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Plotting Murder Among Friends

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on February 25, 2014

Join our imaginary conversation in a restaurant between two mystery writer friends:

Coffee Cup

Writer A: “I need to kill somebody while they’re getting a facial.”

Writer B: “How are you gonna do it?”

Writer A: “I’d like to use poison.”

Writer B: “You can’t involve the beautician. That would be too obvious.”

Writer A: “I know. What if my victim has one of those mud masks applied, and she has to lie there with a towel on her face for ten minutes or so? The beautician might leave for a few moments, at which time somebody can come in and smother the woman?”

Writer B: “Smothering works, but it doesn’t use poison. What if the killer taints the mud instead?”

Writer A: “Then the beautician would have to wear gloves when applying it so she wouldn’t be affected.”

Writer B: “How long do you want the victim to take to die? You’ll need the poison to be fast acting if she’s dead when the aesthetician returns.”

Writer A: “Yes, it should be quick. I have a book on poisons at home. And I don’t want it to be immediately evident to the cops that the woman died from unnatural causes.”

Strange Male Voice: “Are you talking about us, ma’am?”

Writer A and B glance up. Two policemen are standing by their table.

Cop A: “You’ll need to come to the station, miss. The customer in the next booth says you’re planning a murder.”

Writer A glances at their nosy neighbor. “We’re mystery writers. I’m talking about my next book, Fatality by Facial. Here, have a bookmark.”

Cop B: “No kidding? You know, I’ve always wanted to write a mystery. How do you get published? Do I need an agent?”

Writer A and B abruptly get up, pay their tab, and leave after exchanging bemused glances.

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So if you were the plotting partner, how would you suggest doing the deed?

6 Responses to “Plotting Murder Among Friends”

  1. I’d let the aesthetician get sick from the applications so the finger would point at her/him.

    • That’s a possibility but in that case, the finger would point to her stupidity. If she were the killer, she’d protect herself against the substance…unless she wanted to people to think the opposite.

  2. Great conversation and love the interloper at the end. Story line is exciting, but I have to leave the poisons up to you. BUT on the other hand, many beauticians do wear gloves today.

  3. Nancy, this is so familiar! We once gathered in the lobby during a writer’s conference and picked the brain of one of the writer’s husbands, who was a pathologist. We were brainstorming a murder. At the same time, there was an insurance convention going on. A group of insurance people were gathered at a nearby table, apparently eavesdropping. Finally, one came over (I think they drew straws) and asked if we were mystery writers. LOL The relief on his face when we said yes made us laugh. He stayed with us, talking, and abandoned his friends. Funny thing was, one of the writers picked HIS brain and came up with an insurance fraud murder book that later became a best seller for her publisher. Ya never know!

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