Hi guys! First of all, thanks to Joan and everyone here at Romance Worth Killing For for inviting me!
I'm CJ Lyons, and my first medical suspense novel, LIFELINES, will be released by Berkley in March, 2008. LIFELINES is unique because although it has been praised by Publisher's Weekly as a "breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller" it is told solely through the point of view of the women of Pittsburgh's Angels of Mercy's ER.
As a pediatric ER doc who has practiced in some of the country's busiest trauma centers, it was great fun bringing my experience to life with this behind-the-scenes drama of the most dangerous day of the year in a hospital.
I love talking with mystery/suspense authors because we can talk about the really important things in life: namely, the best ways to kill someone and get away with it.
So, given the winter holiday season, I thought I'd throw out a few ideas on Homicidal Holiday Hazards.
1. O Tantebaum—not only do they make for excellent firestarters (arson, anyone?) but think of the possibilities of actually obtaining one. Imagine: deserted tree farm, you and your victim far out of sight of anyone else, it's getting dark, and there you are with hatchet and saw in hand….or better yet, cutting down and hauling a live tree is a great time to induce a heart attack and given the holiday rush, it probably would go undetected as the medical examiner would be too busy to do more than a cursory examination.
2. Auld Lang Sang—do you have any idea how easy it is to slip poison into New Year's champagne or eggnog? The possibilities are endless: antifreeze in a sweet drink, an overdose of barbiturates or sedatives in an alcoholic one….
3. Dradle, Dradle—holidays with all that candy and cheating on diets make for a perfect time to induce a diabetic coma in those old folks with fat life insurance policies. Just swap out their "sugar" pills or insulin for a few days, ply them with some gelt or candy canes and pouf! There goes granny, here comes the inheritance!
4. Up on the Rooftop--Hmmm….climbing up rickety ladders, hammer and nails and aluminum gutters and electrical lights, snow and ice all around—anyone else seeing a great set up for "accidental" electrocutions or slip and falls???
5. Over the Hills—all that ice and snow (for those of you in northern climes) not to mention crazy, hectic drivers all rushing hither and yon make for a perfect recipe for disaster. Mix a slashed brake-line with faulty power steering, add a little too much holiday cheer and voila!
And then there's always the cold and hypothermia and all the possibilities the wilderness can offer us. But I'll save that for next month when we discuss Wilderness Survival—another perennial favorite worst-case-scenario!
In the meantime, what's your favorite Homicidal Holiday Hazard? C'mon, if you can't talk about it with your fellow suspense authors, who can you talk to?
I'd love to hear them!
PS: I feel honor-bound (the pediatric ER doc in me) to point out that the holidays actually do pose a very real risk, especially to children and pets. Clean up ALL remnants of alcohol after parties before you go to bed (kids tend to get up early and love sipping at all the left over drinks and it only takes a few swallows of alcohol to poison a little one) and please dress everyone warm, even for short trips. Always, always buckle up and have a designated driver! Happy--and safe--holidays to all!!