Writing Crime Fiction

6 weeks
Start Date
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Writing Crime Fiction

Sherlock. Marple. Poirot. Bosch. Reacher. Precious. Rebus.

Crime fiction is now so popular that its leading protagonists are household names around the world. The incredible range within the genre means that there is a niche for everyone. Whether you want to write a nail-biting detective series, cosy mysteries or carefully plotted police procedurals, we will teach you the fundamentals.

Bestselling author Vaseem Khan will guide you through the essentials of writing crime fiction. You’ll learn how to create memorable detectives, write suspenseful investigations, construct the perfect murder, and make good use of research in key areas such as forensics to make your story more real for the reader.

Vaseem will share everything he wishes he’d been told when he was writing his first novel, and along the way, he’ll help you apply the lessons to your own work.

Not only was the course extremely informative and constructive, all the students bonded and supported each other with constructive, helpful feedback

Andy Sykes


Vaseem Khan

Vaseem Khan is the author of two crime series set in India, the Baby Ganesh Agency series set in modern Mumbai, and the Malabar House historical crime novels set in 1950s Bombay. His first book, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was a Sunday Times bestseller, now translated into 15 languages. The second in the series won the Shamus Award in the US. In 2018, he was awarded the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Award for Literature. Vaseem was born in England, but spent a decade working in India. Midnight at Malabar House, the first in his historical crime series, won the CWA Historical Dagger 2021. His latest book is The Dying Day about the theft of one of the world’s great treasures, a 600 year old copy of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, stored at Bombay’s Asiatic Society.


  • Video modules: Work through six modules comprising teaching videos from Vaseem. Topics range from the building blocks of crime fiction, to what makes a memorable lead character, to devices to mislead and mystify your reader.
  • Writing tasks: Weekly tasks will help you explore and understand the teaching topics as you progress with your novel.
  • Resources & notes: You’ll get access to comprehensive teaching notes and reference materials, including multiple case studies from Vaseem’s bestselling novels and other specially chosen books.
  • Professional feedback: An expert CBC editor will give brief written feedback on several of the students' practical assignments every week, with all students receiving feedback on one of their writing tasks. Students are also given the option to purchase additional end-of-course feedback from our expert editors.
  • Student forum: Find your writing community on our private student forums. Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.


Our online courses are designed for flexible learning. Allocate your own study time and take part from wherever you are in the world. Each week, we recommend spending at least four hours on the course. It’s also important to be planning and working on your novel throughout the six weeks.

  • WEEK 1
    Building blocks of crime fiction
  • WEEK 2
    Heroes & villains
  • WEEK 3
    Mysteries, puzzles & clues
  • WEEK 4
    Plot & pacing
  • WEEK 5
    Bringing your setting to life
  • WEEK 6
    Investigative procedure


All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor.

  • CBC report: For an additional fee of £145, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your work (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our CBC editors.
  • CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £240, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our CBC editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your work.