Build Your Own Mystery

An armchair sits in a dark room, facing a cracked doorway out of which bright light spills in jagged shapes. A hand emerges from the armchair, holding a pipe, out of which smoke drifts across the room, intersecting with the beams of light. Around this, red blocky words read: BUILD YOUR OWN MYSTERY

Have you ever dreamed of being the next Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or of joining the ranks of contemorary mystery-writers like Tana French, John Grisham, and Natsuo Kirino?  Look no futher!  In this Mystery Making Machine, you'll generate your very own mystery, including plot, characters, and more.


 

INSTRUCTIONS:

As you click through our mystery machine, you'll fill out a story at the bottom of the page, so make sure you click each button (once, twice, or using your lucky number!), and then scroll down to find an entirely new mystery plot.  We hope it's a good one!

 

Part One: Broad Strokes

What's the mystery's tone?

What's the central object of the mystery, and what happened to it?

 

And where does this story take place?

 

Part Two: Our Hero

Now we've got the big stuff out of the way.  Now, we need some characters!  First we'll need a name for our hero.

 

What kind of person are they?

And what do they do (up until they take on this mystery, of course)?

 

Part Three: Other Characters

What story would be complete without a great sidekick and a formidable villain? Let's build a sidekick first.

 

And now for the villain. We're going to need a memorable name.

 

 

That's it! Scroll down to see your mystery.

 

 

 

Your Story:

In this new mystery, a(n)  named  takes up sleuthing to solve the case of the .  To solve the puzzle, our hero must hunt for clues throughout , with the help of trusty sidekick .  But can the team solve the mystery before strikes again?

 

Congrats! You've built your own mystery.

If you're not satisfied with your answers, you can randomize each piece until it's perfect! Just re-click the items above - or add in your own mystery items.


 

Now you've built your own mystery, it's time to write your own award-winning mystery novel!  Or you can do what we do, and leave it to the pros.  Either way, make sure to check out our collection of recommended mystery below!  We've got great titles for reading on the beach - or for inspiring you for stories of your own.  For even more mystery books, check out the Edgar Awards.

Happy reading!

 

Later By Stephen King Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781789096491
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hard Case Crime - March 2nd, 2021

The Consequences of Fear: A Maisie Dobbs Novel By Jacqueline Winspear Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062868022
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Harper - March 23rd, 2021

We Begin at the End By Chris Whitaker Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250759665
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - March 2nd, 2021

When the Stars Go Dark: A Novel By Paula McLain Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593237892
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Ballantine Books - April 13th, 2021

While Justice Sleeps: A Novel By Stacey Abrams Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385546577
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Doubleday - May 11th, 2021

Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525620785
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Del Rey - June 30th, 2020

Win By Harlan Coben Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781538748213
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 16th, 2021

Northern Spy: A Novel By Flynn Berry Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735224995
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Viking - April 6th, 2021

The Sanatorium: A Novel By Sarah Pearse Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593296677
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - February 2nd, 2021

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The Guest List: A Novel By Lucy Foley Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062868930
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: William Morrow - June 2nd, 2020

Transient Desires: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery By Donna Leon Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802158178
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - March 9th, 2021

The Only Good Indians: A Novel By Stephen Graham Jones Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781982136468
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - January 26th, 2021

2034: A Novel of the Next World War By Elliot Ackerman, Admiral James Stavridis, USN Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781984881250
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Penguin Press - March 9th, 2021

The Silent Patient By Alex Michaelides Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250301703
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Celadon Books - May 4th, 2021

A Gambling Man (An Archer Novel) By David Baldacci Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781538719671
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 20th, 2021

Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) By Leigh Bardugo Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250751362
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - October 20th, 2020

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: A Novel By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Translated by) Cover Image
By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Translated by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525541349
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 11th, 2020

Dark Sky (A Joe Pickett Novel #21) By C. J. Box Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525538271
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 2nd, 2021

Ocean Prey (A Prey Novel #31) By John Sandford Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780593087022
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 13th, 2021

The Thursday Murder Club: A Novel (A Thursday Murder Club Mystery #1) By Richard Osman Cover Image
$26.00
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ISBN: 9781984880963
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - September 22nd, 2020

The Searcher: A Novel By Tana French Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735224650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 6th, 2020

The Woman in the Window [Movie Tie-in]: A Novel By A. J. Finn Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062905086
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - March 31st, 2020

Eight Perfect Murders: A Novel By Peter Swanson Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062838193
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 26th, 2021

Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel By Louise Penny Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780312541538
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - September 30th, 2008

Three Hours in Paris By Cara Black Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781641292580
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Soho Crime - March 30th, 2021