Monday, July 7, 2014

Cause of death – Researching?

So, yeah, I’m writing a new mystery for the Tourist Trap series.  And I've got this dead guy in the middle of the floor, playing, no being, dead.

I know who kills Kent. I know why he has to die.

It’s the how.

I had a great idea that I started researching and ran into some controversy over whether or not a stun gun can kill someone.  So now I’m mulling over the but what if… additions.

I’m trying to make the story interesting without delving into the world of science fiction or fantasy.  My Google search history would make a serial killer proud.

Meanwhile, I've got a dead guy in the middle of the stage. Literally. 

So this question is for the cozy mystery reader – How realistic do you like your murder facts?  I don’t want to make people throw the book across the room. (grin)

To gather more information, I've joined a crime writer yahoo group and am busy searching the files for relevant entries. I've searched out blogs from former police officers where they post about the effects of different weapons.

In the past, I met two guys who owned a lot of guns (prior military dudes) in a bar. When I said I’d never shot a gun before, they offered to take me to the desert and teach me to shoot.

I went.

Luckily, I also came home, but I started to get a little nervous when I thought about how isolated the spot they’d chosen for the shooting lesson. 

When we were driving to our favorite ATV riding site with my husband’s best friend, I brought up the question of guns. I think the friend thought I was a bit off, or at least until my husband asked if this was for one of my books.

So writers, what have you done in the name of research?  Know any great murder sites you’d like to share?


If you like your mysteries in paper format, MISSION TO MURDER is now available -e-book July 31st.


  1. The craziest thing I did was sent a "can I murder a person this way" email to the M.E. in St. Louis about 15 years ago. The second I sent it, I thought, "uh oh."

    But she answered me (we'd met while I was a reporter working on a murder case 10 years earlier and, somehow, she remembered me).

    1. I wonder how many emails from 'aspiring writers' she gets. :) Thanks for sharing.