Crime fiction is the best selling genre in the world – so if you’re thinking about writing a cosy murder mystery, Scandi-noir or anything in between, take a look at these interesting quotations from some of the best crime writers of all time.
1. “As far as I’m concerned, you can’t beat a good whodunnit: the twists and turns, the clues and the red herrings and then, finally, the satisfaction of having everything explained to you in a way that makes you kick yourself because you hadn’t seen it from the start.”
― Anthony Horowitz, Magpie Murders
2. “The stories I create are never as awful as reality.”
― Henning Mankell
3. “The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
― Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express
4. “Nothing goes so well with a hot fire and buttered crumpets as a wet day without and a good dose of comfortable horrors within. The heavier the lashing of the rain and the ghastlier the details, the better the flavour seems to be.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
5.“I would look at the first chapter of any new novel as a final test of its merits. If there was a murdered man under the sofa in the first chapter, I read the story. If there was no murdered man under the sofa in the first chapter, I dismissed the story as tea-table twaddle, which it often really was.”
― G.K. Chesterton
6.“Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.”
― Raymond Chandler
7. A great poet can say in two lines what it takes me a whole novel to express. If I’ve learned from any kind of writing, it’s poetry – and the lesson is concision. What can you leave out and the reader will still get the message?”
― Ian Rankin
8.“There are, fortunately, very few people who can say that they have actually attended a murder.”
― Margery Allingham, Death of a Ghost
9.“You always remember the first time. Isn’t that what they say about sex? How much more true it is of murder.”
― Val McDermid, The Mermaids Singing
10.“All the motives for murder are covered by four Ls: Love, Lust, Lucre and Loathing.”
― P.D. James, The Murder Room
11.“It is a mistake to confound strangeness with mystery. The most commonplace crime is often the most mysterious because it presents no new or special features from which deductions may be drawn. This murder would have been infinitely more difficult to unravel had the body of the victim been simply found lying in the roadway without any of those outré and sensational accompaniments which have rendered it remarkable. These strange details, far from making the case more difficult, have really had the effect of making it less so.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
12.“Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.”
― Jo Nesbø
13.“Everyone has secrets. It’s just a matter of finding out what they are.”
― Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
We hope you have enjoyed these quotations – do let us know if you’d like to share any favourite crime writing quotations of your own.
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