I’m always hunting for a bit of wisdom. Sometimes the right quote will shoot me in the right direction. Or make me rethink everything. What motivates us? What inspires us? Here are bits of wisdom from some great mystery writers.

  1. “Crime fiction is the fiction of social history. Societies get the crimes they deserve.” Denise Mina
  2. “Write about what you never want to know.” Michael Connelly
  3. “One seldom finds something if one never actually looks for it.” Deanna Raybourn
  4. “There are four kinds of homicide: felonious, excusable, justifiable, and praiseworthy.” Ambrose Bierce
  5. When someone is mean to me, I just make them a victim in my next book.” Mary Higgins Clark
  6. “Novels are written word by word. If you can write a word, and then another word, you can write a novel—assuming your novel will be two words long. Here’s a two-word romance novel: I do. It’s also a murder mystery.” Jarod Kintz

Any of the above resonate with you? Or perhaps you have some wisdom you’d like to share.


  1. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” Alice Walker
    That one really resonates when I think about the writing world. Authors often feel or are made to feel that they don’t have any power and they give up–saying something to their editor, objecting to a cover, questioning this or that, even following up on something!–we think if we speak up, we will lose the contract or the agent or the publisher. There is a difference between being unprofessional and asking for what is the right thing for your novel. Many authors are afraid to do this.

  2. These are all good, but the Denise Mina, one is particularly interesting, I think. Thanks for these! I’m very fond of quotes and keep a little collection of them…

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