Twenty Rules For Writing Detective Stories

A bit of a diversion from our normal schedule of science fiction, but this is too good not to share. Futility Closet has posted a list of twenty rules that an aspiring writer of detective stories must abide by, originally collated by S.S. Van Dine in 1928.

My favourite:

“7. There simply must be a corpse in a detective novel, and the deader the corpse the better. No lesser crime than murder will suffice. Three hundred pages is far too much pother for a crime other than murder. After all, the reader’s trouble and expenditure of energy must be rewarded.”

Marvelous.