Railroaded 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery) by J.C. Eaton
About Railroaded 4 Murder
While planning her wedding, Sophie “Phee” Kimball gets sidetracked by the murder of a model train enthusiast . . .
Phee’s marriage to Marshall Gregory promises to be the wedding of the year in Arizona’s Sun City West—that is, if you ask her mother Harriet. But before she can walk down the aisle, it looks like she has to solve one more murder. At a model train exhibit, Phee, Harriet, and their beloved Chiweenie, Streetman, discover the body of Sun City West’s railroad club president, with an incriminating tap shoe near his lifeless corpse.
Wilbur Maines may have loved model trains but apparently he was not a model husband. There are rumors of affairs with hot-to-trot hobbyists the Choo-Choo Chicks. The police suspect his wife—and Harriet’s friend—Roxanne, who dances with the Rhythm Tappers, but Phee’s mom is convinced they’re on the wrong track. Before the poor woman is railroaded into spending the rest of her life behind bars, Phee, Harriet, and the book club ladies will need to do some fancy footwork, infiltrate the dance group, and find the real culprit before the killer leaves the station . . .
Finding the Perfect Means and Method for Murder (On paper!)
By: Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp, writing as J. C. Eaton
Not too gory, not too gruesome, not too bloody. That’s the mantra we follow when we’re stuck trying to figure out how our next murder victim will be knocked off. We’re cozy mystery writers, after all, and our intent is to keep readers laughing and guessing whodunit, not staying up all night with horrific nightmares.
Since method and means go hand-in-hand, (i.e. knives or daggers for stabbing), the usual parings have always been available for writers. They include: strangulation (ropes, scarves, long stockings, wires and anything that can be wound or tied; poisoning (Whoa! There are actual books written about this but we’ll stick to the familiar ones like arsenic and anti-freeze); blunt-force trauma (hammers, paperweights, books, golf clubs, you-name-it); shooting (any type of firearm but we’ll stop at cannons);and suffocation (pillows are quite popular).
Unfortunately, this list has been used over and over again by crime and mystery writers to the point of being hackneyed. So what’s a writer to do? We’ve got to establish a victim somehow. But that doesn’t mean we have to buy into the same old list. And while we’re stuck as far as method goes, we’ve got a wide-open field in the means department.
Coming up with unique and different ways to commit murder on paper, has been an exciting challenge for us and one that we never tire of. The more outrageous, the more fun for us, and hopefully for our readers. Here’s a sneak peak at our antics:
In Dressed Up 4 Murder (The Sophie Kimball Mysteries), we used the lovely and decorative Sago Palms. Every part of those plants is toxic. And we mean every single part. So, grounding them up and putting them into food was a no-brainer. Psst! If you look closely at the cover, you’ll see them!
In Botched 4 Murder (The Sophie Kimball Mysteries), we used a bow and arrow. On a golf course no less! It gave new meaning to the golf term Fore! But this was no warning shot. (Check out the book cover).
One of our favorites was a pair of scissors that belonged to a woman who had passed away two decades ago. Try finding out the murderer in that one! Broadcast 4 Murder (The Sophie Kimball Mysteries).
Our latest novel, Railroaded 4 Murder, points to a tap shoe! So watch out if anyone in your family decides to take up tap dancing. Talk them into ballet instead. In this novel, we wove two threads for one murder. Was it someone from the Sun City West Model Railroad Club who wanted to get rid of their president? Or was it his tap-dancing wife who had enough of his philandering? And was it a tap shoe after all? You’ll need to read the book to find out!
Bottom line – Watch what you eat, drink, wear, plant, or drive, because murder weapons aren’t always what you think. Especially when it comes to cozy mystery writers like us.
About J.C. Eaton
J.C. Eaton is the wife and husband team of Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp. Ann spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. She has eight published YA time travel mysteries and over a decade of experience writing nonfiction for Jones Publishing and Madavor Media trade magazines. When James retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife. Nonfiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte, along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy.Author Links: