Friday, December 29, 2017

A Las Vegas Cozy Mystery

I was part of a group of erotic romance writers and my cozy and fun mystery, The Salacious Scribes Mystery, is loosely based on what might have happened when our charismatic leader decided to branch out on his own. The climax of the story occurs at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas where someone shoots him.  Whodunit? Was it one of the writers in his "stable"?  Or was it one of his groupies who discovers him with another woman?  Perhaps it was a business deal gone wrong? 

The story is told by an awkward 63-year-old erotic romance writer whose husband accompanies her to Las Vegas, along with their uncannily human-like black cat who keeps her in line when she finds herself attracted to the investigating detective.  While I was writing this cozy mystery my husband and I went to Las Vegas for inspiration and my descriptions of our room at the Bellagio, the famous Neon Museum, and the Mob Museum add local color to the story.

The view from our room at The Bellagio

Shortly after our visit, the mass shooting at The Mirage happened.  My niece was staying there and she barely made it back home.  Others in my family were missing. It deeply affected me; so much so that I pulled The Salacious Scribes Mystery out of circulation for a while.  It felt like the end of innocence for me; just like I had felt after the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Months later, my cozy mystery is back in print and the humorous predicaments that my main character gets herself into will hopefully bring a smile to the faces of those who are kind enough to read it. 

Because of the sexual nature of the story, this book is for those 18 and older.

Here are the buy links:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

James Bond and Nancy Drew

Can you find James Bond on the cover of this eBook?  This is a funny story about a teenage sleuth who goes to London with her father and is delighted when she discovers that Daniel Craig (AKA James Bond) is staying at their hotel.  I was inspired to write this book by my love of Nancy Drew books and my love of London.  On vacation in London a few years back, James Bond actually was staying at the same hotel as my husband and I were.  At the time, the actor who played Bond was Pierce Brosnan.  Just like Nancy Keene in my story of The Stolen Mask, I was settling into our upper bedroom when I looked out the window and saw Agent 007 drinking champagne in the hotel's garden. I was as star-struck as any teenage school girl would be.

In this story, Nancy opens the door of her hotel room to retrieve the morning paper and is shocked when Daniel Craig opens the door next to hers to do the same thing.  He is only wearing a towel around his waist.  He sees her in her flannel nightgown, and self-consciously looks down at his towel to make sure nothing's showing.  When he catches her looking in the same place, he winks at her and goes back inside his room.  Nancy feels her first stirrings of passion and is pleased that she has an opportunity to come to his aid when someone steals his BAFTA award out of his room.

I am a total Anglophile and love all things British--its literature, its music, its history, its art. I love writing about places I've traveled to, so in this story I have Nancy sight-seeing at some of my favorite destinations in and around London.  She goes on a Jane Austen pilgrimage, visits Buckingham Palace, shops at Harrods, and goes to the Sherlock Holmes museum.  Nancy is very precocious and has read a lot, so when she tries to solve the case of the stolen mask, she channels Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, and Rumpole of the Bailey.

This book is one of my favorite ones I've written and I hope my readers will like it, too.  So, come with Nancy Keene on a trip to London where she meets James Bond and even gets to walk the red carpet with him when she's back home for the Oscars.  A bit of a stretch?  Of course, but a girl can't help but dream.

Buy Links:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Mystery Writers' Genres

Attention Mystery Writers: What sub-genres of mysteries does your book fall under?
The mystery genre has developed many sub-genres over the years. Correctly labeling your mystery will determine how discoverable it will be on and other book channels where your books are available.  Here are 13 of the most common sub-genres:

Cozy: When the rich uncle is found poisoned, the kindly lady from across the heath skips her afternoon tea to discover which of the family members committed the dastardly deed.
The cozy, typified by Agatha Christie, contains a bloodless crime and a victim who won't be missed. The solution can be determined using emotional (Miss Marple) or logical (Poirot) reasoning. The Malice Domestic convention celebrates this tradition and produces an annual anthology.

Amateur Sleuth: Even though his business partner's death is declared a suicide, Frank can't shake the feeling that his partner was killed to sabotage the defense contract.
The amateur sleuth tries to solve the murder of someone close. Either the police have tried and failed or misread the murder as an accident/suicide. Both the loss and need for a solution is personal. These are usually single-shot stories and novels since lightning rarely strikes the same person again and again (outside of a television series). [Editor's Note: This is changing, however, and there are a large number of amateur sleuths who are normally engaged in such businesses as selling tea or making quilts, but who manage to stumble across dead bodies on a regular basis.]

Professional Sleuth: Although Swiss banks were world-renowned for discretion and secrecy, Hans knew he needed to explain the dead body in the vault before Monday morning.
The professional sleuth is an amateur sleuth in a professional setting, preferably a setting which is unique and intriguing. Not only is inside information used, but solving the crime returns order to a cloistered environment. Think Dick Frances and the world of horse racing.

Police Procedural: As Lieutenant Dickerman watched the new guy blow too much dust across the glass table top, he reached for the antacids in his pocket. The killer had struck four times now and Dickerman had to depend on clowns fresh out of the academy to gather evidence.
The police procedural emphasizes factual police operations. Law enforcement is a team effort where department politics often plays a large role. If you plan to write one of these, you need to spend time with police officers and research the tiny details which will make your story ring true. Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels describe the workings of a fictional big-city department.

Legal/Medical: The defense lawyer knew that the surgeon was going to be a difficult expert witness.
Lawyers and doctors make effective protagonists since they seem to exist on a plane far above the rest of us. Although popular, these tales are usually penned by actual lawyers and doctors due to the demands of the information presented. To find latest legal/medical mystery look no farther than the bestseller list.

Suspense: Despite the fact Greg hadn't seen the killer flee the scene of the crime, the two attempts on his life convinced him the killer believed otherwise.
Instead of the sleuth pursuing the criminal, in suspense the protagonist is the one being pursued. Here the question is not so much "Who done it?" but "How will the main character stay alive?" These thrillers are often blockbusters.

Romantic Suspense: Despite the fact Vanessa hadn't seen the killer flee the scene of the crime, the two attempts on her life made her wonder if she shouldn't have said anything to Richard.
Add a hefty dose of romance to a suspense and produce a romantic suspense. Not only does justice prevail, but love conquers all. The spectrum runs from Mary Higgins Clark to mystery lines from the paperback romance publishers.

Historical: When Sam Adams turned the Boston Massacre into a call for revolution, he neglected to mention that one of the men killed was shot not by the British but by someone firing from a second story window.
Move your mystery into the past, near or far, and you've entered the realm of the historical mystery. Crime has always been in fashion and the possibilities are limited only by your imagination and ability to research. The Historial Mystery Appreciation Society can be found at [Editor's Note: Another interesting resource on historical mysteries is Crime Thru Time, at]

Mixed Genre: As if it wasn't bad enough that a clone had terminated a robot, Inspector Ji suspected the killing had been ordered by the Velusian ambassador.
Move your mystery into the future and you've entered the realm of the mixed-genre mystery. Although mixed-genre isn't confined to SF, science fiction is a healthy market which welcomes the marriage. Isaac Asimov's ROBOT series is one example of a future police detective.

Private Eye: He fingered the retainer in his pocket, tried to remind himself that the client was always right. It didn't wash. She thought she could buy him but he wasn't for sale.
The Private Eye is as much an American icon as the Western gunslinger. From the hardboiled PIs of the 30s and 40s to the politically correct investigators of today, this sub-genre is known for protagonists with a strong code of honor. While Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder is an unofficial PI, Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone is licensed.

Noir: He fingered the check in his pocket. He knew it would bounce, but so had Mac when he hit the pavement from seven stories up.
While much PI is Noir, Noir also covers stories from the other side of the fence. Noir is a mood: gritty, bleak, and unforgiving. The usual brutality is about as far from Cozy as you can get. Plug "noir" into your favorite search engine to find a wealth of sites offering original and reprinted fiction.

Crime: They had thirty seconds to cut the alarm. Best time during drills had been fifteen. Now, twenty seconds after opening the faceplate, Allison slipped and dropped the pliers inside the wall.

Suspense in the crime story comes from wondering whether the plan will work. We're rooting for the bad guys because they are smart, organized, and daring. The ride will be a bumpy one. This sub-genre works well in film. Consider renting The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3Entrapment, or The Thomas Crowne Affaire.

Caper: The gun had been loaded when he left the house this morning so why wouldn't it shoot now? Gus cursed as he throttled the lump of metal and then glared down the barrel.
A caper is a comic crime story. Instead of suave and calculating, the caper chronicles the efforts of the lovable bungler who either thinks big or ridiculously small. Finally, we get to laugh.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The 200th Anniversary of Jane Austen's Death

Today is the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death. Which is your favorite of her books? I love Sense and Sensibility the best, but a close second is Pride and Prejudice. What's not to like about this brilliant depiction of a Regency era family consisting of five daughters about whose futures every parent might worry.

My story, "The Forgotten Sister", concentrates on the fate of Mary, the blurry middle daughter, who is so bookish and impractical, that even Jane Austen has a hard time trying to say something positive about her.

Take another look at this much maligned middle sister and see where her life took her after Pride and Prejudice's last words were penned.

"The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice" is available for only $1.99
at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Smashwords and Kobo.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Summer of Love: A Trip Back to 1968

Have you ever wished you'd gone to Woodstock? This time travel tale is about two sisters who go back in time to attend a similar outdoor concert, "The Newport Pop Festival", where they saw bands like The Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, The Grateful Dead, & Steppenwolf.

Here is an excerpt from a five-star review of the novel at

What a groovy read! As a child of the 1960’s I was too young to be part of the teenage hippie movement but I dream of having been there and yes a time machine would be awesome! This story is so amazing I didn’t want to put it down afterall who wouldn’t want to go back in time and see loved ones that have passed on. Excellently written this story is an outstanding tale of the 1960’s with such descriptive detail I felt as though I was really there and living it all through the sisters’ eyes. From the festival, the stores, the cars, the house it’s all there. So amazing step into the photo booth take a flashback and relive 1968 once again.

Here's where you may purchase it for $1.99

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mystery Readers and Writers

Do you like reading mysteries?  Do you like writing mysteries?  If so, take a look at the Mystery Readers and Writers Facebook Group. My husband and I created a place where both can come together; and have over 100 members!!  I am very impressed with the writers in this group.  Many are bestsellers.  One has been compared to David Baldacci. Most have 5 star reviews of their books at Amazon. Our group periodically offers free or discounted books at fun parties where there are games and prizes. Please join the group, even if you're not a writer.  All of us are readers and love to hear about new books. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mysteries That Take Place in Savannah, Georgia

In 1994, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a non-fiction story about a murder trial in Savannah, Georgia, became a best seller on the New York Times best seller list for 216 weeks following its debut.  It reigns as the longest standing best seller in their history.  What is it about this book that captivates readers? There are so many reasons I like it: first and foremost, I love how it describes the physical beauty of Savannah--a town built upon a system of public squares that have beautiful gardens, fountains, and statuary. The homes surrounding each square are wonderful, too.  The last time my husband and I went there, we went on a home and garden tour in the Spring and got to look inside these houses.  Wow! What a world they displayed; if only we lowly ones could live like that, too. I love the cast of characters in "The Book", as the locals refer to "Midnight".  I especially like Jim Williams and The Lady Chablis. They are so larger-than-life.  We went to one of Chablis' performances the last time we were in Savannah and were treated to a night we'll never forget.

Honeymoon in Savannah: A Detective Santy Mystery
by Louise Hathaway

Our murder/mystery, Honeymoon in Savannah: A Detective Santy Mystery, is about this beautiful city, where our homicide detective, Clarissa Santy, and her husband go on a "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" pilgrimage and end up involved in a murder investigation when a famous chef is murdered while they are in Savannah.  The chef just happens to be Clarissa's cousin--so this is personal.  And she can't rest until she finds out whodunit. 

eBook and Paperback Version are
Available at Amazon 

Also available at Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Google Play
Smashwords and Kobo 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Summer of Love

I was listening to the radio last night and heard the disc jockey say that it's the 50th anniversary of the summer of love.  For those of you who were alive during that period, what do you remember?  For those of you who weren't even born yet, here's a brief overview of that period when thousands of American teenagers flooded San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district in search of free love and an alternate lifestyle. During the spring and summer of 1967, nearly 100,000 artists, outsiders, activists, Viet Nam protesters, and dreamers converged in San Francisco. Some say they changed the world.

I was a gawky 12 year old living in the shadows of a popular older brother and sister when I first heard about the Monterrey Pop Festival. All the bands I liked played there and some of its more memorable moments happened when Jimmi Hendrix set his guitar on fire and newcomer Janice Joplin blew everyone's mind with her talent, especially Mama Cass of the Mamas and the Papas. The following year, many of the great bands who played at Monterrey came down to my neck of the woods, Costa Mesa, California, and performed on a very hot and dusty summer day at the Orange County Fairgrounds. 

My time-travel novel "The Summer of Love: A Trip Back to 1968" is about that magical time in my life where I attended the concert with my friends, sister, and cousins. 

Here's what readers are saying about this 5 Star Book:

"Excellently written this story is an outstanding tale of the 1960’s with such descriptive detail I felt as though I was really there and living it all through the sisters’ eyes. From the festival, the stores, the cars, the house it’s all there. So amazing step into the photo booth take a flashback and relive 1968 once again."

"Great read, especially if were a "child" of the 60's era."

The Summer of Love:
A Trip Back to 1968
by Louise Hathaway 

Available for $1.99 at the following online stores:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cozy Mystery Inspired by Nancy Drew

Here's an excerpt from my cozy mystery about a teenage sleuth who goes on vacation with her father and friends and becomes part of the investigation when a docent at Oak Alley Plantation is found dead inside the famous mansion. Part travelogue, party ghost story, this book mixes voodoo, ghosts, and bayous into a spicy gumbo of a whodunit.

In the following scene, the tour group goes to Oak Alley
and finds the dead body:

As the tour bus traveled to Oak Alley Plantation, the docent told them that the famous pink mansion was built in 1837. "It is best known for the double rows of live oaks leading up to the plantation. The trees were planted before the house was built. The design of the building is Greek revival with some of the features of Caribbean architecture. She asked the crowd, "Anybody know what that looks like?”

Once again, Nancy raised her hand and waited to be called on.  The guide told the crowd, “It’s nice to see that some young people on this bus have good manners.”  The troublesome teenage boy who made fun of the guide earlier rolled his eyes upon hearing this.

The guide told Nancy, “Yes, young lady.  What is your answer?”

“It means that it has shutters on the windows to keep out high winds and an open floor plan to keep the house as cool as possible.”

A man on the tour bus said, “Like some of the houses in Key West.”

“Very good,” the tour guide said.  “Because it’s so warm in these here parts, we need as much air circulation as possible; so the many windows and open floor plan provide that.”  She paused to catch her breath and continued, “Okay. Y'alls’ architecture lesson continues.  The exterior of the home has a free standing colonnade of 28 Doric columns on all four sides.  Has anyone ever been to Greece?  Or seen pictures of the Parthenon?” Several people raised their hands.  “Imagine,” she said.  “A little bit of ancient Greece right here in the good old U.S. of A.”

The bratty kid asked her, “Don’t you think you’re trying a little too much to sound like Paula Deen?  Is that really how you actually talk?”

At this point, Hannah, Nancy's tomboy friend, got up out of her seat and walked over to him.  “We all have had just about enough of you and your mouth.  I, personally, am about ready to throw you off this bus.”  She glared at his sheepish looking parents and said, “Can you please do something to stifle him?”

Everyone on the bus applauded.  Hannah bowed and took her seat.  “Carry on,” she told the tour guide.

“Well, well.  We sure have an interesting group of young people on this bus this morning.  How’s about I just stop talking and let ya’ll enjoy the scenery, okay? Feel free to ask me any questions.”  With that, she whispered something to the bus driver and they both laughed as she sat down.  It was a beautiful drive and everyone became excited when they see the tunnel of oak trees leading up to the plantation house.  They got off the bus and were eager to take a look inside the house.  Several people took pictures of the beautiful alley of trees.  Nancy gushed, “This is just how I imagined it.  It is so wonderful!”

The tour guide told them to take a look around, but don’t journey too far away. After waiting about 20 minutes, everyone started getting restless for the tour inside to begin.  Another bus load of tourists had just pulled up, disgorging all of its passengers.  Nancy’s guide told her group to stay together and guaranteed them that they will go first.  “The docent was supposed to open the door for us. I can't find her anywhere."  

The churlish boy said to her, “Why don’t you just unlock the door?  Don’t you people have your own set of keys?”

Their tour guide finally loses her cool with him and snaps, “Duh!!  Do you think we’d be standing around here looking helpless if we did?”

He answered, “This is so lame.”

Nancy told Hannah, “Control yourself.  Count to ten.”

“I’d sure like to sucker-punch him.”

“I know.  I know.  Just try to chill.”

Their tour guide told the crowd to hang on while she called the manager of the tour company.

To her father, Nancy said, “Evangeline was supposed to be the first docent here this morning.  I hope nothing’s happened to her!”

About 15 minutes later, the tour guides' boss arrived with the key to open up the plantation house.  He and the guides walked in first, telling everyone to stay back outside.  Suddenly, everyone heard a loud scream coming from inside.

Nancy was first to run inside the house to see what’s happened.  When she saw Evangeline, the concierge at her hotel, stretched out on the floor of the parlor, she told the crowd, “Stand back.  I know CPR.  Somebody call 911.”

It was suddenly bedlam with everyone rushing inside to see what’s happened. The tour boss told them, “Everyone get outside!  Don’t make things even worse than they already are.”  Nancy was not able to revive Evangeline and noticed that the poor woman had been having another bloody nose this morning: blood was caked on her nostrils and a bloody Kleenex lay nearby.  People came up with all sorts of theories about what happened: some thought she was murdered; others said she had a heart attack; and some even raised the idea that she was scared to death by a ghost.  “Poor, poor Evangeline,” is all that Nancy could say.
Would you like to read what happens next?

This cozy mystery is available at all your favorite on line books stores including Amazon, where it's also available in paperback.  Here's their direct link:

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Regency Period and Jane Austen

Here is an excerpt from The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice 

My family and I are visiting Brighton today.  My sisters’ husbands have stayed behind. Everyone thinks that the fresh sea air will be good for our constitutions.  I must admit that it’s nice to get out of Longbourn for a change.  It’s so provincial.  I am hoping to see what “the real world” is like.

Whilst there, my sisters got it into their heads that they wanted to rent a bathing machine.  I had never seen one of these contraptions and was eager to learn all about them.  They are basically large covered wagons attached to a horse who tows people out into several feet of water. Once there, the the swimmer undresses inside the machines, puts on her bathing costume, and is lowered into the water by a female attendant.  Once in the water, one may swim or hang on to a rope attached to the “machine” while the waves wash over you.

I had never swam in the ocean.  I have dipped my feet into the waves a few times, but this was a first. Once inside the wagon, I found it was small, badly lit, and poorly ventilated.  The only light that came in was from small openings placed high up to deter voyeurs.  We changed into our bathing costumes and an old hag of a bathing attendant who seemed to have imbibed in the sherry a bit too much assisted us as we boldly dropped into the sea.

Mama demanded to go first.  Once in the water, she screamed, “It’s too cold!  I’m going to die of hypothermia!  Quick! Somebody get me out of here!”
Lydia said, “For heaven’s sake, Mama!”
The attendant helped Mama back up into the covered wagon and wrapped her with a blanket.
To show everyone that she wasn’t afraid, Lydia jumped into the water with the confidence of Aphrodite riding ashore on an oyster shell.  “Come on,” she told us sisters.  “The water is fine!”
The rest of us followed suit.  I must admit, I did not care for it.  Mama was right: it was too cold! I didn’t stay in the water for very long and asked the attendant to help me up.  The old woman thought she’d regale us with her stories.  She said that women and men swam miles apart in Brighton.  She went on to say that men swam nude.
Once Lydia heard that, her ears perked up.  She asked the hag to lift her out and inquired, “Where exactly do the men swim nude?”
My sister Jane chastised her saying, “We mustn’t go there.  What would people say?!”
Elizabeth, my other sister, said, “Papa would be appalled.”

My sister Kitty started coughing and frantically asked to be pulled out of the sea.  I’ve been worrying about her.  She’s had this cough for a long time.  I hope she doesn’t have consumption!  I shall demand that Papa have a doctor give the poor girl a thorough checkup the minute we arrive home.

Would you like to read what happens next?

Please check out The Forgotten Sister: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice 
by Louise Hathaway.

Friday, April 21, 2017

New Mystery by K.M. Hodge

True Blue Son (The Syndicate-Born Trilogy Book 3)
by K.M.Hodge

The Son—born to save them all.

Dr. Zander Ride grew up a son of The Syndicate, his fate as a career criminal all but sealed. With the help of his mother, he escaped a life of crime… until the night he heard The Syndicate had shot his mother in cold blood.

Zander soon finds refuge in the hands of his mother’s hacktivist group, who want his help bringing down the notorious group once and for all. But it comes with a cost. Managed by a different leader and guided by a new deadly mission, the hacktivists force Zander to confront the truth about his parents and the sacrifices they made for the cause.

In the end, Zander must decide how far he’s willing to go and what he’s willing to sacrifice. Can a child born of The Syndicate bring it all down, or will he be another pointless sacrifice in their struggle for money and power?

[Crime Thriller, Suspense, Women's Fiction]
True Blue Son by K.M. Hodge
Evolved Publishing presents the third book in The Syndicate-Born Trilogy, an exploration of what happens when one well-placed group possesses too much power, and how it affects those who just get in its way. [DRM-Free]

What Others Are Saying about RED ON THE RUN by K.M. Hodge:
"Move over Baldacci. Prepare for competition from this new author! Spellbinding - hard to put down." ~ Patrisha Ehlert

"Ms. Hodge has crafted an interesting tale of suspense amid a beautiful love story. You don't know who to trust, so you are suspicious of everyone." ~ Melinda McIntosh, author of 'A Bit of Tickle for the Mind'

"Domestic abuse and addiction can be pretty tough topics but K.M. Hodge delivers in a debut novel that is fast-paced and very suspenseful." ~ Gail Olmsted, author of 'Guessing at Normal'

"This adrenaline-fueled thriller captivates from the first chapter until it hurtles to the dramatic finale." ~ RandomBadger

Books by K.M. Hodge:
Red on the Run (The Syndicate-Born Trilogy - Book 1)
Black and White Truth (The Syndicate-Born Trilogy - Book 2)
True Blue Son (The Syndicate-Born Trilogy - Book 3)
Walker Texas Wife (The Book Cellar Mysteries - Book 1)
Texas and Tiaras (The Book Cellar Mysteries - Book 2)
More Great Thrillers from Evolved Publishing:
Broometime Serenade by Barry Metcalf
Forgive Me, Alex by Lane Diamond
Shatter Point by Jeff Altabef
Whispers of the Dead by C.L. Roberrts-Huth

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring in Savannah, Georgia

Happy first day of Spring!  One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to go on home and garden tours, especially the ones in the American South.

My husband and I have been lucky to do a lot of traveling in the United States and Europe through the years, but we both agree that our favorite city in the United States is Savannah, Georgia (with New Orleans coming in as a close second).  What is it about this Southern city that has captivated us so much that we've traveled from our home in California four times to visit it?  

What we love is its beauty; its people; and its history.  It is that quintessential southern town that reminds me of where Scarlett O'Hara might have gone to visit her elderly aunt. It's the old South, with its beautiful moss-draped trees, sweet smelling tea olive bushes, red azaleas, and creepy yet beautiful cemeteries.  It's so different from Atlanta, which was mostly burned to the ground in the Civil War.  When Sherman marched to the sea to plunder and burn everything in sight towards the end of the war, he was met at the gates in Savannah and told that the city would surrender, as long as Sherman's army left the city unspoiled.  Thank goodness it was spared.

Here is a list of some of my favorite things to see and do, starting with our favorite hotel there, The Ballastone Inn.  For fans of the wonderful book: "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," this is the hotel where Kevin Spacey stayed when he was starring in the film version. If you'd like to see "where the scene of the crime" took place, be sure to visit  the Mercer Williams House. There are guided tours of the interior.   For a tour of the places mentioned in the book, try "All About Savannah Tours".

If you'd like to see one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world (outside of Pere Lachaise in Paris) be sure to visit Bonaventure Cemetery.  It's more like a park than a cemetery.  If you'd like to eat at someplace besides Paula Deen's, try Elizabeth's at 37th.  It's our favorite.  Definitely see a Home and Garden Tour during the Spring when the kind residents of Savannah open their doors and allow us to peek inside their homes and get a taste of what we're missing. This year, it will start on March 23, 2017 and go through March 26, 2017.  I hope you will like it as much as we have.

If you'd like some reading material to bring along, please take a look at our mystery, "Honeymoon in Savannah: A Detective Santy Mystery."  It costs only $2.99 and is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, and Smashwords.  Paperback versions are available at Amazon.

Here are the links to buy Honeymoon in Savannah:

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Mystery Writer's Field Trip to the Coroner's Office

My husband and I have been writing mysteries together since 2011 and many of them feature a scene or two of our detectives going to the coroner's office to look at the crime victim. We've never been to one ourselves, so we figured that it was about time to go see one instead of relying on the way it's featured in crime shows or books. My husband called our county's office and asked if they give tours.  We was pleasantly surprised when they said that tours are given once a month.  

We went on a tour a few days ago and the following is what we discovered.  Contrary to what’s portrayed on the NCIS shows, the Coroner’s office is a pretty dull place.  There isn’t a wall full of vaults containing dead bodies that can be pulled out for viewing whenever the detective comes by.  Instead, the deceased are housed in a body cooler, which is a large, smelly, ice-cold room where they unceremoniously lie on gurneys wrapped in heavy white plastic.  Their toes peek out and their belongings rest in a plastic black bag placed on their stomachs.  It is a sobering sight; one that sticks in your memory.  I was surprised to hear that some of the deceased in the room were there because they died in a car accident.  Because insurance companies want to find out if the deceased died because of the crash or for an underlying health issues such as a heart attack, the coroner is responsible for keeping them until the victims are autopsied.  Bodies are stored there for 365 days and if nobody in the family claims them, they are sent to funeral homes to be cremated.  All at the tax payers expense.

When an investigating detective wants to see a body, the coroner doesn’t pull aside a white sheet to reveal the face, as if he’s a magician saying, “Ta Da”.  In fact, the investigating detective isn’t in the same room. He watches from above in a special room where he can look down and watch as the coroner weighs various organs and catalogs them.  For a close up view, the detective can watch a TV monitor focused on the autopsy table which he can zoom in and out.  If he has any questions, he can speak into a microphone lodged in the middle of a low shelf.

My favorite part of the tour were the scenario rooms.  The coroner's office uses mock ups of crime scenes where students come in and try to figure out how the victim died.   We saw three rooms made out to look like a front room and two bedrooms.  One I particularly liked had a very realistically looking naked fat man lying on a sofa, whose his eyes bugged out and whose scrotum have ballooned up to be the size of a cantaloupe.   The room was littered with a pizza box, a bottle of whiskey, empty bottles of medication made out to different people.  The tour guide told us, "You all watch crime shows on television.  What do you think happened here?"  We all agreed that something was fishy about his death and an autopsy and further investigation was required.