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.
The words I have encountered while researching this month’s theme are rather astounding. Wouldn’t I be astounding if I could remember them all? The second-most fun of this challenge is the research. The first-most fun is reading your reactions! Keep ‘em coming!
The goal of many killers is to fool the investigators so the murder appears to be physiurgic (due to natural causes) or a pseudoautochiria death (murders disguised as suicide).
Then there’s pareschatology, a doctrine dealing with matters of death but before the end of the world. Can’t you see a cult where members agree to be killed so they can achieve the final pieces for soul-development needed to attain sainthood? Your cult leader could be a sociopath or perhaps a charlatan accruing money from his faithful.
Psychological and danger terms abound in the P world, too. Phthartic means deadly or destructive. A parlous situation is full of danger or risk. Phonomania is a pathological tendency to murder. Or consider periclitate. That means to endanger or jeopardize. Something pernicious is destructive, ruinous, or fatal.
A couple of P words lend themselves nicely to plot points in your mystery or signal potential victims. For example, pentheraphobia is fear or hatred of one’s mother-in-law. That plot point is an obvious one. Can’t you just see your killer snapping after years of M-I-L putdowns? Can’t you see the resentment building up at her controlling behaviors, especially with money promised. Oh, yeah. That is so a killing that I can picture.
We could have done pills, but we already kind of have done that. Or parbreak (vomit), but we did already with hyperemesis. Of course, poison has been dealt with in several ways. If you like poison as a murder method, you have to own The Book of Poisons by Serita Stevens and Anne Bannon. It is so helpful!
I was very tempted until the last moment to use push off (a building or cliff). That method requires a lot of research to make sure you can push off the person and that the victim will die. Even people who fall over the edge of the Grand Canyon can survive.
But today Peavey and Pogamoggan are up for discussion.
Is your mystery set in the Pacific Northwest? Alaska? Canada? Consider using a tool from lumbering. A peavey is a lumberman’s hooked and spiked lever. You can imagine the damage you could do with that one! This is available on Amazon. But you don’t want your killer to leave that trail. Better to buy it—with cash—from a hardware store. Or steal it from the lumberman your killer is framing.
Another nasty piece is the pogamoggan, a wooden club with a piece or iron or stone on the end. Yuck! Your killer could dispatch the victim rather quickly. Now, since this is a tool once used by Native Americans, and not easily obtained these days (NOT on Amazon), you can either set this murder as historical fiction or in contemporary times with a theft of artifacts from a museum housing Native American relics.
P was fun, right? Hmm. Bet you’re wondering how Q is going to go down!
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#Mystery writer, need killer ideas?P is for Peavey or Pogamoggan . Lots of tips this month! #atozchallenge http://bit.ly/1STYkAo
Looking for new, fresh ways to kill (in books of course)? Check out Peavey or Pogamoggan on “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” at http://bit.ly/1STYkAo
Check out Sharon Arthur Moore’s culinary mystery, Mission Impastable