Friday, April 29, 2016

26+ Ways to Kill: Y is for Yulo or Yperite

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.

Yikers! Y is another tough letter for coming up with interesting killing methods. All could actually be included in other methods discussed this month.

I almost detailed yataghan, which is a long curved knife/sabre with a skinny blade, but I used so many other sharp things that I am leaving this one to you to figure out. The yataghan comes to us from the Ottoman Empire. It was used from roughly the mid-16th century until the late 19th. A yataghan is between two to three feet long, so it is longer than a knife and shorter than some sabres.

Re-read previous entries on killing with sharp pointy things for some story ideas if you like the yataghan for killing. But I finally lit on Yulo and Yperite for Y killing methods.

A yulo (sometimes spelled yuloh) is a Chinese sculling oar, so we are talking another bludgeoning death with this one. Some boat people think that the single oar of the yulo is more efficient than two oars on a boat. The single oar is waggled back and forth to propel the boat, unlike oars where the paddles are lifted to and from the water.

A yulo murder would take place near or on water so there would be access to a yulo. I can see framing a rival boat owner to take him out of the big regatta. Then again, one could have the murderer use the yulo that belongs to the victim. It certainly would be available and could confuse the investigators as they try to figure out who would have access.

Want to make your own yulo(h)? Here are some directions. I didn’t say easy directions. These things take time!

You know yperite as mustard gas. The substance might be impossible to obtain for individual use since it is regulated by the Chemical Weapons Convention. However, a rogue/terrorist military group might employ it. Perhaps as part of their xenocide plan.

The symptoms of yperite use are readily available online. It forms blisters on the skin and lungs. Symptoms do not immediately appear, and a mild to moderate dose is unlikely to kill. You want your bad guys to use a heavy dose to get the job done.

Your story could have a scientific team baffled by symptoms showing up in a section of the world and tracking down what is going on. International thriller possibly.

Are you coming back tomorrow to see how I finish off this murderous month? Whatever can be done with Z?

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? Y is for Yulo or Yperite. Lots of tips this month! #atozchallenge

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

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


  1. Yperite in an unexpected place would be good for a murder-mystery. A small, peaceful village with no connection to international terrorism or the military--and someone died from mustard gas, for example. Mmm... I'll have to remember that one! Thanks, Sharon. :)

  2. Death by yulo - love it! It would be interesting to try a yulo out (not for murder, mind you) to see if it is easier to propel a boat forward rather than using two oars.

    Off to see what you have lined up for Z now :-)

    Cheers - Ellen