TONIGHT! 7 pm! Free! Learn Suspense Writing from Alan Orloff, Elaine Viets, and Alison McMahan!



ALAN ORLOFF is the author of half-a-dozen mystery novels and a handful of horror novels (writing as Zak Allen). He won the 2019 ITW Thriller Award (Best E-Book Original) for his thriller, Pray for the Innocent. His debut mystery, Diamonds for the Dead, was an Agatha Award finalist; his story “Dying in Dokesville” won a 2019 Derringer Award,; and “Rule Number One” was selected for The Best American Mystery Stories 2018. His first P.I. novel, I Know Where You Sleep, was released from Down & Out Books in February.


When Anderson West takes on the pro-bono case of Jessica Smith, a twenty-something restaurant hostess being stalked, the last thing he expects is for his investigation to spiral into breaking and entering, assault, and legal threats from the suspects and the victim.

But that’s what happens when you run a private investigation firm with your rule-breaking, loose-cannon sister at your side.

While Anderson spends his time deducing and interviewing possible suspects, Carrie handles interrogations in her own unique–and personal–fashion. And it seems like everyone is a suspect. There are Jessica’s ex-boyfriend and current boyfriend, her incredibly creepy boss and the suspicious reverend at her church who definitely seems to be hiding something.

Or someone.

The closer Anderson and Carrie get to an answer, the more danger Jessica finds herself in. Her stalker’s notes become increasingly more threatening, trading the scary phone calls and text messages for terrifying photographs and notes at her gym, work, and home. To make things even more complicated, Jessica’s backstory begins to unravel, and the secrets of her past could potentially solve everything…if only she’d let Anderson and Carrie in.

With time ticking down, will the brother-sister investigative team be able to solve Jessica’s case before she tries something foolhardy, like facing up to the tenacious bastard on her own, armed only with a handgun and a prayer?


Suspense WritingClass withAlanOrloff,ElaineViets,AlisonMcMahan

You can meet and learn from Alan at this class on Tricks for Writing Suspense on April 26, 2020, at 7 pm. One lucky winner will get a free copy of his latest, I Know Where You Sleep, along with Elaine's latest Angela Richman book

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This class on Suspense writing is courtesy of Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore.

Here are the details on the class:

In honor of the publication of The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, and the publication of A Star is Dead by Elaine Viets and I know Where You Sleep by Alan Orloff, we bring you a zoom session on How to Generate Suspense in your Fiction Writing. Don’t miss this hour packed with tips, tools, and information! Sponsored by Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore, who will be shipping specially-priced bundles of the books by these authors to one contest winners! Books can also be purchased at a reduced price from Murder on the Beach. 

Details of the course:


THE CLIFFHANGERS: How do you keep your readers hanging on from chapter to chapter? What are the tricks of the suspense trade? I'll give you a peek at some ways to keep your readers turning those pages.


THE STAKES: If you’ve ever taken writing workshop or exchanged pages with a critique partner, you may have heard the advice, “Raise the stakes.” Much of the time, it’s valid—who wants to read a dull story where it really doesn’t matter if the protagonist succeeds? Here are a few tips for raising the stakes for your hero! 


THE DRIVING QUESTIONS: Lee Child famously said that readers are programmed to wait for answers to questions they witness being asked. Child instructs writers to plant questions in stories that the reader needs to have answered, so they keep reading. We will look at how this works in well-known works.

Join us Sunday April 26, 2020 at 7PM for a Zoom Panel Discussion on Tricks of Suspense.
Zoom Link:
Password: 741375