Clues are hints that help the detective and reader solve the mystery. They can be things people say or do or objects that are found.
Distractions are things that lead an investigator off the path, including clues that do not add up to a solution but make the search longer.
Adapted from Mystery Elements by Read Write Think
ALIBI: An excuse that an accused person uses to show that they were not at the scene of the crime.
BREAKTHROUGH: A discovery that helps solve the crime.
CLUE: A fact or object that gives information toward solving the crime.
CRIME: An action that breaks the law.
DEDUCTION: Drawing a conclusion.
DETECTIVE: An investigator looking for and gathering clues.
EVIDENCE: A thing or statement that helps to prove who committed the crime.
FORENSIC SCIENCE: The application of science to criminal justice, especially as relating to the collection, examination, and analysis of physical evidence.
HUNCH: A guess or gut feeling not based on facts.
MOTIVE: A reason that a person does something -- can include anger, hatred, love, revenge, or greed.
MYSTERY: Something that is unknown.
RED HERRING: A false clue that throws the investigator off track.
SLEUTH: An investigator.
SUSPECT: Person who has a motive to have committed a crime.
WITNESS: Person who has knowledge about a crime.
Adapted from Mystery Words by Read Write Think