Wicked Wednesday- Prose and Cons

Jessie: Glad each day that the weather is warming!

I have to confess, I do love con artist stories. I love them so much that the protagonist in my Change of Fortune series is one! Have you ever written about either a con artist or someone who has been conned?

Julie: I’ve been working on a book about three women in their fifties who help people get revenge, and cons are the center of the story. Cons within cons. They are so hard to write! How can you help unpack the con for the reader so that they are surprised by some of the twists? What’s the true purpose behind the con? And how do you con a con artist? Needless to say, it’s making this book hard to write, but a lot of fun. Hopefully I can pull it off, and send it out.

Edith/Maddie: I love that premise, Julie. My story, “Blue Motel Room” in Beat of Black Wings (edited by Josh Pachter) features a con artist of the Robin Hood variety and was so much fun to write. The narrator in “One Too Many,” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, March/April 2020) is also something of a con artist. I guess the message is – I like to write con artists in my short fiction!

Sherry: I love a could con story too. In my Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries one character is conning people over several books. And A Time to Swill has a con artist who meets his match with Chloe Jackson.

Liz: I haven’t written one but I would love to! I do love a good con artist. I need to think about that for a future book, for sure.

Barb: I love con artist stories. I just finished watching Inventing Anna and loved it. My novella “Scared Off” in Halloween Party Murder is a con artist story.

Jessie: I am so glad I’m not the only Wicked who loves this sort of story! As I mentioned in the opening, my Change of Fortune books feature a con artist. The book I just turned in to my editor, the second WPC Harkness mystery has some of that too. I think my 8th Beryl and Edwina may also. I am looking forward to it immensely!

Readers, do you love con artist stories?

24 Thoughts

  1. I like a good con artist story. However, I think they work better in a visual medium. I love the show ‘Leverage’ which had the tagline “The Con Is On” at one point during the show’s original five season run.

  2. Yes, I do! Especially those that have turned the corner and use their cons for good now.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  3. I love a good con story, especially those that are lighter in tone. My all time favorite is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. What a laugh out loud story!

  4. I love a good con story, but Julie is right, they are so hard to write! I recently submitted one to an anthology – waiting to hear. And yes, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a perfect humorous story – I also remember It Takes a Thief – loved Robert Wagner.

  5. What a wonderful topic today!!! Yes, we all love a con story and yes they are terrifically hard to write. I met one and she thought she was so clever! She wasn’t but she hasn’t been arrested either. The victims may just have to be considered gullible. Ironically, the con was an interesting person just trying to separate you from a bit of your money and she had something to “sort of offer.” I have a page of notes but no story yet!

  6. I love the light hearted con stories. Lawrence Block’s Bernie Rhodenbarr stories were always a delight.

  7. I do enjoy a good con artist story. It’s one reason I’m enjoying Victoria Thompson’s Counterfeit Lady series centers on a reformed con artist, and it’s great. And I was hooked on White Collar on the USA network back in the day.

  8. I always feel so bad for the victim. There are times that I wonder how they could not see the truth. I am always glad when the con man gets caught. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Honestly, I never really thought about whether or not I enjoy con artist stories, but I suppose that I do! It’s important that the con artist gets caught, though, and that the victims eventually learn that they have been conned. When I think of a con artist, I immediately think of someone who dazzles his victims with his charms and many times takes their money.

  10. I love the idea of a good con or a reformed con artist who now uses their powers for good LOL. I think that would make for a unique cozy character or even the protagonist.

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