Mystery Elements Vocabulary for Mysteries Reading alibi • noun • An excuse that an accused person uses to show that he/she was somewhere else other than the scene of a crime “You must believe me, sir, I was not there on the night in question.” breakthrough • noun • an advance or discovery that helps to solve a crime • synonym: discovery, find, insight Eureka! The mystery has been solved! clue • noun • a fact or object that helps solve a mystery • synonym: hint, evidence, sign We need look no further. The evidence is right in front of us. crime • noun • an act committed in violation of the law • synonym: offense, wrong doing The robber would be punished for his crime. deduce • verb • to infer by logical reasoning • synonym: infer, conclude, deduct She would deduce who was guilty from the information she had gathered. detective • noun • a person who investigates crimes and gathers information • Synonym: gumshoe, investigator, sleuth The detective put all his efforts into solving the crime. evidence • noun • something, such as a witness statement or object, that is used as proof in a crime • synonym: clue, indication The woman burned the evidence so she would not be accused of the crime. hunch • noun • a guess or feeling not based on known facts • synonym: suspicion I have a hunch you are going to solve the mystery soon. motive • noun • An inner drive that causes a person to do some thing or act in a certain way • synonym: rationale His motive for robbing the bank was his need for more money to pay off his debt. mystery • noun • something that is secret and unknown With the help of the detective, the mystery would soon be solved. plot • noun • the arrangement or incidents in a story Dr. Dixon was a source of conflict in the plot of the story. purloin • verb • to steal or filch • synonym: swipe, lift A pirate might purloin an object he really wanted. red herring • noun • something that is used to divert attention from the basic issue • synonym: diversion, distraction A diversion to the detective would be a red herring. setting • noun • the time, place, environment and surrounding circumstances of a story Cinderella went to the ball at the castle one special night. sleuth • noun • another name for a detective • synonym: detective, investigator A sleuth never gives up until the clues have all been investigated. solution • noun • an answer to a problem • synonym: explanation suspect • noun • a person who is suspected of a crime The policeman caught the suspect. victim • noun • someone who is harmed or suffers some loss The victim never knew he was being robbed. witness • noun • Someone who saw or can give a firsthand account of something The witness swore to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.