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emsuniverse
05-07-2007, 07:11 AM
I wrote an entire YA murder mystery, it's going through the agent wheel of chance, and now I'm completely immersed in my second one.

Then it occurs to me. Really, what YA books are written about murder? I mean, did Nancy Drew ever solve a murder?

Curious.

Em

Southern_girl29
05-07-2007, 09:26 AM
I don't know for sure, really. I know many YA's that have been about death but not really a murder. My novel that I'm editing now has a murder in it, so I certainly hope it's acceptable.

Zoombie
05-07-2007, 09:35 AM
I swear I've read a few YA books with murdur in them.

Some were Goosebumps...so I'm not sure they count as "books" in the strictest sense.

Storyteller5
05-07-2007, 11:56 AM
Harry Potter has murder in it. Lois Duncan's Killing Mr.Griffin has an accidental murder in it. Lemon Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events has at least one murder in every book. Those are just a few I can think of. Those are all read by younger kids so I'm sure your book is fine! It's all about how you approach the murder and the amount of gory detail. :)

britlitfantw
05-07-2007, 12:15 PM
There's a YA thriller called Acceleration, by Graham Mcnamee. It's about a teenage boy who works in the subway lost and found and finds a diary/journal that has all the marks of a serial killer in it: some sick, twisted human being has recorded death times (and death causes) of animals, first ... and then arson ... and then it takes an even worse turn. They are scouting out their next victim on the subway itself, young women.

Being a protagonist, Duncan, who has his own demons to face, sets out to find this killer before they kill anyone else.

Does that count?

(Off-topic: Ack. Without realizing it, I think I basically just wrote the hook for that book ... now if only I could apply those hook-writing skills to my own. ;))

moondance
05-07-2007, 09:46 PM
Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
Kissing the Rain by Kevin Brooks

Legionsynch
05-07-2007, 10:14 PM
The Final Friends trilogy by Christopher Pike. It's from the early 90s, but it was a pretty decent murder mystery.

Claudia Gray
05-07-2007, 10:17 PM
A friend of mine recently sold a YA book with a murder mystery at the center. So it can be done.

Shady Lane
05-08-2007, 12:07 AM
Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
Kissing the Rain by Kevin Brooks

ANYTHING by Kevin Brooks...Martyn Pig (sort of), Being, The Road of the Dead...

He'd be a good one to read, if you're curious how it's handled.

stormie
05-08-2007, 12:10 AM
I wouldn't have Nancy Drew books in mind when you're talking about YA and murder. Stories for the YA market are far different today, and contain a lot more of everything. Even upper MG (or Tween) books are more cutting-edge than Nancy Drew.

emsuniverse
05-08-2007, 05:59 AM
Thank you guys! I wanted to make sure I wasn't writing something that had a snowball's chance in hell of selling...

Onward and forward!

The Grift
05-08-2007, 06:05 AM
The Hardy Boys. They got involved with a few murders. Heck, Joe's girlfriend was killed by a car bomb!

Will Lavender
05-08-2007, 06:20 AM
I have a friend named John Ford who wrote a YA novel called The Morgue and Me. It's about a college student who takes a summer job in a morgue, and he gets immersed in a mystery involving one of the stiffs.

In late February, he sold it to Viking.

Shady Lane
05-08-2007, 06:26 AM
I have a friend named John Ford who wrote a YA novel called The Morgue and Me. It's about a college student who takes a summer job in a morgue, and he gets immersed in a mystery involving one of the stiffs.

In late February, he sold it to Viking.

Nice.

Evaine
05-09-2007, 02:57 PM
The classic example is Treasure Island. When Israel Hands chases Jim Hawkins up the mast of the ship, Jim turns round and shoots him with a pistol.
I'm not sure if there are any other examples of the main character committing a murder.

Will Lavender
05-09-2007, 09:26 PM
The original poster might want to check out the great Peter Abrahams (The Fan, Oblivion, The Tutor, etc.). He has a series of YA mystery novels, I believe.

BrookieCookie777
05-09-2007, 11:43 PM
I'm asuming you mentioned the murder plot in your query? If someone is considering the full manuscript - I'm sure it's fine or they would have never asked of it in the first place. Editors and or agents - are very busy people . . . why would they make time for something they don't want to give a shot? =) I think you are good on this one.

emsuniverse
05-10-2007, 12:30 AM
Thanks, Brookie! :)

justpat
05-17-2007, 07:39 AM
Kids are a lot more mature now then when I was a kid, and I think publishers know that. So unless your book vividly describes all the blood and guts its probably all right. Keep in mind, even if it has blood and guts, the kids won't mind, its the parents that will complain.

Stijn Hommes
05-23-2007, 02:12 PM
Kids are a lot more mature now then when I was a kid, and I think publishers know that. So unless your book vividly describes all the blood and guts its probably all right. Keep in mind, even if it has blood and guts, the kids won't mind, its the parents that will complain. That's very true. Kids nowadays are a lot more mature then some parents give them credit for. If you cut down on gory details and focus on the mystery of the murder, I'm positive it's sellable.

Vincent
05-23-2007, 02:19 PM
The Final Friends trilogy by Christopher Pike. It's from the early 90s, but it was a pretty decent murder mystery.

Just about everything Pike wrote had murder in it.

Stijn Hommes
05-23-2007, 02:45 PM
And let's not forget The Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence. She doesn't shy away from blood, gore or violence. Her first book starts out with dogs being murdered and beheaded and later on you get to meet gladiators and a teacher accused of murder. I've yet to find anyone objecting to her books and it's certainly popular with kids. (popular enough to make a TV series based on them)

PenTeller
06-08-2007, 08:22 PM
A Nothern Light by Jennifer Donnelly is one off of the top of my head.

My most recent YA is a murder mystery, too, and I've been thinking the same thing. I think we're okay, though.