Crime News: Exquisite, Dagger

Here’s your chance to get involved in a new crowd-sourced murder-mystery novel.

Every Monday at 11am, from June to August, a new chapter of Exquisite Corpse — or How Not To Kill Your Neighbours — will be uploaded to Twitter. All you have to do is fill in the details at @exquisitecopy or use #exquisitecopy.

All the different details and descriptions and whatnot will then be edited together by authors such as Simon Kernick, Matt Haig and Vanessa Gebbie.

Here’s Stella Duffy‘s first chapter…

Loughborough Junction: a local newsagent’s hasn’t opened its doors for days. The shopkeeper is missing. [Twitter: give us some descriptions – of the newsagent’s, the local area, and the shopkeeper (who is MALE)]. Rumour is rife.

Introducing Elizabeth (Beth) Lamb, local artist and our heroine [what does she look like? Quirks, interests, etc – the more detail the better].

Beth decides to look into the disappearance – she’s enterprising like that, and anyway where will everyone get their fags, booze and lottery tickets?

A local homeless man gives his theory on what happened [the wackier the better – why would you do away with a shopkeeper?].

Beth scans the window for clues about the shopkeeper’s life – everyone knows him but no one knows what he does when he’s not running the shop. [What’s in the shop? Feel free to send pictures as well as words.] And then:

A notice about dancing lessons at the local Anglican church in Brixton, with a hand-written note from someone suggesting they know each other – maybe intimately?? [Insert message here]Beth decides to go into Brixton to find out more.

The novel is part of the Southbank Centre‘s Festival of Neighbourhood, and will be published as an e-book later in the year. For more information, go here.

By the way, congratulations to the authors who have been named on the 2013 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, which was announced on Friday. Every single author has been shortlisted before, and the list includes three winners.

So this year’s shortlist is:

The Heretics by Rory Clements (John Murray)
Pilgrim Soul by Gordon Ferris (Corvus)
The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson (Headline)
Dead Men and Broken Hearts by Craig Russell (Quercus)
The Twelfth Department by William Ryan (Mantle)
The Scent of Death by Andrew Taylor (HarperCollins)

If you were wondering, the definition of a historical novel for the purposes of this award is one set over 35 years ago. Tickets for the reception and CWA Gala Awards Dinner are already on sale – you can get them here.

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