Penelope Fitzgerald's first novel (The Golden Child) was written to entertain her husband during his final illness. Unfortunately the book failed to work as a thriller. The solution? Fitzgerald and her publisher simply cut the last eight chapters -- and called it a mystery.
[Fitzgerald's first serious mystery novel proved to be her last. "The publisher told me I'd have to write six, with the same detective -- so they could make a row on the bookshelf," Fitzgerald recalled. "I was appalled."]