Wicked Wednesday – Favorite Murder Method

It’s Wicked Wednesday again! Some of you might remember the time the Wickeds were interviewed for the Boston Globe. One of the questions we were asked was, What’s your favorite murder method? So I thought it would be fun to revisit the question and see if any of our answers changed!

So Wickeds, what’s your favorite way to off someone?

Julie: I am old school. I like poison. I find it fascinating, unexpected, a bit passive aggressive, and confounding.


Barb: I don’t think I have a favorite murder method. I remember being flummoxed by the question from the Globe. But for the Maine Clambake Mysteries, I like to tie the murder weapon to the subject of the books. I used the clambake fire in Boiled Over, and the victim gets tangled in the lines under a lobster boat in Musseled Out. There’s another murder weapon like that coming up in the seventh Maine Clambake Mystery, Steamed Open, but no spoilers!

Edith: Like Julie, I like poison. I’ve taken inspiration from Luci Zahray, the Poison Lady, a Texan pharmacologist who gives talks to writers about readily available poisons. In recent books I’ve used liquid nicotine (yes, that stuff you put in vaping “cigarettes”) and rosary peas, and worked Tylenol and whiskey into a short story. I blogged about her a few years ago here.

Sherry: I don’t think I really have a favorite method but have had a few of people die by getting whacked on the head. Many of my killers have struck out in anger instead of carefully planning out a murder. It seems to me that is how most murders occur — in a moment of crazed thinking. I love that the murder weapon is on the cover of my first book, Tagged for Death.

Jessie: No question, blugdeoning. It allows for endless creativity of improvised weaponry and it makes it far more possible for a wide range of suspects to have done the deed as it requires no specialized knowledge and often uses heft and momentum to aid smaller killers in going about their tasks It’s a total win in my book. Or books!

Liz: I continue to be fascinated by poison, but like Barb, it depends on the book and the victim. And, of course, the killer. I have to say, I did like the method I used in my second book, A Biscuit, A Casket – a nice scythe to the chest!

Readers, do you have a favorite murder method? Tell us in the comments!

32 Thoughts

  1. My murder weapon would be something handy as if I was driven to murder it would be from the heat of the moment. So something like a vase or one of the nude bronzes my husband collects that I don’t care for. Can you guess who the victim would me? LOL

  2. I guess I don’t like blood or violence much, so I’ll go along with poison. I was very proud when I came up with one that Lucy Zahray didn’t know about for A Late Frost! (And you can buy it anywhere.) I’m also looking for the chance to use my Irish cast iron cobbler’s form on someone’s head–it’s heavy and easy to hold on to. (I bought it as a doorstop–it works for that too.)

      1. Yes, A Late Frost is Orchard #11, coming in November. But you’ve given me a great idea–I do have a collection of pre-electric irons. Some are too small to do a lot of damage, but if there was a batch of them and they fell . . .

  3. I go along with Jessie with bludgeoning as number one and poisoning as my number two favorite. Of course, that one makes it premeditated and long thought about!

  4. I wrote one where the inciting death discovery turned out not to be murder after all. I can’t say more without a spoiler for my own book! And there is a near-lethal beating in another. But generally I seem to lean toward a small pistol shot on a bad impulse. In the just-out Brooklyn Wars, it’s at the end of the first chapter, so no spoiler on that. I hadn’t even realized it until reading this interesting post today. Maybe time to expand my lethal horizons? Poisons? A whole new world to explore. 🙂

  5. I’ve done a stabbing, the most common form of murder in the UK, for one of the Nora Tierney English series, and used poison in both that one and the Trudy Genova series, oh, and a , smothering, too. The Golden Hour has a new one, desth by germ warfare! Guess .i am an equal opportunity methodologist!

  6. I don’t know that I have a favorite method, but I’ve never thought about it from the author’s point of view. I do appreciate it when the author comes up with a creative method or weapon.

    And I will point out that in the days of the internet, you can easily research any kind of poison on the internet, so it doesn’t take specialize knowledge to kill someone that way.

  7. So far, my favorite has been having the victim bashed over the head, shoved into a BBQ pit (with doors) and left to die.

  8. Well, since I write culinary mysteries, it would have to be a chef’s knife, of course! (Though one of the characters in my first book notes that a filleting knife would have worked oh, so better…)

  9. I don’t have a favorite murder weapon, but I think the most ingenious one was in Roald Dahl’s “Lamb To the Slaughter”. The weapon was a frozen leg of lamb and the murderer cooked it and served it to the police officers who were investigating the murder.

  10. I like trying to come up with things I haven’t seen used too often and I like when other authors manage to do the same. I’ve had one character strangled with his own fiddle’s strings and another killed by being stabbed with a lovely wooden crochet hook.

  11. I’m too busy laughing at all the devious minds delivering devilish ways to dispatch the unlucky victims, to add anything new. Thanks for your marvelous blog!

  12. I used poison in my first upcoming cozy release. I also enjoyed Luci Zahray’s, the Poison Lady’s, presentation at Malice Domestic. It was my first Malice and I thought she was great. But I like the other methods murder in my stories too. Whatever works!

  13. I don’t make intercourse that I make a preferent method acting, but I’ve never idea about it from the generator’s peak of eyeshot. (Though one of the characters in my 1st leger notes that a filleting knife would make worked oh, so better…)

  14. My most recent favorite method of murder requires long-term premeditation. “The victim” eats herself to morbid obesity, encouraged by the killer, who then brings about the “accidental” breaking of one of the vic’s bones. The broken bone releases emboli into the blood system, which produces a massive stroke and death. According to my medical sources, once the vic is fat enough and a bone is broken, there is little anyone can do to save her/him. I used this method of murder in my latest novel, JACK SPRAT COULD, released in August, 2017. In today’s society where many of us achieve morbid obesity without assistance, hardly anyone suspects murder.

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