Murder On The Strike Of Five

Hello everyone,

I have just finished writing an historical whodunit called Murder On The Strike Of Five. It is set in the Russian Revolution of February 1917.

It is my first full length novel and I am looking for some feedback - particularly from members of the forum who have some experience of Russia and/or Russians. It is quite an easy read of just over 88,000 words (including a few in Russian) and it has been carefully edited and checked for typos. 

If your feedback is positive, I intend to submit it to the 2016 Debut Dagger Prize at the Crime Writers Association.

If anyone would like to be a test reader please send me a direct message with your email address and I will send you a PDF copy.

Thank you!

MP Peacock

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Comments

  • I don't have experience of Russia but I would be very happy to read through for you. I write murder mystery myself though haven't published anything so far. I will PM you.
  • mppeacockmppeacock UK Investigator
    Thanks Edward. I've emailed it to you. Please send me your novel when you are ready.
    MP
  • TomLewisTomLewis Southampton, United Kingdom Investigator
    Could I please read it?
  • mppeacockmppeacock UK Investigator
    Thanks to everyone who contacted us and offered their support.

    Murder on the Strike of Five is now available for Kindle:

    and also as a paperback:
  • Congrats @mppeacock! How hard was it for you to write the book? How long did it take you to wriite it? How much research did you do? Is this your first novel? Did you work on short stories before a novel? How many rough drafts did it take? Sorry for all the questions! For someone who likes to write I'm interested in the writing process. Right now I'm currently writing a short story. I've been going through times of discouragement and been rather down with the way my story's going. I have it mapped out on paper and it sounds really good but to write it down as a full story -- as a full narrative -- is different. I'm a perfectionist and it's like I expect the first draft to be perfect though I know its not going to be that way. From a fellow writer to another can you give me some encouragement? 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • Congratulations MP Peacock. Have downloaded a sample and at a quick read I'm impressed. Well done.

    For ChristieFanForLife

    Don't worry about your first draft and being a perfectionist. It is a draft - a FIRST draft. Write your story first. Getting it down to completion is the most important thing. It  is then that you edit, and re-edit, honing your story and dialogue until it's perfect. The editing time is when you find what works and what needs more work! In fact the editing is when your story really develops and becomes polished. Indeed, you may even have other ideas for plot, red herrings etc. Also, your characters will be better for going on the writing journey with them.

    Remember. Nobody ever sits down and writes a finished manuscript in one go. That's why we have editors, proof readers, copy editors etc. Go on, you have the idea, now write it.
    Congrats @mppeacock! How hard was it for you to write the book? How long did it take you to wriite it? How much research did you do? Is this your first novel? Did you work on short stories before a novel? How many rough drafts did it take? Sorry for all the questions! For someone who likes to write I'm interested in the writing process. Right now I'm currently writing a short story. I've been going through times of discouragement and been rather down with the way my story's going. I have it mapped out on paper and it sounds really good but to write it down as a full story -- as a full narrative -- is different. I'm a perfectionist and it's like I expect the first draft to be perfect though I know its not going to be that way. From a fellow writer to another can you give me some encouragement? 


  • mppeacockmppeacock UK Investigator
    Colonel Bantry is correct. Don't start with perfection. Write a great story, then make it perfect.

    I started with the simple idea of a murder mystery set in the Russian Revolution (it is the centenary next year and I thought that might be a good hook for marketing). I wanted to write a classic whodunnit with diamonds, gold, and Russian aristocrats on the run. I did some initial research into what happened to the Imperial Russian gold bullion reserves in 1917 and had enough to get started.

    I chose to focus on six or seven main characters and their backstories - I think that readers feel more invested in what happens to the characters if they know some their background. Once I had the characters sketched out I planned a time line and about 50 chapters that would take them from childhood to Moscow 1917 and then day by day on Trans-Siberian railway to Vladivostok. 

    Once I had all 50 chapters each with a short, one sentence description of what happened (e.g: Ch 11: Tatiana discovers Alexander was somehow connected with her father's death, Ch 21: Dinner day 6 on the train- Julia gets threatened by Tokar, Ch46: denouement, Ch 50 Arrival at Vladivostok) I started at chapter 1 and worked through every chapter to the end of the book.

    I did "sprints" one hour for each chapter, about 800 - 1000 worlds. I didn't care about quality or style, I  just wanted to write the basic story. So no internet research, no telephone, no Facebook, no radio. Just writing. One hour at a time. If the chapter wasn't finished I left a note about what was missing and went onto the next chapter, another one hour "sprint*, next chapter, another one hour "sprint" ... all the way to Vladivostok..

    Then I  went back to the start and polished and improved the story, did a bit more research. In previous projects I had spent more  time on research than writing and had never managed to finished a novel. I combined some chapters and deleted a whole section that felt more like a thriller than a whodunnit.

    I showed it to some friends and got some feedback from a couple of people in the community here.

    I kept rewriting it until it was good enough to send to agents.

    None of the agents were interested, they all seem to want authors with more than one book to their name. So eventually I decided to self publish and get on with writing my next books. These are both historical whodunnits, one set in a castle in Scotland in 1910 and the second set in a wedding in Italy in 1911.

    I hope that helps.

    Let me know when you are ready for some feedback!

    MPPeacock
    Murder on the Strike of Five:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/153712675X/



  • I would also be happy to give feedback on any stories.
  • I would also be happy to give feedback on any stories.
    I have a story (well I haven't wrote it yet....story is still in the development stages) but I would love to get some feedback and honest critique once I'm done with the draft.


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • mppeacockmppeacock UK Investigator
    We are running a prize quiz for a chance to win a paperback copy of Murder on the Strike of Five.

    If you have already read it then don't forget to leave feedback, questions, doubts and criticism here in the forum.
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