out… and that means the mystery is not solved.
Scientist explores famous Voynich document: is it Da Vinci’s kid’s coloring book or the secrets of a master secret society?
- The Voynich Mystery is a Mystery loosely based on the real thing. An Italian manuscript carbon-dated to the 15th Century is full of pictures of planets, drawings and text using an unknown writing system. Codebreakers and others have tried to break the Voynich’s code, but have not succeeded. Our protagonist finds a 15th Century key to the code and it reveals… well, you have to fill in the rest. The mystery could reveal something about the Church or the Italian nobility. Agents and publishers have longed for another The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, and this mystery could be written in a similar manner.
The haunting tale of the Mary Celeste and how a ghost ship stopped a suicide
- The Tale of the Mary Celeste is a Mystery or Thriller that uses the truth as a starting point. The ship was found in 1872 adrift without any crew. No one has ever found the truth about it, although officials at the time suspected the ship’s crew that salvaged the Mary Celeste were lying. The book could be written as a straight historical tale or maybe this: a depressed woman about to commit suicide sees a bottle with a message written inside. The message is written in some sort of language she doesn’t understand, or maybe it’s a code, and she’s intrigued enough to abandon her suicide and go off in search of the answer to what she has found. Following the clues, she finds out what happened to the Mary Celeste and in the course of of her journey finds a reason to live. Maybe it’s the people she meets along the way or the things she discovers about the past.
Abe Lincoln’s Secret Diary is revealed by the ghost of a White House chambermaid
- The Secret of the White House Ghosts as a Mystery or Commercial Fiction. People love a good ghost story and there are many tales about president’s families and staff seeing ghosts of former presidents and staff in the White House. I saw an agent on Jan. 24 #MSWL looking for a mystery about such a ghost and realized this idea has a lot of potential. Abe Lincoln revealing the location of his secret diary? A staff person who kept an intimate journal of his affair with a First Lady then hid it under a floorboard? A ghost who reveals a secret room full of U.S. and presidential secrets? Maybe this is a series.
Croatoan, the story of an upper class woman’s journey into savagery
- The Vanished Colony is a Mystery. In 1587, British settlers built a village on Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina. When John White returned to look for his family three years later, the entire colony was gone. Only the word “Croatoan” was carved into a wooden post. This book would follow John White as he searches for the wife or daughter, thinking at first they were murdered and then that they might have gone to live with native Americans. This could also be Women’s Fiction, Literary or Commercial Fiction. It could be YA if the focus is on one of the missing youths.
- More good Mystery and Thriller book ideas are coming soon.