FATAL FALL Forensics by Paty Jager
Marilyn, Thank you for having me on your blog today!
When I start a book, I always know how the murder victim has been killed. The next step in my building the story is to discover all I can about the method, the weapon, and what the body will look like.
Luckily for me, I belong to several mystery groups and all of them have specialists in the medical, law enforcement, and legal fields. All I need to do is post a question on one of the loops and within a day or two, I have more information than I could find in days of searching the internet.
My recent release Fatal Fall starts with an elderly woman at the bottom of the stairs. She has COPD and uses oxygen. One of the puzzles is why she is at the bottom of the stairs and not her oxygen tank. As my detective searches the premises, he discovers her portable oxygen tank can’t be found. His first reasoning is because it has finger prints that would incriminate whoever forced her down the stairs.
How does he know the victim was forced down the stairs? He noticed bruising on her wrists, long marks like fingers to be exact. With an elderly person, their skin bruises easily, this allows marks made to show up easier than on a healthy, younger person.
What a forensic pathologist told me was: “So the extra sensitivity to bruising comes from fragile skin, which we also term "senile skin." Typically, elderly people who have frequent falls can have multiple ages and stages of bruises indicating the chronicity of falls, but if she does not have a history of prior falls, and this is her first one (albeit with assistance) then all the bruises would appear fresh (red/purple) and in some places the skin would be lacerated. Most importantly, grab marks on the arms corresponding to a hand pattern with five oblong marks corresponding to fingers and an opposite thicker mark corresponding to a thumb would make me suspicious.”
This information helped my detective and the coroner realize the woman was “helped” down the flight of stairs.
And because I had a woman using oxygen, I put out feelers for someone to answer questions about how a house would be set up for a O2 concentrator. I found a fellow writer who answered all my questions. “if i had my druthers, i would have separate tubing in each room (typically 25, 50, or 75 ft lengths), and then have a pick up and drop off point in some central location (probably a hallway) where I could switch out one room's tubing for the next room I was headed into. As for the canisters...the little ones are great, but they don't hold much, so her big R2-D2 sized concentrator will need a re-filling attachment for the small bottles.”
This was all wonderful information to help me set up other people in the house as possible killers. Hubby just shakes his head when I leave my computer and I have a big grin on my face. It’s usually because I figured out how a person was knocked off!
Book eight of the Shandra Higheagle Native American Mystery Series
When the doctor is a no-show for her appointment, Shandra Higheagle becomes wrapped up in another murder. The death of the doctor’s elderly aunt has everyone questioning what happened and who’s to blame. Shandra’s dreams soon tell her she’s on the right path, but also suggests her best friend could be in grave danger.
Detective Ryan Greer knows not even an illness will keep Shandra from sneaking around, and he appreciates that. Her insight is invaluable. When she becomes embroiled deeper in the investigation, he stakes out the crime scene and waits for the murder to make a tell-all mistake.
But will he be able to act fast enough to keep Shandra or her friend from being the next victim?
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 30+ novels, novellas, and short stories of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. She has a RomCon Reader’s Choice Award for her Action Adventure, received the EPPIE Award for Best Contemporary Romance, and a Paranormal Lorie Award. A mystery was runner-up in the RONE Award Mystery category. This is what Mysteries Etc says about her Shandra Higheagle mystery series: “Mystery, romance, small town, and Native American heritage combine to make a compelling read.”blog / website / Facebook / Paty's Posse / Goodreads / Twitter / Pinterest