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Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Milk Carton Murders Query Letter

Since I was a post behind in the Ultimate Blog Challenge, I thought I'd post my first attempt at a query letter for my WIP The Milk Carton Murders. I write an 8 sentence snippet of it every Sunday for Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday. You can catch up here. Does it sound interesting to you?

When three small coffins slide out from the bank of the Wiscoy Creek during a dredging operation, it’s the last thing DAVE ROBERTSON, of the Lamont Weekly Times, expected to be reporting on. Pinned to the skeleton’s clothing are pieces of Wiscoy Dairy milk cartons, each displaying a photo of a missing child. 

Dave is stunned to see a familiar face from his childhood. A girl named Sally―one of the foster children his parents had cared for through the Friends of Foster Families program. Granted, he couldn’t remember much from his childhood, but he swore that Sally had been returned to her parents.

Police investigator, PEPPER BLACK, shows up at the scene and allows Dave to tag along on the case if he holds off on publishing the coffin photographs. In truth, she thinks he knows more than he’s telling. Dave takes the deal in order to be kept in the loop for his story and get the inside track on suspects. How hot Pepper looks with all her CSI gadgets hanging off her tool belt isn’t bad incentive either.

Dave would be the first to admit his quirks put women off. Sure, he’s a bit clumsy at times, and then there’s that annoying voice in his head he thought was normal. Doesn’t everybody talk to themselves once in a while? 

“Not like you do Davy―or should I say, not like we do?”
Finding Sally sparks the voice to become more intrusive. Pepper might be right---maybe he does know something. Dave realizes his problem may be more serious then he thought.

Cold case files reveal the girls were abducted twenty years ago and the cases are deemed homicides. Dave knows his dad worked at the dairy then and their house was the last place he saw Sally alive. He can’t help but to suspect his father. The voice in his head is happy to reinforce the suspicion. 

Dave's confused mind struggles between his loyalty to his father and his journalistic moral compass. How can he write the biggest story of his career if his own father turns out to be the killer? If the voice in his head would shut up and let him remember what his brain is blocking, he might figure it out before he loses his mind and his dad is convicted of murder.

THE MILK CARTON MURDERS is a 90,000 word mystery set in rural western New York State.


Thoughts? Too wordy? Does it have enough of a hook? 
 This is post #10 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge


  1. I like it! Definitely draws me in :) I do think that it might be a bit on the wordy side and I wonder if you need 4th and 5th paragraphs totally? I like the character intro there, but it doesn't seem totally necessary. Just my two cents anyway!


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