The Novel “I Didn’t Do It” Is Set at a Mystery Writers’ Conference

From a New York Times story by Sarah Weinman about crime novels”:

In my many years of attending crime and mystery writers’ conferences, the thought occurred to me — more than once — that they would make excellent settings for, well, murder. Jaime Lynn Hendricks takes this idea and runs with it in I DIDN’T DO IT, her third suspense novel and one that entertainingly lays bare all kinds of writerly insecurities.

After a star author, Kristin Bailey, is found dead in her hotel room during the Murderpalooza conference, the news spreads quickly among other attendees. Soon, an anonymous Twitter account called @MPaloozaNxt2Die begins following and threatening just four people, all Kristin’s publishing rivals.

There’s Vicki Overton, a midlist author who thinks Kristin had an affair with her boyfriend; Suzanne Shih, a young writer who has been unhealthily obsessed with Kristin for years; Davis Walton, an up-and-comer who covets Kristin’s success; and Mike Brooks, a has-been who has spent months quietly working on a novel with Kristin “that’s supposed to take the industry by storm.”

As the imperiled quartet team up to figure out whether Kristin’s murderer and their Twitter stalker are one and the same, Hendricks revels in her characters’ flaws, absurdities and over-the-top Twitter dependencies. There’s a little too much Twitter, but you’ll forget about it when you reach the final, drama-filled twists.

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