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This topic came up before, but in my first attempt to write a mystery, the first 100 pages focus on developing the romance, although there are clues along the way to what in retropspect is part of the solution.  But the reader does not know that.

Then the latter 160 pages is the obvious murder (previously a murder was certified as an overdose, but not know until later), and the solving of it by the team of lovers.

I thought it was a failure because it was not a true mystery.  Is it pretty much doomed because the murder and investigation doesn't truly begin until 100 pages into it?  What is ideal?

Dave Freas:
Most mysteries have the crime - whatever it is - happen fairly early in the book, usually by the second or third chapter at the latest and add romance and other sub-plots later in the story.

Romances on the other hand bring the male and female leads into the story in the first chapter then add the mystery or other story lines later.

It sounds to me like what you have is a romance with a murder sub-plot, not a murder with a romance sub-plot.  I'd look at my story line if I were you and see if I could shuffle the elements around so that the book opens with the mystery.

Hope this helps.


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