I have a confession to make. I love reading murder mysteries. I think it started with Agatha Christie when I was a teenager, and eventually graduated to the Kellermans and Joy Fielding, who builds up the suspense in such a masterly way. I haven’t written a murder mystery yet in my 13 books, but I never stop thinking of it. One of the classiest ways to commit a murder which no-one could figure out, was a woman who wanted to get rid of her husband. She held a barbecue party, and while everyone else’s meat was threaded on to wooden skewers, her husband’s was threaded on to a thin branch of the oleander shrub, which is deadly poisonous. It was very hard to solve, because everyone had eaten the meat and it wasn’t a poison that the police knew about. Don’t worry, I’m not issuing any invitations to a barbecue at present, although summer in Jerusalem would be the perfect time for it.
But I still hope one day to write a crime novel. I look at tellers in banks and wonder if they are ever tempted to take home a bundle, and how they would plan to get away with it. Or maybe a janitor, who has the keys to all the tenants apartments in a very luxurious apartment block , whose tenants had ritzy jewellery and expensive art on their walls. Bartenders are characters who would get to hear amazing stories sometimes that could lead them to plan a robbery of someone who gave away too many secrets after a lot to drink. Imagination and observation focused on the everyday can be the basis for stories that are strong , because they are composed of elements that are easily recognisable.
There really are millions of stories in the naked city. And it would be so satisfying to create a detective – maybe a female one – who is able to solve a crime single-handedly , like Miss Marples or Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes. The best crime novels drop hints along the way, plus some that are just red herrings to confuse the reader, but I like the ones that have an “aha!” moment when all becomes clear. There are many things you’d have to study apart from choosing the crime and the criminal. Police procedure would have to be accurate, which I don’t know much about, but I’m willing to learn. That’s the great thing about being a writer – it’s an ongoing education that never ends.