Saturday, June 23, 2012

Evil Editor Classics

Guess the Plot

Murder 101: Intro- duction to Death

1. Belinda wants to take “Murder 345: Icepicks”, but she’s missing a prerequisite. Will they waive it if she kills the Albanian groutman who’s been servicing her?

2. A college psychology professor attempts to keep the evil side of his dual personality a secret from his students, but when he morphs into a panther during his lecture on sexual fantasies, the cat's out of the bag.

3. Twins Lottie and Trudy were working together to solve a murder at Florida State--until friction developed when they both fell for hunky homicide detective Mark Hardigan.

4. A handicapped professor of religious studies at Notre Dame plots the murder of a student he believes to be the Antichrist.

5. When pretty girls start dying in ways similar to the characters in novels they're reading in Literary Theory class, Kansas State freshman Cassie Wilson starts to wonder about her classmates.

6. Aaron Acker never expected his humorous novel to be a bestseller, and he REALLY didn't expect crowds to show up at his doorstep, wanting his autograph, writings tips--and quite possibly his life.

Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

When Claire Daley, a visiting alumna, is thrown off a balcony at Florida State University, professor Lottie Naylor [Anagram: Tony Orlando.] knows she shouldn’t get involved. After all, the dean’s fed up with her constant distractions, and she’s got enough trouble just keeping herself off the unemployment line. But a student, Patrice, is accused of the murder, and she believes Lottie’s famous intuition can solve the case. [Or at the very least, come up with her last name. "I have no idea who killed Claire, but I have a feeling your last name is Popovich. Patrice Popovich.] [Lottie's intuition is so famous, they're making a TV series about all the cases she solves. At the end of each episode she calls all the suspects into her living room, serves them cookies, and then says, "You did it, Jane Marstairs!" Jane breaks into sobbing and confesses. Then the cops ask Lottie how she knew, and Lottie says, "I just had a feeling."] ["I just had a feeling" is her end-of-the-episode catch phrase, like "Book'm, Dano" on Hawaii 5-0. She always looks directly into the camera when she says I just had a feeling. Then she winks.] [The show will be titled, Murder, She Felt.]

With the help of her spiky-haired twin, Trudy (who won’t take “butt out” for an answer), Lottie digs into the lives of her friends and colleagues: [Shouldn't she be digging into the lives of Claire Daley's friends and colleagues, instead of her own?] lecherous professor Huck Patterson; [A lecherous professor named Huck? Wonder what the women call him.] [Huck didn't do it; too obvious. He's the one we're supposed to think did it.] image-obsessed Dean Charles Whitney; [He didn't do it; he's needed as the foil in the sequel.] sad-eyed security guard Carlos Ortega; [No motive. Plus, if you make the Latino guy guilty, you'll need to find a new lawn guy.] and Daryl Crain, creepy student and perennial loser at love. [He did it. He's been harboring a grudge against Claire since he was ten years old and she refused to let him go near her daughter.] [Oops, I should have given a spoiler alert. Oh well, it's not like I know for certain that Daryl did it. I just have a feeling.] Working together begins to heal a rift between the twins, but that changes when they set their sights on the same man: homicide detective Mark Hardigan. [Seriously? Hardigan? You may as well go all the way and change his first name to Dick.] [I typed "Evil Editor" into the porn star name generator and it gave me Lex Cream. Then, just as an experiment, I typed in Dick Hardcock. It returned Sergeant Diggler.] Tension rises as Lottie tries to pin down both the murderer and Hardigan’s heart.

Before she knows it, Lottie’s in deep [I think you mean Dick's in deep.] -- pursued by the killer, battling her twin, and drawn into a web of lies ten years old. When she uncovers a decade-old murder made to look like a suicide, she realizes Claire was killed as revenge for that death. But did Claire’s murderer hit the right target? Or is there still another killer on the loose? [No wonder Lottie is famous for her intuition, if she correctly guesses that Claire was killed as revenge for a 10-year-old murder she didn't even commit.]

Murder 101: Introduction to Death is a cozy mystery of 65,000 words with series potential. [Do Lottie and Trudy fight over a different detective each book? Wait, Lottie wins Hardigan's heart in book 1, but in book 2, Trudy pretends to be Lottie and seduces Hardigan! Yes, I know it's been done to death, but when book 3 comes out and Hardigan talks Lottie into a three-way with Trudy, you'll be setting new sales records. I just have a feeling.] I have enclosed the first five pages. May I send you a partial or full manuscript? Thank you very much for your time and consideration.



It seems unlikely a visiting alumna would be wanted dead by the dean, a security guard, a professor, and two students. Well-done if you managed to give all of them believable motives.

What are these constant distractions the dean is fed up with? Is Lottie constantly walking into the office of the dean of a major university to report what her intuition tells her? 

Selected Comments

Anonymous said...Does anyone else find "Guess the Plot" suggestion #4 strangely compelling?

Rei said...I do. I could easily picture it with a creepy title like "I Have Such A Pretty Gun".

bonniers said...I find #4 highly ingriguing, too. Hmmmmm. I would buy this book if I ran across it on the shelves when I was looking for a mystery.
udvad said...I'm another vote for #4 as an awesome story idea. The actual plot outlined in the query sounds neat, too.

1 comment:

AlaskaRavenclaw said...

I guess the selected comments explain why the handicapped villain has been with us for so long, at least fictionally. It suggests that much of the reading public rushes to open the door for a handicapped person IRL while secretly believing he or she is at best a murderer and at worst Dr. Strangelove.

In other news, isn't a "cozy" generally a mystery set in an English village with a vicar and a church fete?