A List of the Necessary Parts of a Novel
1. The detective or P.I. must be memorable. This means they should have some individual difference that is interesting. I personally liked Columbo because of his attitude towards the suspects. He was brilliant and most likely the best homicide detective in the world, but the suspect thought he was just an idiot.
2. The crime must be significant. This is not just stealing a sweet from the penny tray in a corner shop. It would be a massive robbery of millions, an unexpected murder or two or more things of that ilk.
3. The criminal must be a worthy opponent. Someone who changes plans so they can outwit the detective. Although, the criminal will have some difficulties and follow their own character arcs.
4. All the suspects, including the criminal, must be introduced early within the story. It is very frowned upon if the criminal is only met a chapter before the solution is given.
5. All clues discovered by the detective must be available to the reader. This is where a few books I’ve read merely say that someone used their left hand to sign their name, and never talk about the suspect being left-handed again. The reader has to know as much as the detective. Manipulation of people’s imagination comes into play here, imparting information at times where you think the reader will be thinking of other things.
6. The solution must appear logical and obvious when the detective explains how the crime was solved.
7. The crime must be fictional, but names, places, events, processes and methods must be real. It is much easier to maintain the suspension of disbelief if action is happening in real type events.