Westside Satellite for Writers – Writing Mystery Novels


Los Angeles Westside Satellite
Essential Elements in Writing Mystery Novels

An interview with author Marvin J. Wolf

Hosted by Robin Quinn, our Westside Satellite serves writers from the Palisades south to LAX, and those in Culver City, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, Westwood — even Beverly Hills. All interested writers are welcome — IWOSC members or not, published or not, Westside resident or not.

author Marvin J Wolf

author Marvin J Wolf

Saturday, November 7, 2020 
12:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Online using Zoom


Do you love getting caught up in a good mystery? For our November event, our satellite host Robin Quinn will interview veteran author Marv Wolf, the writer of two mystery series, Rabbi Ben (final installment, Bride of Finkelstein, just became available) and the new Chelmen and Spaulding CID (Book One, M-9, released August 2019).

They’ll explore:

    • Why you should consider the mystery genre
    • Where to get ideas
    • How suspense and misdirection affect structure and plotting
    • Choosing locations as part of research
    • What is crucial for lead characters (protagonists and antagonists) in mysteries
    • What to consider for minor characters
    • How soon the mystery should be presented
    • How to weave in clues
    • What makes for a satisfying ending
    • Tips for mystery screenwriting

The session included a writing prompt, and Robin incorporated questions from registration and the program’s chat feature into her interview.

A handout included a description of the different subgenres of mysteries.


Marvin Wolf book cover, M-9About Marvin J. Wolf

Marvin J. Wolf is a renowned storyteller and photojournalist. His entry into journalism was as an Army combat correspondent, the seed of a career that decades later grew into They Were Soldiers: The Sacrifices and Contributions of Our Vietnam Veterans co-authored with legendary war correspondent Joseph Galloway. Wolf also co-authored Where White Men Fear to Tread with Russell Means, the famous American Indian activist. Having penned a series of True Crime books, in recent years Wolf turned to mysteries. His first series features a detective who happens to be a religious leader, Rabbi Ben. Fans of Wolf’s fiction are applauding the action and characters in his new book series, the Chelmin and Spaulding CID mysteries.

In addition, Wolf has been a writer for TV & Film, and, lest he have time to twiddle his thumbs, he is creating photo books as well—a passion begun during his years in Vietnam.