A Small Offense*

Check out this post from the Confessions of a Mystery Novelist blog on the topic of the role of small crimes in crime fiction writing.

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

Most people see a big difference between little peccadillos and larger crimes. Certainly, the law does. Some things, like speeding, are technically illegal, but a lot of people do them with no sense of remorse. There are other little ‘sins’ like that, too. It’s not a good idea to speed too much, or to bring that stapler home from the office. But those are things people do.

Those little things can get people into difficult situations, though. Just look at some examples from crime fiction, and you’ll see what I mean. There are plenty of cases where a character starts out by doing something questionable and ends up drawn into something more.

In Agatha Christie’s Mrs. McGinty’s Dead, for instance, we are introduced to Edna Sweetiman. She’s not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, as the saying goes. And she’s gotten herself into a bit of a mess…

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