Question by Brett H: Writing a Murder Mystery, what do you think so far?
The first chapter is not even two pages (typed) but I wanted you to get a strong sense of feeling for the main character and a foreshadow of the plot. Would you mind reading my first chapter, tell me your thoughts, and if it leaves you wanting to read more.

Thank you for taking a few moments out of your day and helping me. I apprciate it very much.


B O A R D G A M E , U S A
by Brett Hartel


Isabelle Cam stood proud and small at a measly five feet, four inches and one third. She talked like she walked and she walked with attitude. The twenty-two year old, out of work, private investigator kept her hair pulled tight in a high ponytail which bounced at a rhythmic beat matching her stride. She stepped into her car, keyed on the ignition, and pushed her foot to the accelerator speeding off to a destination that could change her life. It would be a matter of hours before Isabelle Cam set foot in small town BoardGame, USA.

Isabelle had dreamed of being a private investigator since her fourth birthday when she watched a television show about a man solving crimes with unusual instruments and chemical kits. The sleuthing and the danger the man put himself into was more than just entertainment to her, it stimulated the tips of her fingers to the core of her brain. Fate had brought her only one path to which her heart had no choice but to follow; the path of a private investigator.

When her mother would misplace the car keys, Isabelle would interrogate her poor mother to tears and look for clues until the keys were found. She was sent home from school countless times for interrupting class, advisor meetings, and study halls trying to solve classmates’ cases of missing pencils, hairclips and whatnots. In all her efforts to become the best private investigator the world has ever been graced with, Isabelle seemed to do more harm than good. When she finally graduated from high school and started private investigating full-time, she quickly learned that nobody wanted to pay for her services. She wanted to be a crime fighter but her hometown knew her as the ‘crime starter’.

‘Crime starter’ lost her job at a bakery after trying to solve the ‘case of the missing doughnut’ and completely ignoring the work she was getting paid to do. She turned, for support, to the one person who always believed in her abilities and gave her reasoning to continue her dream of private investigating, her grandmother, Susan, who was nicknamed by the world as ‘Old Lady Cam’.

Talking on the telephone, her grandmother spoke, “Isabee, I think it’s time you leave the petty crime area for good.”

“But grandma,” astonished Isabelle spoke, “I can’t. I love private investigating.”

“You need to leave petty crime for something more honorable that will start your career and I know of such a place.”


“It is time you come for a prolonged visit and live with your grandmother in BoardGame, USA.”

“I love you grandma but you know what I think of BoardGame. A town designed around an actual board game is ridiculous. No thank you.”

“Fifty years ago Winston Lore was murdered but the murderer was never found. For anyone to solve his murder would be, in fact, quite famous.”

“You think I would be able to solve Winston Lore’s murder? And after fifty years?”

“I do. And another reason, besides spending time with your Old Lady Cam, the Lore family is still offering its entire fortune to anyone who knows the truth about what happened to Winston Lore.”

“That has to be millions by now.”

“I was chatting with his sickly nephew, Winston, named after his grandfather, and their fortune slightly exceeds ninety-six million.”

“Why would they pay so much?”

“Winston said to me, ‘terrarum orbis baro’ which is Latin and he said it roughly translates to ‘family above all else’; a saying that holds the Lore family tightly together.”

The simple conversation is what set Isabelle’s hair into a rhythmic beat and led to her speeding toward BoardGame, USA with much excitement; as one would when they are about to become a player in a board game.


Best answer:

Answer by Agnes
Sounds good to me so far. Keep writing, really get to know your characters. You have to be them when your writing for them. One little thing though, would one be able to become a PI by 22? What about college, university and training? Keep up the good work!

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