I’ve been doing research on the Internet for my next cozy mystery, reading up on deadly poisons, vehicular homicide, and strangulation as I work out who is the victim and who the murderer. I’ve paused more than once, imagining how I would explain my online searches if law enforcement and/or government officials (because you know they’re watching!) come a-calling. So I’ve composed the following letter of explanation.
Dear Uncle Sam,
You may have noticed my recent Internet searches lean toward the deadly. I want to assure you my interest in arsenic, cyanide, and strychnine is strictly professional. I want to know how to obtain these killer poisons solely in order to know how a person with sinister motives could get their hands on them. I have no interest in growing hemlock, mistletoe, or nightshade, but I do need to know how ingestion of these plants causes death, and how quickly.
Please don’t give a second’s thought to my online research on using a letter opener as a murder weapon. Or how much damage a car would sustain after hitting a pedestrian. And if you’re still checking library records, pay no attention to that book of poisons I borrowed yesterday. Again, all for research purposes.
You see, dear Uncle, my queries are for fictional purposes only. I have no desire to try them out in a non-fiction setting. I’m a mystery writer. I make stuff up and write it down until there are enough words to call it a book. If you need proof, my debut cozy, All Things Murder, is available in hardcover, paperback large print, and e-book. You’d like the story; it will take your mind off your problems for a while.
If you need further proof of my harmlessness, there are plenty of people who will attest to the fact that I am a good Catholic girl, a wimp, honest to a fault, a diligent payer of taxes, a tea drinker, and a slow driver.
Thank you for your understanding, Uncle. You are truly the best.
Your favorite niece,
P.S. I hope you don’t think I’m a jinx because I picked an all-bird World Series, Cardinals vs. Orioles. I was wrong. Go Royals. And Giants.
Have a great week, everyone. And a fun, spooky Halloween!