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New Technology For the Crime Fiction World ;-)

KebyoardI’m always on the lookout for new technology to help make it easier and more enjoyable for crime writers to do what they do, and for crime fiction readers to enjoy good crime novels. And you know what I’ve noticed? Keyboards. That’s right, keyboards. They’re not always well-designed so that we in the crime fiction world can make the most use of them. So I’ve decided to step in and help. What you’re about to see is the new fully web-integrated CrimeNovel Keyboard! It’s custom-made for the crime writer and for the crime reader. See what you think.


CrimeNovel Keyboard For Crime Writers



As you can see, this keyboard is custom-designed with you in mind. Just take a look. Instead of the usual function buttons, you’ll see there are buttons that are far more useful. Each of the buttons at the top of the keyboard links to a different sort of murder method, and takes the crime writer to all sorts of useful information about that method. No sense getting it wrong, is there?

Now, just take a look at some of the other buttons. You can easily click on the last scene you wrote. And who needs the ‘Caps Lock’ button when you can simply insert tense and meaningful dialogue? Just below that key is the ‘Point of View’ key, so that you can instantly change the point of view you’re using in your manuscript as you go along. And see that green check at the bottom of the keyboard? Just click and your manuscript is checked for consistency! No more characters who have two or three different names, or problems with your timeline! The button right next to it checks your manuscript against hundreds of other books to help you avoid hackneyed plots and stereotyped characters. And since it’s always important for the writer to know, at least every 5 minutes, if there’ve been any new reviews posted, there’s an easy-to-use ‘A’ button that links you to all reviews of your books.

The rest of the keyboard is just as handy.



The three keys at the top left allow you functionality you never imagined. You can save creative ideas for cover design, take a break now and again for a social media check or a game of Bejeweled Blitz, and even set an alarm to take you instantly back to your manuscript after 5, 10, or 15 minutes.

The next row of keys is also quite useful. No more losing those 2AM fantastic ideas! The light bulb button lets you save them with a simple voice recording. They may sound a bit garbled the next morning, but they’ll be saved. Of course….sometimes you do have to go back to the beginning of a manuscript, and the ‘Start Over’ button lets you do just that. Completely dissatisfied with your work? Just shred it and begin again! Ready to submit? There’s a handy ‘Submit’ button too.

And always with an eye to accuracy, this keyboard allows you to check legal precedent, private investigator practice and police procedures with just a few convenient pushes of a button. Couldn’t be easier!!



CrimeNovel Keyboard For Crime Fiction Readers


Crime fiction readers, you haven’t been forgotten! There’s now a specially-designed keyboard just for you! Have a look.




Instead of those old ‘function’ buttons, here are some really useful ones – instant reaction buttons! This keyboard offers the full range of review ratings, too. There’s everything from the ‘Desert Island’ button all the way to irritation and anger. Whatever your rating is, it’s here!

The buttons on the left side of the keyboard are fully optimised so that you can instantly click open the blogs you read the most, be warned when your TBR is at the maximum number you set, and copy memorable quotes from your current read. What better way to keep them for later when you’re writing your review?

At the bottom, you’ll see convenient buttons for checking your TBR, checking your book budget, and adding books to your wish list. Ready to order a book? Click the convenient purchase button! Book lovers who use other vendors can have another key substituted… for a fee…


A quick look at the other side of the keyboard shows you even more of what makes this such a useful little tool.




On the top you’ll see buttons that let you specify things such as violence level, body count, quality of characters, ‘plotholes,’ suspense level, enjoyment level and wit. Very useful to help you write those reviews! Want an author’s back catalogue? Just click the handy button and you get a complete list in order of publication (‘though not necessarily in order of translation…). There are also buttons to notify you when it’s time for a cup of your beverage of choice, or time to order in food, so you don’t have to interrupt your reading. Want to post your review immediately to your blog? There’s a button for that too! And what about those DNF books? Simply use the shredder button to create exactly the review such a book deserves.

The bottom of the keyboard allows you to send your thoughts directly to the author or submit them to public review sites. There’s even a handy alarm to remind you to go to work, take dinner out of the oven or pick your kids up from school.

You’ll quickly find that the CrimeNovel Keyboard helps you in dozens of different ways, whether you write crime fiction, read it, or both. And for those of you who use tablets? No worries – it’s going to be available very soon in a convenient app.

What do you think? Sound like a marketable idea? ;-)


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Anything Good On? ;-)

TV QuizLet’s face it. Sometimes we all need to relax a bit. And a TV crime drama can be a great way to unwind. Thinking of all those great TV crime shows puts me in mind of…

…a quiz!! Stop it! It’s hardly my fault if you visited this blog today is it? Hmmm??? ;-)

There’ve been any number of TV and film adaptations of crime-fictional sleuths’ adventures. And as a dedicated crime fiction fan, you know all your crime dramas don’t you? Or do you? Take this handy quiz and find out. Match each question with the correct answer. At the end of the quiz, submit your answers to see how well you did. You can also go through your results to see which ones you got correct

Ready? pick up the remote control to begin…if you dare… ;-)


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Still Crazy After All These Years*

CandleThere’s a lot of excitement here at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist… Today is no ordinary day. Today this blog celebrates its fifth blog birthday :-)

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist… is at least as much yours as it could ever be mine. So thanks to all of you for five years of great insights, great book recommendations and ideas, and mostly, your friendship. You mean more to me than you could possibly know. Champagne and cake at mine for all of you!

To those of you whom I’ve met in person, I’m really sorry. I promise I’ll pay for the damage ;-)

For now, here’s a look back at some of the craziness that’s gone on around here for the past five years. Thanks to Paul Simon for the music!





*NOTE: the title of this post is the title of a Paul Simon song that also serves as the video’s soundtrack.


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Crime Fiction News Break



Links You’ll Want

Brother Cadfael Mysteries

Le French Book

Shadows and Light

Finalists for the 2014 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel

Finalists for the 2014 Ned Kelly Awards

Rebecca Bradley

Crime Book Club


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Tuesday Afternoon*

Tuesday AfternoonIt was the perfect spot, he thought, looking around appreciatively. Nice, quiet little park on a Tuesday afternoon. He took a seat on a bench about fifty feet from the two kids’ play areas. One was clearly meant for toddlers and the other for older kids. He settled in for a wait, although he really didn’t think it would take that long.

He was right. About fifteen minutes later he saw exactly what he was looking for. A little girl about three years old had wandered off by herself to look at a flowering shrub that grew near the swing set. She was a pretty little thing, with curly blonde hair, a red T-shirt and denim shorts. Cute red-and-white sandals too. He watched her for about five minutes. Nope – no adult. Just what he wanted.

He waited a few more minutes to be sure the little girl was alone. She was. He saw the perfect opportunity when she sat down on one of the swings.  He walked over, sat on the swing next to her and said, ‘Hi.’
She looked up and smiled at him. ‘I have new sandals,’ she said proudly, pointing to her feet.
‘They’re very pretty,’ he said.
‘But there’s dirt on them.’

He was just getting ready to answer when a woman, probably the girl’s mother, rushed up. She had the same blonde hair and fair skin. She glared at him and pulled the child off the swing and towards her.
‘Are you OK, Baby?’ she asked anxiously, looking closely at the little face and smoothing the ruffled hair.
‘I want to go on the slide,’ was the little girl’s answer.

The woman looked at him again, her eyes narrowed. ‘You leave my daughter alone, you pervert!’ she hissed. ‘I’m going to call the cops!’
‘You don’t have to,’ he answered, reaching into his pocket and pulling out his police ID. ‘I’m Officer Campbell.’
‘I don’t understand. Did something happen?’ The woman drew back, not sure any more how to react. She hugged the little girl closely to her, despite the child’s wriggling to get free.
‘No, not yet it didn’t. But it could have. I’m part of a special police detail. It’s a new program. We’re working to increase child safety in public places like this. We come to different parks and playgrounds to patrol and to educate parents. I hate to put it like this, but you just set your little one up to be snatched or worse.’

The woman’s face crumpled as she began to see the risk she’d taken. ‘But I didn’t leave the park or anything,’ she tried to explain between sniffs. ‘I just went to the car to get her jacket.’ She waved the little red jacket clutched in her hand. ‘I was only gone for a minute.’
‘A minute’s all it takes, Ma’am. You were lucky this time. Another time you might not be so lucky. You need to keep your daughter in sight all the time. You don’t know who could be in a place like this.’

‘I’m not a bad mother,’ the woman insisted, becoming more defensive as she spoke. It was clear she’d been shaken by what could have happened.
‘I’m not judging you, Ma’am. I’m just trying to keep kids like your little girl here safe.’
‘I know,’ the woman said, slightly mollified. She whisked a tear from one eye, took her daughter’s hand securely and said, ‘Don’t worry. Lesson learned.’ Then the two of them turned to walk away. He could hear the little girl saying, ‘Slide, Mama, I want the slide,’ as they left.

Campbell wasn’t perfect, but he had the fairly strong feeling that this woman really had learned her lesson. He hoped so anyway. He watched them a minute or two longer and then returned to the bench where he’d been sitting.

Lydia had been sitting for the last forty minutes on another bench, next to the toddler tunnels. They were strung together to look like train cars, and she could see a few little ones sitting in two of the cars. There was another one pretending to drive the train. She’d have preferred an infant, but there were none here today. Well, that was all right. A toddler would be fine. She got up to see what the children looked like.  Three little boys, two little girls. A little boy, she thought. A son. Yes, that was it!  A lot of people wanted sons. That dark-haired boy in the driver’s seat would be just the thing. He had a cute smile and he looked healthy. He’d do very well. The path seemed clear, too. She didn’t see any adult near him.

She patted the right front pocket of her jeans; yes, she’d remembered the candy bar. Then she looked round – yes, the coast was clear.  Nobody was watching her. That’s when she noticed the man by the swings. He was talking to that little girl in the red shirt. Was he – ?  But no, here came the mother. Looked like- wait! That was a badge he was showing her. He was a cop! Damnit!  That was all she needed – a cop! Well, at least he hadn’t seen her. Or had he? She didn’t think so but you couldn’t be sure. Best get out of here. No sense taking any risks.

She drifted slowly and easily past the slide, where that woman she’d seen waited at the bottom for her daughter to go down. Then she moved towards the trees that lined the path into the park. After all, she thought as she walked towards her car, there were plenty of other parks.



Not all terrible crimes are murders…



*NOTE: The title of this post is the title of a Moody Blues song.


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