Recomend books on crime writing

I’m thinking about doing a “classic” crime/detective story and would like some help on books on the subject.
Not a list of crime story books I must read, but rather books on how-to-write-a-crime-story type of thing.
Any ideas on how to go about creating a plot (that’ll work)? Working backwards perhaps?
Any suggestions from our crime writers out there?
Any and all tips truly appreciated.

And what about humour in crime stories? Much underrated I think.
What do you think?

Magnus

Magnus,

Here are four titles that I think you may find useful:
Lawrence Block - WRITING THE NOVEL FROM PLOT TO PRINT
Patricia Highsmith - PLOTTING AND WRITING SUSPENSE FICTION
Stephen King - ON WRITING
Walter Mosley - THIS YEAR YOU WRITE YOUR NOVEL

I know you don’t want me to suggest crime novels to read, but more than anything else, I think we improve our writing by reading good fiction. Reading like a writer, dissecting and dismembering until we can see the ‘little man behind the curtain’ and we see how the writer did what s/he did.

I don’t write “funny” mysteries, but I do use humor in my work. Some of my favorites of the really funny crime writers include Christopher Brookmyre, Carl Hiasen, Elmore Leonard, Tim Dorsey, and Donna Moore.

Hope this helps.

The first 3 are fact-guides on police procedure; the 4th is a collection of genre classics.

Cause of Death: A Writer’s Guide to Death, Murder and Forensic Medicine
by Keith D. Wilson
Writer’s Digest Books Cincinnatti
Paperback 240 0898795249
Release: Mar 1992

Scene of the Crime: A Writer’s Guide to Crime-Scene Investigations
by Anne Wingate
Writer’s Digest Books Cincinnatti
Paperback 240 0898795184
Release: Mar 1992

Private Eyes: A Writer’s Guide to Private Investigating
by Hal Blythe, Charlie Sweet, John Landreth
Writer’s Digest Books Cincinnatti
Paperback 198 0898795494
Release: Mar 1993

The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing
by Rosemary Herbert
Oxford University Press New York
Hardback 560 0195072391
Release: Dec 1999

Thanks guys, much appreciated.
I’ll be sure to check out these books.
Sean, I’ve actually read King’s “On writing”. Excellent book.

Magnus