Wednesday, April 27, 2016

26+ Ways to Kill: W is for Wand or Whinger

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.

Here’s a tip I picked up at mystery conference. If your killer wants to conceal blood residue from the crime lab guys, have shim take these steps. Clean up the blood thoroughly, that means even the cracks in the grout and paneling seams. Check the surrounding wall for splatters. Have your killer get a blood detector flashlight from Amazon (under $20 plus shipping) to be thorough. Or not! Missing a blood splatter could be the undoing of the murderer.

After cleaning with bleach or some other good cleaning product, your killer lets the area dry and then applies a coat of floor wax everywhere. Luminol can detect blood residue through bleach, but the wax barrier on top foils it. Do not use a wax with a cleaning substance in it. Defeats the purpose. How amazing is that to know?

I really thought about a wood chipper for W, but not only have we already done mangling deaths, but everybody remembers the scene in Fargo, so who would want to compete with that? I’m not up to that!

You could have your victim weighed down prior to being dumped in a lake or ocean. See the mafia links online for more information. This is a helpful tip for noyade covered earlier in the month.

Winterkill is to kill by exposure to cold. We’ve done that too, with gelation. In the case of winterkill you use the natural elements to freeze someone to death. It’s a relatively painless way to go. Your victim gets sleepy and drifts off. If planned correctly, the body could go undetected for months or years, and the freezing of the body would throw off the timeline for death by as much as months. And then they would only know because of the weather patterns. Winterkill could be interesting to try, yes?

In a paranormal book with magic elements, you can find ways to kill with a wand. There are lots of examples of this in literature, so you’ll have some models. But I would create a series of wands. Some wands I would use to vulnerate the victim before killing, just to have some fun and draw out the tension. Wounding the victim first also allows for the possibility of rescue. Not all murders have to be completed. Your killer can go to jail for attempted murder, too. Your call.

The whinger is more likely to appear in an historical mystery than contemporary, but you could create a contemporary plot wherein the victim is a collector of swords and daggers and is “hoist by his own petard.” A whinger is a dirk or short sword. This is another type of foramination murder.

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

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#Mystery writer, need killer ideas? W is for Wand or Whinger. Lots of tips this month! #atozchallenge

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Looking for new, fresh ways to kill (in books of course)? Check out Wand or Whinger on “Parsley, 
Sage, and Rosemary Time” at

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


  1. Wow - I had no idea you could buy a blood detector flashlight. And how handy to know I can buy one on Amazon. Not that I need one :-)

    Cheers - Ellen |

    1. I will be interested in your reaction to Y tomorrow. I am always nervous when I write about something that people actually know about--like you on tomorrow's topic. Yikes!

      Amazon has everything, right?

  2. What about an old fashioned WRINGER> My nanna had one and she was always warning me away from it as I sat on her laundry stairs and washed her poke all the wet clothes through it. I had visions of people going through it and popping out the other side like cartoon flatties.

    1. Haha, Sue. I have had my fingers crushed a bit when I fed through laundry, but interestingly, the device is created so it pops apart if too much volume goes between the rollers. Interesting idea, though, if you could re-rig it.