Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Since I recently sent my editor the manuscript for my first Bad Luck Cat mystery, I am looking at everything around me as fodder for the yet-to-be-decided-plot of book number two in the series. For example, the other day our unsuspecting exterminator walked into the house. I took one look at his spray rig and said, "I could probably kill my next victim with pesticides." My husband was nearby, and he piped up, "Being married to a mystery writer, I have to sleep with one eye open."

Mystery writers absolutely have a unique way of looking at things. It's fortunate that no one knows all the strange thoughts that run through my head, such as: "Could a small woman swing that golf club hard enough to kill if she hit the victim in the right spot? or "How much of the insulin in my refrigerator would it take to kill a non-diabetic person if injected while the victim is in a deep sleep?" or "If my life depended on it, could I grab that butcher knife and slit an intruder's throat before he strangled me?"

Ideas for mysteries are everywhere. Our neighbors are clearing some previously-wooded land on the other side of our back yard fence. I looked over there this morning to see how far they'd gotten and thought "what if I saw a dead body in that pile of brush?" We attended a city council meeting last night where a discussion was held about whether some folks in our neighborhood should be allowed to open an elder-care facility in spite of the residential-only zoning. During the mundane talks about square footage and providing ample parking for visitors, my brain went straight to a plot where these elderly people are held against their will and then one of them ends up killing the caretaker...you get my drift. And I probably shouldn't even get started on the things in my head when my paralegal job has me dealing with a likeable client trying to divorce the spouse-from-hell. I'm sorry, I can't help but think the only good way to get out of some situations is to hire a hit man. That happened for real in one of the first cases I ever worked on in a law office, but it was not because I made the suggestion. Honest.

I've encountered people who are interested in hearing all about the writer's life. Others seem to doubt my sanity when I begin spouting murderous plot ideas . I've always been (or maybe I should say 'I used to be') a relatively quiet and introverted person. Comments from me about killing or finding bodies often take people by surprise, but don't they always say it's the quiet ones you have to watch?

Mystery author Kay Finch is currently writing her new Bad Luck Cat Mystery series set in the Texas Hill Country to be published by Berkley beginning in 2015. Her Klutter Killer mystery, Relative Chaos, features a professional organizer who finds a dead body in a hoarder's garage. Kay lives in a Houston, Texas suburb with her husband, two rescue dogs and a cat. Visit her web site at www.kayfinch.com.p>


  1. Thank you, Kay. So glad I'm not alone in my weirdness.

  2. Everyone has their own special kind of "weird." We have ours.

  3. I suspect there are a frightening number of people who ponder such questions. The difference is, the ones who don't write it down? They are in jail. I'm right there with you, Kay. :)

  4. Kay, my mind seems to always be "what-iffing" I need to carry a journal to write these things down. May I suggest Investigative Discovery on Cable or Dish TV. You cannot imagine the fodder there, and it is all true!!

  5. That was fun! And dead on (no pun intended) for us mystery writers! Good post!

  6. Enjoyed your post, Kay. I remember being on a discussion list for mystery writers where it was pointed out that we all better hope our spouses and other family members die of natural causes! Our research libraries would certainly raise a few eyebrows.

  7. Hi Kay--
    Great post. It seems you are writing in the perfect genre for you :-) How delightful for readers!