Thinking about mystery writing also reminded me about a presentation Marcia Preston gave at the MWG conference last month. Marcia is a classy lady from Oklahoma with a kind and generous heart for writers trying to succeed. She is a former English teacher and editor who has published several books and is winner of the Mary Higgins Clark Award for her novel "Song of the Bones." She also served on the Edgar judging panel, where she read parts of 250 mysteries. So, I think it's safe to say Marcia has insight into what makes a compelling (and selling) mystery.
There you have it. Advice from someone who is definitely "plugged into the mystery world." To recap, I think it's time for me to: dig into my characters, watch my pacing, and PERSIST with my novel.