Saturday, April 16, 2016

26+ Ways to Kill: N is for Noose or Noyade

Welcome! Since I write culinary mysteries, “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” deals with food topics and with mysteries. This month I am sharing ways to kill people—in your mysteries, of course—and some tips on getting away with it! To avoid the pronoun problem, I’ll use heesh (he or she), shis (his or hers), and shim (him or her) throughout the entries. Tune in for murder and mayhem.

Ultimately death results from necrobiosis. Cells die. The order in which they die, the length of time it takes them to die, the reason for them dying all become fodder for your story. A related term is neomort, a brain-dead person. This is the twilight zone for a lot of stories. Dead or not dead? Sentient or not sentient? Will physical death follow naturally? Can the rate of death be accelerated by withholding or administering something?

Napoo is to kill or destroy. Nice word for this month’s challenge, right?

A necrographer is an obituary writer. That could come into play somehow in your book. I can think of several ways to use the necrographer in major or minor roles.

On the other hand, someone who is necrophagous eats dead people. A necrophobic is afraid of corpses. That person should not choose a career in the funeral business, but that could make for an interesting story. Necroaltry is worship of the dead. Sounds like a cult thing for your book. And we all know about necromania/necrophilia, right?

Nosomaniacs are delusional people who believe they are suffering from a disease. In your book, nobody believes the person, ah, but someone is administering mithridates (see M).  The person isn’t delusional at all, but that doesn’t matter. Heesh dies. Will your protag figure it out?

A narcomaniac has an uncontrollable craving for narcotics. The killer could use that general knowledge to stage an “accidental” overdose.

If you’re a WWII buff, you may know of the nebelwerfer the Germans created in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles. However, I couldn’t quite feature killing an individual with a six-barreled rocket mortar! If you can, go for it!

So how plebian is it for me to use Noose for one of my killing methods today? While hanging was included in lots of books (Lucinda, my as-yet-unpublished historical fiction, uses a lynching on the first pages), it’s not a method I have seen recently. What’s old can be new, right? This is another method that lends itself to the judgment of hanging as suicide. It’s easy enough to stage it that way as long as the restraints used to keep the person immobile don’t leave tell-tale traits. Or as above with the suicide meant to look like murder to implicate an innocent, the person could use the noose to hang shimself in order to frame another.

The killer needs to know some things about hanging with a noose. The weight of the body tightens around the trachea and neck blocking jugular and carotid artery flow. There are four ways to kill with a noose: suspension, the short drop (under 4 feet), the standard drop (between 4-6 feet), and the long drop (4-10 feet). In hanging, death is often a slow one of strangulation. The killer could watch shis victim suffer for up to 20 minutes. And sometimes people survive. Your killer should have a back-up plan.

Let’s end today with Noyade, execution by drowning. This offers multiple scenarios from waterboarding to holding a hose to the mouth (as shown in The Railway Man) to the traditional push off the boat/pier/bridge story. The killer can straight out murder the victim or cause pain and suffering along the path to drowning. “Execution” does signal that this is a punishment type method, so develop the story accordingly.

Have you used any N murder methods? Monday is O—we get Sundays off. Stop by to see how can I kill off your folks with O methods.

If you take time to share this post on social media, I would be most grateful. 

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#Mystery writer, need ideas to kill? N is for Noose or Noyade . Killer tips this month! #atozchallenge

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Blogging from A to Z Challenge offers a wide range of topics. If you want to kill someone (in books of course), check out killing by Noose or Noyade on “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” at

Check out Sharon Arthur Moore’s culinary mystery, Mission Impastable   


  1. Strange to think someone could survive being hanged, but I guess it goes to show that a back-up plan is always important, especially for murderers.

    Cheers - Ellen |

  2. Great as usual please no Noyade on me I hate water!

  3. Great as usual please no Noyade on me I hate water!

  4. Necrographer...that's such an interesting word. Thanks for sharing--though I did skim your descriptions of how to kill off characters. A little too detailed for squeamish me. I guess this is why I write fantasy. :-)

  5. Am keeping a tally of strange ways so that if the mood ever grabs me, well maybe just maybe, I'll get away with it....

  6. Brilliant theme! I did consider the same for a moment, but I'm sure I would not have been able to do it justice like you have. Absolutely amazing.
    [@samantha_rjsdr] from
    Whimsical Compass