Pick Your Poison – The Mystery Writer’s Dilemma

Since I began to compose my own mysteries, the biggest struggle seems to be how to kill someone. Maybe it just doesn’t come naturally to me to think of killing someone.

These days, I wouldn’t wish pain upon even my worst “enemies”.

But I have come to love my cozies, the lighthearted mysteries that entertain and comfort me in spite of the misfortune of the murder victims as they are violently attacked, or ingest toxic substances.

So, in my “spare” time, I try to come up with believable, yet unpredictable plots. Research into ways to kill someone can be quite troubling, though. Some poisons that were readily available in earlier times have become regulated today, but still, a good number of drugs, plants and household products could still be accessed by someone plotting a murder, or hopefully, only a good story. Deadly Doses: A Writer’s Guide to Poisons (Howdunit Series) is a classic for mystery writers seeking toxic products for plots.

I’m still not sure how someone who grows more peace loving with age has become enamored of reading and now writing cozy mysteries.

I do know I was never a fan of most fiction,  the plots seemed either too boring or too filled with human drama. Then I discovered cozies. Cozy writers seem to enjoy the same aspects of life that I do. Many focus upon pets, gardening, and generally living a modest but pleasurable lifestyle. While they’re upset by murders, they seem to accept them as an unpleasant but inevitable part of life.

Of course, historical mysteries are still may favorite to write. I think they can be every bit as intriguing as stories involving current era fatalities. One of these days, Black Cats, Schemes, and Childhood Dreams, or a short story of mine may see the light of publication, when I deem them to be ready for public reading.

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