No I haven’t googled any how- to-write-a-murder-mystery articles, but I did have a great conversation over it at breakfast that got me thinking.
Dream big…. I’m reverse engineering this baby from a multiple book series that gets turned into a TV series and licenced around the world to be recreated/inspired by internationally.
Setting and protagonist were the discussion topics at breakfast.
Is the setting big city or small community? If it’s small town, is sea or tree?
Is the protagonist in law enforcement/legal fraternity, or an amateur? Are they established in the community or new to this place? Are they good at solving crimes or bad at it and manage to solve it in spite or themselves, or have a great sidekick?
There are pros and cons to all of these options and successful permutations out there to back up my point, plenty of research to do.
If I’m looking at this from a series perspective, book &/or TV, does the out-of-control-cover-up aspect work? Can that happen every single book or week on the telly? I can’t rule it out straight away, look how many people die around Midsomer and the tiny island setting of Death in Paradise. If the characters and story are strong the repetition will become part of the attraction.
Perhaps the dark comedy aspect I see in the bumbling could be a feature of the protagonist or their sidekick.
Another option I thought of was to have the protagonist not come from the police/legal world, but to have them be involved as a target or perhaps the accidental baddy in the first story. After getting themselves out of that situation they choose to, or gain a reputation as the go to person when you get caught in a sticky situation or have a mystery you need solved.