menu

Murder Mystery Story Ideas


Creating a great murder mystery means taking the classic elements that readers expect, then adding new twists and interesting characters. The genre includes time-tested themes that you can expand upon.

Revenge
Man plotting a scenario

Imagine Sue and Bill are deeply in love, but Sue carries a deep and dark hurt. Bill comes to hate the person that hurt her--so much so that he plots to kills that person.

Envy
Fictional businessmen at odds

Anthony and Phil were both hired five years ago, but Phil has gotten two promotions and is dating the girl Anthony loves. Phil suddenly comes into a large inheritance and proposes to his girlfriend. Anthony can’t take it anymore, and here starts your story.

Murder for Love
fictional woman plotting

Timothy spends all his time caring for his crippled son. (His wife died in the accident that crippled the son.) He tells Janice, who’s in love with him, that he doesn’t have time for a relationship. She feels her only option is to kill the son.

Murder for Money
fictional brothers planning

Shane and Sam are two sons in a wealthy family. The father is about to die and tells them he’s giving them each half his fortune. The problem is, Shane needs all of it to pay off his gambling debt.

Murder to Save Another
Serious man in car on the phone

Picture a man named Eric who has worked for the FBI for 15 years. He pulls up to the school on a Wednesday, but his son never comes out. Soon he receives a call and learns he must murder his boss to get his son back alive.

About the Author

Kristen James began writing at an early age in 1992 and was soon submitting novels to publishers. Now she has three published novels including "The River People," owns Bravado Publishing and is a staff editor for "Kype Magazine." Her articles appear on eHow, Happy News and Big Whiskey Journal. James graduated from Umpqua Community College and studied creative writing at Southern Oregon University.

Photo Credits
  • Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images