The key to a good mystery is to keep the reader guessing as to the character’s motives in the story and the final outcome. Who are the good guys and who are the bad guys? And just as important is the task to adding twists and turns throughout the story to keep the audience wonder which path or direction the story I going. Setting clues makes a good mystery. It is like a jigsaw puzzle; each piece is a part of the hole and you can try to guess what the pictures looks like; but you don’t know for sure until you have all the pieces and see how they fit together.
I like to do this by introducing clues through the book, clues that are vague enough to not give away too much information but keep the reader guessing. I try to add at least one clue per chapter. My chapters are only 5-8 pages in length. More than one per chapter would be too much for the reader to remember. The clue usually comes at the end of the chapter to entice the reader to continue reading.
For example, in one chapter, Leslie returns to her desk to get her purse to go to lunch. She had placed it in the bottom drawer of her desk. When she went to retrieve her purse, she noticed that the desk drawer was partially open and she remembered closing. The reader wonders “did she really close it?” or “who left the drawer open?” or “what were they looking for?” Different scenarios go through the readers mind at the point. It is just another piece of the puzzle that is being developed throughout the book.
Author, The Mosquito Bites