(Number 5 in a series about writing the Max Hurlock Roaring 20s Mysteries)
Now that I had the characters and a backstory and hometown for them, they had to have something to do, so I went looking for a real life crime from the 1920s to base the first case on. I had one in mind already; a sensational double killing in a locked room up in Moorestown, New Jersey. There was a lot of information available on the case, which was controversial at the time. The young socialite couple were found dead in the girl’s locked bedroom from multiple gunshots to the head. Some believed it was a simple murder-suicide. Others insisted it had to be a double murder because no one could shoot himself several times in the head. Later, one of the witnesses was also murdered and also in a locked room, stirring the controversy further.
The whole thing already sounded like a mystery story, so it was just a matter of building a fictional treatment on the facts. I also planned to provide endnotes explaining the real case.
Of course, the first problem was to find a way to involve a Maryland based detective in a crime in New Jersey. This was actually not a problem since it turned out to fit pefectly with Max Hurlock’s background. I’ll tell you about it next time.