Enjoy some Mayhem & Magic!

Our blog is meant to evoke fun with the magic of myths, folklore, movies and the mayhem of murder and madness. We have to keep it interesting so if you like different genres of movies and books then you're at the right blog. Our authors are a wide range of experts and our readers know what is top of the line in their favorite genres. Sometimes we post recipes that might be fun to try if a culinary author has one in her book that we think is especially yummy or one that Terri and I have created and want to share with you. Enjoy Guest Blogger Alice Duncan's monthly muse on her books and writing mysteries.

Plus you won't want to miss our book reviews, author interviews or our guest bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage then join us for some magic and mayhem! The good news is that you don't have to leave the house or your comfy chair. We have something for everyone's taste and every month we have a different topic for our bloggers: ones we feel that might be useful in your own writing and reader points of view. Not to mention, life in general. So join us and be sure to have a notebook handy as your to-be-read pile will grow as you add books, recipes, movies and t.v. series you won't want to miss. Not to mention folktales, myths or ideas you may wish to explore. Be careful what you wish for because on mayhemandmagic2 you just might find it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Guest Blogger - Elaine Viets -On Going Dark Again

Going Dark Again
By Elaine Viets

           After 15 years of writing cozy and traditional mysteries, I'm back writing hard-boiled, forensic novels. I'm writing the darker Angela Richman, death investigator mysteries. Brain Storm is the first mystery in this new series.
            A death investigator works for the medical examiner's office. At a murder, the DI is in charge of the body. The police handle the rest of the crime scene.
          Angela is a death investigator in mythical Chouteau Country, Missouri, stronghold of the overprivileged and the people who serve them.
          My death investigator mysteries aren't too gory – not like Patricia Cornwell's "I boiled my dead boyfriend's head." This series is more like the TV show Forensic Files, without the commercials.
          I've come home.
          My first series, the Francesca Vierling newspaper mysteries, was hardboiled.  Then, when the publishing division was wiped out, I switched to the traditional Dead-End Job mysteries, featuring Helen Hawthorne. The Art of Murder, the 15th novel in the series is just out. I also wrote ten cozy Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper mysteries.
          I love both series, but wanted to write dark mysteries again. But I didn't want to do another police procedural or a private eye with a dead wife or a drinking problem. Other writers had done those and done them well.
          But death investigators were a profession many readers didn't know about. Janet Rudolph, founder of Mystery ReadersInternational, agreed. She believes Angela Richman is the only death investigator series. Last January, I passed the Medicolegal Death Investigators Training Course for forensic professionals at St. Louis University. I wanted the training – and the contacts – to make the new series accurate.
          Now that I'm writing dark again, my writing has changed. Here's what happened when I jumped from cozies to hard-boiled
          My characters can cuss. Angela Richman's best friend and colleague is Katie, Chouteau County assistant medical examiner Dr. Katherine Kelly Stern. Pathologists tend to be eccentric, and Katie is based on a real pathologist who’d perfected the art of swearing. Her profanity was a mood indicator. I could tell how angry she was by whether she used "fricking," "freaking," or the ultimate F-bomb and how often she employed these and other cuss words. Oddly enough, when she swore, the words didn't sound offensive.
          Katie cusses with style and grace in Brain Storm
          Body counts.  In cozy and traditional mysteries, the murders take place offstage. In the new death investigator series, readers aren't forced to take a blood bath, but they will see crime scenes and forensic procedures. They'll get a firsthand look at the sights, sounds, even the smells of death.
          Real weapons. In cozy mysteries, when Josie Marcus battles killers, she resorts to “domestic violence," using kitchen tools, gardening equipment, and whatever she can grab for weapons.
          Helen Hawthorne in the Dead-End Job mysteries is a little bolder. She's armed with pepper spray to take down killers, though in Checked Out she did get sprayed
with her own weapon.
          In Brain Storm, when Angela confronted the killer, she was in an office, surrounded by the standard supplies: wastebaskets, chairs, coffee mugs, letter openers. I was prepared to have Angela grab one, when it dawned on me: Wait! This isn't a cozy.

         I can use firepower.
          So Angela shot the killer in the head. It felt so good.

          Brain Storm is on sale as a trade paperback, audio and e-book amzn.to/2awPsIe
                Win an autographed hardcover of Elaine’s seventh Dead-End Job mystery, Clubbed to Death. http://elaineviets.com/index.php?id=contests

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