Yes, I said “spummer”. That’s what I call this time of year in South Florida. Spring is around for about 2 days, then we hit the high temps and high humidity pretty much before any other place in the country.
How is this relevant to writing mysteries?
Easy. I pick up the paper each morning and look for crime stories, stupid crooks, and “natural” deaths that could have been unnatural. And for those of you who don’t believe some of the far-fetched plots in South Florida-based mysteries, go online to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and read up. Most of the plots I come up with for my short stories are straight out of the newspapers.
For instance, the other night a guy in a nearby town drove around looking to pick up a hooker. He stopped to ask a lady if she wanted a ride. She thought he meant a ride home. Nope. So after she got in the car with this guy, and he started trying to feel her up, as they say, he got a little surprise. She hit him. Hard. He decided to stop her. Picked up a baseball bat from the back seat and slammed her with it. Didn’t faze her a bit. She picked up his knife from the seat between them and stabbed him in the chest. He ran to the police and told them some random woman just walked up and stabbed him. With his own knife.
The police took him to the local ER for treatment, and went looking for his car. Yep, that’s right. He jumped out of his own car and ran to the police. When they found the car, the only blood was on the passenger side. Where the girl had been sitting. Oh, and the girl still stood beside the car, waiting for the cops. She told her story, which the evidence backed up.
Police went back to the hospital and arrested the man for assault and battery and attempted murder. She went free. After all, she didn’t break the law.
And yes, this happened. I laughed when I read it, and filed the story away. I will write about this later, but for now, I’m letting you enjoy the irony.
He went looking for an interesting night. He got it.