I haven't written a crime mystery but my novel The Golden Hour has mystery as one of its several genre elements. I find it fascinating that readers vary so much in how they respond to the clues - some treat it like a treasure hunt, very aware of them and hunting for more; others don't really catch them until the end and then think/read back to find them and get their 'aha' then; some pick up where it's all leading halfway through and others don't work it out until the very end when it's (mostly) explained. I'm not sure if I worked the clues quite right (especially when a friend tells me that even at the end he can't see how it all fits together!) but most readers seem satisfied so I have to assume I stumbled onto a reasonable approach! Not sure I'm up to something that relies totally on that mix of mystery and clue though :)
Hi Claire - Thanks for that. It is interesting to think about the different approaches readers have. I like to look for clues, but I'm not very good at piecing it all together. In one way, it's good to 'solve the case' just before the reveal, but in another way, that can spoil the story. Kate Morton is brilliant at the unexpected twists. Once all is revealed, I feel like I want to go back and read it again to see how she layered everything.
The novel I'm writing sounds a bit like yours in that there are some mystery elements. I've already embedded some clues, but need to work some more in. Hard to know if they work until it goes out to beta readers. Thanks for your comments :)