Tag Archive for: Stiletto

How Shall I Kill Thee?
Let Me Count the Ways

If you’re tired of death by bullets (and I still like a good Glock 9mm to do the trick), there are lots of other options. You might consider the more high-tech thallium or stick to the old-fashioned, but still effective, stiletto.

Murder can be accomplished in lots of ways. Personally, I’m intrigued by spontaneous human combustion. Years ago I read a great Scottish mystery where the victim dies ostensibly under those circumstances. Of course the killer has manipulated the situation so that it appears that the body burned of its own accord. I wish I could remember the author or title. Help please??

Since Evelyn David knocked off her first victim, we’ve gotten quite adept at new and interesting ways to commit murder. Should it trouble me that my favorite bedtime reading is Murder and Mayhem: A Doctor Answers Medical and Forensic Questions for Mystery Writers (D.P. Lyle, M.D., St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2003)? On the other hand, I’m a firm believer in the 50-page rule. Somebody’s got to be dead in the first 50 pages or generally speaking, I’ve moved on. Heck, in Murder Off the Books and the forthcoming sequel, Murder Takes the Cake, somebody dies in the first paragraph. Now that’s how to get the show on the road!

I enjoy, probably more than I should, discovering new ways to commit murder. But here’s a word to the wise. Remember that your Internet research is fair game for the prosecution should you decide to use your murder skills in real life (elimination of the spouse who leaves dirty clothes on the floor or the neighbor with the windchimes on the porch). I came across a news story recently about a woman who was on trial for murdering her husband. Chief among the evidence arrayed against her were her Google searches for “instant poisons”, “undetectable poisons”, and “fatal digoxin doses.” And then apparently the coup de grace was her search for “how to commit murder.”

Sometimes you don’t really want to kill – just maim slightly. A wound that permits your injured hero or heroine to still be healthy enough to foil the bad guys. I spent hours trying to find a gunshot wound that wouldn’t require major surgery so that one of our characters could be released from the hospital within six hours. Of course, when I was writing that scene, I had other worries. Even with the correct wound, who could guess how long the hero would sit in the Emergency Room waiting to see a doctor?

But then I remembered – this is fiction. I can move our hero to the front of the line, have him see a brilliant doctor with a wonderful bedside manner without filling out 30 pages of financial information, and get his bullet wound repaired with a liberal application of Crazy Glue.

Okay, I know. Fiction does have limits and your plot has to be believable. Some of what I just wrote will have to be deleted; probably everything except the bit about the Crazy Glue.

Evelyn David


Shoes Make the Writer

I promise to circle back to shoes. This is the Stiletto Gang and since we’re women and we’re mystery writers, we were impressed with our little wordplay. I know nothing about stiletto knives, but as a shoe whore I’ve got plenty to say about stiletto heels.

But first, why another blog from a bunch of mystery writers?

Here’s the down and dirty, simple truth. Why not? We’re writers. Blogging is a way of touching base with fellow mystery fans; a way of promoting our books; and it’s what we do. We write (or play free cell).

I’ve been watching a lot of political debates lately and always sympathize with the candidate who has to give the first answer. Sure you get your point out early, but you just know that the other guy (gal) has an extra few minutes to figure out something cleverer to say.

So it was probably not the smartest thing to volunteer to write the first entry for The Stiletto Gang. But then it struck me that the best way to meet the challenge is to quote somebody smarter than me: Carolyn Hart.

At the last Malice Domestic, she explained why she wrote cozy mysteries. “In my books, the good guys always win.”

It was the proverbial light bulb moment. Now I knew why I loved writing mysteries. Mini-control freak that I am, writing who-dunnits gives me the opportunity to create a universe with the outcomes I want. In the world of Mac Sullivan, Rachel Brenner, and Whiskey, the adorable and adored Irish wolfhound, the good guys always prevail.

That doesn’t mean that I want a Pollyanna solving mysteries in her spare time. Sure there are days when I want life to be simple. I want some blessings that aren’t in disguise. But I want to create complex, multi-layered characters who encounter conflict and struggle not with black-and-white issues, but with all the shades of gray that life entails.

My good guys love coconut cream pie, and have the love handles to show for it. My heroines have ex-husbands who cheated on them, and they have footprints on their backs from being doormats. They have pasts that haunt them, futures that worry them, and bills to pay. Me too. The question isn’t whether evil exists in my world. It most certainly does. It’s just that I get to thwart it, one killer at a time.

Now, a tad late in the essay, let me say welcome to The Stiletto Gang blog. We’re four writers, although two of us share a name. Evelyn David has a split personality. I’m Marian, the Northern half, and I live in New York. Rhonda, the Southern half, lives in Oklahoma. Our first mystery is Murder Off the Books (Echelon, 2007). We’re frantically finishing the sequel, Murder Takes the Cake. Check out our web site, http://www.evelyndavid.com/, and discover the intriguing secret of how our book was written.

Tomorrow you’ll meet Marilyn Meredith. Marilyn is the author of the acclaimed Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, as well as the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

Wednesdays, Maggie Barbieri, author of the Allison Bergeron series (which has taken off like gangbusters), mans the helm.

Thursdays, Rhonda Dossett, the Southern half of Evelyn David, puts pen to paper (make that fingers to keyboard, but you get the drift.)

Fridays, we’d love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in a guest blog.

A promise is a promise. Let me circle back to stiletto heels. I’m a writer, so let’s be real. My default writing footwear is bedroom slippers. For dress-up, I wear a pair of black suede Merrell slip-ons. When I win an Edgar, I’ll wear stiletto heels. Promise.

My wish for you all: a world where the men are good looking; the women are brilliant and beautiful; the dogs are loyal and loving … and where the good guys always win.

Evelyn David