A basic decision before starting to write a mystery series is choosing the protagonist. I decided not to take a policeman or private detective as my main character, and now I have to live with that decision.
I didn’t try to write about a policeman or PI because I don’t know anything about those professions. That hasn’t stopped many others, some of whom have written good stories either based on what everyone knows these days from movies and television or simply ignoring realism and emphasizing other qualities, like atmosphere, quirky personalities, etc.
I thought it was sensible to make my hero a biochemist, since I would know something about his work, but I might have changed my mind if I had thought ahead. There’s no problem building one murder mystery around a scientist, but by the third murder/suspense plot the probability of all these things happening to one guy who spends most of his time in a laboratory plummets. In the fourth book, I find myself downplaying the adventure for the sake of making the plot more plausible, which is clearly not a good way to go.
A friend who has read a draft of book number four thinks that plausibility shouldn’t be a major concern; the reader is looking for an interesting story and characters and is willing to suspend disbelief in a good cause. I hope she’s right.
1.The Wish to Kill
2. Murder with a French Accent
3. Mystery Time
4. Death of a Gypsy