Tuesday, March 3, 2009

This and That About Mystery Writers and What They Get Away With

Next week I'm going to Epicon, the electronic writers convention. While I think about what to take, and old friends I hope to see again, new friends I hope to meet, I got to thinking what an odd bunch writers are and mystery writers in particular.

It isn't the least bit surprising to read posts on Sisters in Crime or the Mystery Writers of America's lists asking for the best way to murder someone and get away with it. The particular question may be about mis-use of medication, drowning, poisoning by all sorts of ways, or it could be about guns, or any unusual sort of mayhem.

I've often wondered if these lists are ever looked at by real detectives or FBI agents who might wonder about the people asking these gruesome questions. There's also a website called Dr. Lyle, where the good doctor will answer all sorts of questions about the ways and means of getting rid of someone.

And to make it even more interesting, often you'll see someone on these list requesting a roommate for a particular conference. Now, you can see where my mind is leading. A wonderful mystery could be written about someone rooming with a perfect stranger who had murder on the mind.

I've delved into this roommate business a bit more on my own blog, but for here I'll confess that I'm guilty of finding a roommate for a conference on line and in two cases, it was someone I really didn't know ahead of time. I can assure you though, once you've spent a long weekend with someone you truly do know them.

You'll know if they snore or not, if they get up a lot in the night (I'm guilty of both), if they hog the bathroom, if they are an early or late riser, if they're messy or neat and before the weekend has passed, you will have learned how to get along.

And, even if you pick mystery writer, you probably don't have to worry about being murdered in your bed.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith


Morgan Mandel said...

Roommates for a night or two isn't too bad. After that, they could get on your nerves.

Morgan Mandel

Anne Carter said...

I actually did this too. I shared a room at RT several years ago with a romance author I'd only met on-line. We are still friends, 6 years later. We sat up on our beds one of the nights watching Pirates of the Caribbean and wrapped book cover labels around mini candy bars together. We had a super time, had lots in common, went to the Ellora's Cave party that night. Fond memories!


Jean Henry Mead said...


You and Chester Campbell are the travelingist seniors around. Have a great time at Epicon!


Ben Small said...

I once asked the toxicologist who invented the Breathalyzer the question, telling him I was a budding mystery writer. He was testifying for me at a TCE trial. He laughed and said he wouldn't answer, that everybody seemed to ask the question, and he didn't want to give anybody ideas... :<)

Chester Campbell said...

Reminds me of what Sarah tells people when she sees a handbag lying around untended. She says it would be okay at a mystery writers conference because those people don't get involved in thievery, just murder.

Dana Fredsti said...

I met a gal at LCC last year, Jess Lourey, who I would gladly room with any time. But we did the test of touring together...so it's not the same as pulling a semi-random name out of the convention 'roommates wanted list.'
I've also wondered if Homeland Security wonders why I google alert Murder for Hire... :-)