Sunday, September 26, 2010

Murder, She Wrote

There’s nothing like being awake at three in the morning with your newborn, except, of course, being awake a three-thirty in the morning when the newborn is back asleep you’re staring at the clock.

It was in those moments that I decided to focus my mind on something useful, like how to knock off the old headmistress of a private girls’ school using nothing but prescription medication.

Yes, I’m talking about a good old fashioned murder, the kind you read about in books. And, that is what I decided to do—the book part, not the actual murder.

For the setting, I used my beloved town of Pennington, New Jersey. For the details on medication, I befriended a pharmacist (decidedly one not in my hometown.) And, in the few lucid moments I had before lights-out, I turned to the mounting number of books I’d accumulated on my nightstand ; books that drew a few questions from my patient but slightly suspicious husband: Deadly Doses—a writer’s guide to poisons; Amateur Detectives—a writer’s guide to how private citizens solve criminal cases; and the book that tells you exactly what does happen when a person is struck by lightning and how safe it is (or is not) to handle cyanide: Murder and Mayhem by D.P. Lyle, M.D..

The story I finally created, Nice Moms Finish Last, was edited by a professional editor, and was part of the Mystery Writers of America mentor project. But, I wasn’t sure what do with this piece of fiction, and, in an effort to still feed and care for my children, I had to put “publish my short story” lower on my to-do list. Then a friend suggested I hone my writing skills and gain some credentials by starting a blog.

So I did. And named it Lunch Box Mom.

My blog, of course, now has nothing to do with my suburban murder mystery.

But, as the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction—especially in the realm of parenthood. Who, for example, would have guessed that one detail in Chapter One of Nice Moms—an inventory count on bottles of Infant Tylenol--would date the piece as being “pre-recall”. (Try finding a bottle of the name-brand stuff on the shelf today...)

So, before the rest of this murder in suburbia tale takes the tone of historical fiction, I figured I had better finally share it. I hope you find the story to be fun and perhaps a diversion from the serious or more taxing parts of your day. And, if you are awake at three-thirty in the morning, may you find the plot, as I did, a lot more interesting to think about than the alarm clock.

Serialized with new chapters posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, now through October 8th. Check out the exciting and suspense-filled site at:

Willow Barnes has discovered there are two types of mothers: those who keep their children home when they are sick, and those who take them to playgroups, spread their tiny germs and inflict misery on the rest of the community. In the small New Jersey town of Darley, unfortunately, there are more of the latter. So, when nice mom and pharmacist Christine Longoria is accused of killing the former headmistress of a local school, Willow and her two best friends team up to prove that despite being an endangered species, Nice Moms don't always finish last....

Click here NOW to read Chapter One
.....It's raining near the Village Apothecary and Willow has heard more than she should ....
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to have New Chapters sent right to your in box)

1 comment:

Tim Morrissey said...

Can't wait for the next chapter...