This is the newest in Ellis’s “Now Write!” series; previous entries contain fiction, nonfiction, and screenwriting exercises. When Ellis passed away unexpectedly, Lamson, her niece and coeditor for Now Write! Screenplays, finished the book with a moving dedication to her aunt. While the other series volumes have a general scope, this title takes a more specific view. Topics include how to plot thrillers, create realistic detectives and villains, and write suspenseful crime scenes. The chapters are divided by subject; each is written by a published mystery and/or crime author (some concepts, such as “setting as character,” are presented by multiple authors). Sections like Meg Gardiner’s “Ratcheting Up the Suspense” focus on thrillers, while others, like Jane K. Cleland’s “Avoiding Saggy Middles,” can be applied to general fiction. Each chapter offers writing exercises to help readers put knowledge into practice. VERDICT The bulk of the content focuses on the craft of crime writing, and research strategies are mentioned in brief. Recommended for beginning writers of fiction.