QUERY: ASSASSIN PI - Romantic Suspense

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enewmeyer
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QUERY: ASSASSIN PI - Romantic Suspense

Post by enewmeyer » March 28th, 2011, 2:00 pm

Note: This novel is not completed yet, hence no word count is included. I've decided to try writing the query letter before I fully develop the novel. Please let me know if the simplicity of the plot works for you all. Thanks!

***
Being paid to track down and slay bad guys has its perks. Nearly getting killed isn’t one of them. After his last job went south, Private Eye, Jack Gaines, swore he’d retire to the Bahamas but that was before his ex flame, Angie, graced his doorway. Before the reunion is through, Jack agrees to take her case: find and assassinate her husband’s killer.

As the passion between Jack and Angie singes the pages of his Dick Tracy comic books, Jack finds it increasingly difficult to stave off the local LEOs (law enforcement officers) who are hot on his serial killing trail. Cooling off Angie’s vendetta becomes a life and death matter when Jack makes a startling revelation: He’s been hired to assassinate himself. Getting out of this mess (preferably alive and with Angie by his side) will take more than just his wits, good lucks, and an arsenal of gumshoe novels.

ASSASSIN PI is a *** word romantic suspense novel.

fishfood
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Re: QUERY: ASSASSIN PI - Romantic Suspense

Post by fishfood » March 28th, 2011, 3:38 pm

This sounds fun and your writing is cute and sassy! It's a great idea to write a query before writing the novel sometimes as a way to test your book and get your motivation going (something I think I'm going to try and do with my next novel.).
enewmeyer wrote:Note: This novel is not completed yet, hence no word count is included. I've decided to try writing the query letter before I fully develop the novel. Please let me know if the simplicity of the plot works for you all. Thanks!

***
Being paid to track down and slay bad guys has its perks. Nearly getting killed isn’t one of them. After his last job went south, Private Eye, Jack Gaines, swore he’d retire to the Bahamas but that was before his ex flame, Angie, graced his doorway. Before the reunion is through, Jack agrees to take her case: find and assassinate her husband’s killer. Nice opening.
As the passion between Jack and Angie singes the pages of his Dick Tracy comic books, (so I kinda get what you're saying here, but at the same time I still don't quite get the analogy...it's cute nonetheless) Jack finds it increasingly difficult to stave off the local LEOs (law enforcement officers) who are hot on his serial killing trail. Cooling off Angie’s vendetta becomes a life and death matter when Jack makes a startling revelation: He’s been hired to assassinate himself. Getting out of this mess (preferably alive and with Angie by his side) will take more than just his wits, good lucks, and an arsenal of gumshoe novels. This last sentence is where the story slightly unravels for me. There's got to be more than just discovering he's supposed to kill himself. While it sounds like a good twist, it makes me scratch my head too much because a) This means Angie wants him dead yet b) why would he want to keep Angie by his side if the vixen wants him dead? To me the crux of the story is discovering that Angie is the one who wants him killed and figuring out why. Otherwise, the story sounds great!

ASSASSIN PI is a *** word romantic suspense novel.

AllieS
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Re: QUERY: ASSASSIN PI - Romantic Suspense

Post by AllieS » March 28th, 2011, 7:08 pm

Being paid to track down and slay I see the word slay and think "vampire slayer," or "dragon slayer." Maybe a different word choice wouldn't make me believe this story has supernatural elements. bad guys has its perks. Nearly getting killed isn’t one of them. After his last job went south, Private Eye, Jack Gaines, swore he’d retire to the Bahamas but that was before his ex flame, Angie, graced his doorway. Long sentence. I think you could make it catchier by splitting it into two. Before the reunion is through, Jack agrees to take her case: find and assassinate her husband’s killer.

As the passion between Jack and Angie singes the pages of his Dick Tracy comic books I like the humor here, but I feel as though it comes a little bit out of no where. If this is the type of voice in your story, then I suggest you incorporate more of it into the query, so I'm not taken aback by this part, Jack finds it increasingly difficult to stave off the local LEOs (law enforcement officers) who are hot on his serial killing trail. Cooling off Angie’s vendetta becomes a life and death matter when Jack makes a startling revelation: He’s been hired to assassinate himself. I think this part is great . . . but I had to reread the query to see if you're saying that he killed Angie's husband, or if it's for a different job he has to kill himself. Maybe introduce this a new way to make it clearer, something like, "As Jack looks deeper into the murder, he realizes he knew Angie's husband. He killed him." Obviously not exactly like that, but you get my drift. Make it clearer and more exciting. Getting out of this mess (preferably alive and with Angie by his side) will take more than just his wits, good lucks, and an arsenal of gumshoe novels. Again, I like this, but I think it should be mentioned in the first paragraph if you're going to keep referencing it.

Laura516
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Re: QUERY: ASSASSIN PI - Romantic Suspense

Post by Laura516 » March 30th, 2011, 9:52 am

I also read the word "slay" and found myself assuming this was a vampire novel. But assuming you're looking more for impressions of the story than an edit of the letter, I think this could be interesting. The first paragraph to me seemed somewhat been-there-done-that, but the twist (he was hired to kill himself) brought it alive for me. I would actually prefer to see that be the lead and the rest of the query address his dilemma. Good luck!

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Quill
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Re: QUERY: ASSASSIN PI - Romantic Suspense

Post by Quill » March 30th, 2011, 10:22 am

enewmeyer wrote: Being paid to track down and slay bad guys has its perks.
Since it isn't apparent what these are, and you don't tell us, this doesn't quite work.
Nearly getting killed isn’t one of them.
Since this is a mundane revelation, this doesn't have a lot of punch.
After his last job went south, Private Eye, Jack Gaines, swore he’d retire to the Bahamas but that was before his ex flame, Angie, graced his doorway.
Recommend putting this in present tense, like the rest of your query.

"ex-flame" not "ex flame"

Also, since when does a Private Eye slay bad guys? I realize the title of your book tells us he's not an ordinary detective, but it might be good to say why he's slaying people.

Also, unlike other posters, I like "slay" and don't think it connotes paranormal.
Before the reunion is through, Jack agrees to take her case: find and assassinate her husband’s killer.
Good.
As the passion between Jack and Angie singes the pages of his Dick Tracy comic books,
Why has he got these? Is he a comic book collector (if so, maybe say "...his prize comic book collection" or some such)? Is he a teenager? As is it seems incongruous.
Jack finds it increasingly difficult to stave off the local LEOs (law enforcement officers)
The acronym and explanation seem wordy. How about just saying the police or the law or something.
who are hot on his serial killing trail.
So what is he, actually just a criminal posing as a gumshoe? I'm not yet understanding much about this main character.
Cooling off Angie’s vendetta becomes a life and death matter
I'm liking what's happening, but not sure about the wording of all this (and I know it's just a dry run query, to work out the story itself): as hotness singes his comics, the police are hot on his trail, and then coolness must prevail when he discovers...
when Jack makes a startling revelation: He’s been hired to assassinate himself.
I like the twist.

Typo: "He's" should be "he's"
Getting out of this mess (preferably alive and with Angie by his side) will take more than just his wits, good lucks,
Good lucks? Do you mean good luck? Good looks?
and an arsenal of gumshoe novels.
Well, apparently he's a book collector. If you're going to draw attention to this, maybe put it differently, like "his collection of vintage gumshoe novels" or some such. As is, it reads, like the comic reference" like a non-sequitorial quirk.
ASSASSIN PI is a *** word romantic suspense novel.
Nice breezy tone and a plot and character with potential. Good luck(s) with the project!

enewmeyer
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Re: QUERY: ASSASSIN PI - Romantic Suspense

Post by enewmeyer » March 30th, 2011, 9:20 pm

Here is the edited version. Hopefully it clears up some questions that were raised. Thanks for the critiques!
***
For a disgraced former cop who likens himself to a modern day Dick Tracy, being paid to track down and eliminate bad guys has its perks. Nearly getting killed in the process isn’t one of them. After his last job went south, Private Eye, Jack Gaines, promises to retire to the Bahamas. But that was before his ex-flame, Angie, graces his doorway. Before the reunion is through, Jack agrees to take her case: find and assassinate her husband’s killer.

As the passion between Jack and Angie singes the pages of his comic books, Jack finds it increasingly difficult to stave off the local police who are hot on his serial killing trail. Ending Angie’s vendetta becomes a life and death matter when Jack makes a startling revelation: he’s just been hired to assassinate himself. If Angie discovers the truth, he might as well kiss his relationship, and his life, goodbye. Getting out of this mess (preferably alive) will take more than just his wits, good looks, and an arsenal of gumshoe novels.

ASSASSIN PI is a ***word romantic suspense novel.

AllieS
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Re: QUERY: ASSASSIN PI - Romantic Suspense

Post by AllieS » April 2nd, 2011, 2:57 am

For a disgraced former cop who likens himself to a modern day Dick Tracy Good job involving the Dick Tracy reference from the start, being paid to track down and eliminate bad guys has its perks. Nearly getting killed in the process isn’t one of them. After his last job went south, Private Eye, Jack Gaines, I don't think you need the commas around Jack Gaines. promises to retire to the Bahamas. But This would sound better just starting with "that." that was before his ex-flame, Angie, graces his doorway. Before the reunion is through, Jack agrees to take her case: find and assassinate her husband’s killer.

As the passion between Jack and Angie singes the pages of his comic books Am I meant to believe that their passion actually singes the pages off? If not, maybe you could rephrase it to something like, "With a passion hot enough to singe the pages off his comic books.", Jack finds it increasingly difficult to stave off the local police who are hot on his serial killing trail. Ending Angie’s vendetta becomes a life and death matter when Jack makes a startling revelation: he’s just been hired to assassinate himself. If Angie discovers the truth, he might as well kiss his relationship, and his life, goodbye. Getting out of this mess (preferably alive) will take more than just his wits, good looks, and an arsenal of gumshoe novels. Great ending. Good changes overall.

glj
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Re: QUERY: ASSASSIN PI - Romantic Suspense

Post by glj » April 3rd, 2011, 4:52 pm

For a disgraced former cop who likens himself to a modern day Dick Tracy, being paid to track down and eliminate bad guys has its perks. Nearly getting killed in the process isn’t one of them. After his last job went south, Private Eye, Jack Gaines, promises to retire to the Bahamas. Makes me wonder who he promised. Himself? But that was before his ex-flame, Angie, graces his doorway. Before the reunion is through, Jack agrees to take her case: find and assassinate her husband’s killer.

As the passion between Jack and Angie singes the pages of his comic books, Jack finds it increasingly difficult to stave off the local police, who are hot on his serial-killing trail. Ending Angie’s vendetta becomes a life and death matter when Jack makes a startling revelation: he’s just been hired to assassinate himself. I find this confusing. Neither he nor Angie knew this when she asks him to do the job?? Reading the following sentence, it seems like the word "revelation" should really be "discovery". If Angie discovers the truth, he might as well kiss his relationship, and his life, goodbye. Why would he have to kiss his life goodbye? Is she a serial killer too? Getting out of this mess (preferably alive) He wouldn't be "getting out of it" if he dies before completing it. will take more than just his wits, good looks, and an arsenal of gumshoe novels.
Your plot has a good twist, but I can't help feeling that you could exploit this revelation more. How did Jack kill Angie's husband? What horrible crime was her husband involved in?

It also might add tension/interest if we knew why Angie was so important to Jack.


ASSASSIN PI is a ***word romantic suspense novel

Not a bad query, but it doesn't really stand out, either. Consider how you can make it more interesting than bitter former PI now caught up in trouble due to mysterious love interest/femme fatale.

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