Planting red herrings

Red herrings, unlike twists in the tale, are simply false trails which are designed to lead you down a proverbial blind alley. Each suspect is furnished in turn with an alibi and there is an element of challenge involved whereby the reader is being invited to unravel the mystery.

For example, Sally is initially the obvious choice for Mark's murderer but can be eliminated by a helpfully detailed pathologist's report.

This leaves us with the standard murder mystery question: 'if she didn't kill him, who did?' Nick, our next most obvious suspect, is released by the police, leaving us free to send the reader off on a number of false trails before the resolution of the mystery in the final chapter.

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