If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

January Interviews
1/1 Sherry Harris, Sell Low, Sweet Harriet
1/8 Barbara Ross, Sealed Off
1/15 Libby Klein, Theater Nights Are Murder
1/22 Carol Pouliot, Doorway To Murder
1/29 Julia Buckley, Death with A Dark Red Rose

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
1/4 Lisa Lieberman
1/11 Karen McCarthy
1/18 Trey Baker

WWK Bloggers: 1/25 Kait Carson, 1/30 E. B. Davis


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30. It is now also available in audio.


Sunday, January 19, 2020

What Came Before?

 by Kaye George

This article was drawn to my attention by fellow mystery writer, Molly MacRae;

by darnok

The author talks about how her profession in mathematics feeds her writing. Her discussion also concerns logic. It’s easy to see how that is useful in putting together a plot!

by GeoffS
The article got me to thinking. What do our previous lives bring to our writing? For me, how have my many jobs/professions/careers helped my mystery writing? Honestly, how could they not? I have contended before, that what comes out of a writer’s mind is a mishmash of everything that’s ever gone in, gotten stirred up, combined, recombined, and emerged as what sometimes looks like an original idea. 

I’m lucky in that I’ve had a whole lot of prior occupations. I started babysitting at 15, waitressing a couple of years later. On school breaks and in the summer, more waitressing, cooking, even dishwashing once (never again), nurse’s aide, factory janitor, nanny. Then, after marriage, I worked civilian for the Army for a year before following Hubby around the country working at secretarial and bookkeeping jobs. 
by Erean

My college major, in case you’re wondering, was Russian Studies, which in no way prepared me for any job I ever had. (But helps reading Greek just a bit.) In college, I envisioned being an interpreter, but Viet Nam and marriage turned out not to be the path to that career. 
by Ferval

Along the way, I always played violin in local groups: community orchestras and string quartets. And we had three kids, so child-raising is part of my résumé too. And puppy training, kitten training, goldfish care, fish care, newt care, and probably some I’ve forgotten about. (And, now, grand-mothering.)

I finally settled down and worked at computer programming for about 15 years before retiring from that to write mysteries. 
IBM mainframe  By Ing. Richard Hilber - Self-photographed, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8724964

Right after being a mom and grandma, this is the best job I ever had. I’m so glad I made it to this stage!

What former positions have influenced my writing? All of them, of course.

A few of the more obvious ones for me~~
From the food industry: recipes for my cozies
From music: a series with a composer/conductor as sleuth
From moving all over the country: locations galore that I can use for novels and short stories
From office jobs: work relationships
From family: family relationships

Relationships are a big part of my writing. What we are today is a result of every relationship we ever had, every job we ever had, every book we ever read, every movie we ever saw, every piece of music we ever listened to, every place we ever lived and visited.

It has just occurred to me that this is another way to answer the perennial question: Where do you get your ideas? I’ll have to remember this!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

It Ain’t Just the Words by Trey R. Barker

  •  AC/DC’s Back in Black
  • Billy Squier’s Don’t Say No
  • Michael Jahn’s The Black Sheep Squadron: Devil in the Slot
  • Stephen King’s The Shining.

The first two books and first two albums I bought with my own money. 1980? or early 1981? I was in junior high school and just beginning to suss out my own tastes. There had been books and music before that, but from libraries and 45s like “Undercover Angel,” and “Rubberband Man.”

But those four new, shiny things were my own, not what my mom or the radio gave me.

And just a few months later, spring 1981, I started writing. Stephen King rip-offs mostly; terrible stories but written as earnestly and genuinely as I could.

So even that far back, at the beginning, my words and my music were two facets of the same life.

My newest novel, The Unknowing, (Down and Out Books), is chock full-o'-music. Reading through the lonely death of a young girl in rural Illinois, the writing will evoke Merle Haggard’s I Am What I Am; Waylon, Willie, and the boys; the musical Bye Bye Birdie; country music generally, Tejano music; “The Eyes of Texas” on a music box mechanism. There’s even a mention of the University of Illinois music program.

My novels have soundtracks because I absolutely believe the kind of music a character likes tells you something about them.

My grandmother was goofy about 1940s-era big band jazz because that’s when she was a young woman, when life was vital and exciting. It moved fast, faster still hanging on the daily death of World War II, and it promised nothing.

But as she got older, she found herself with an abiding love for classical. Slower, more paced and thoughtful than big band jazz, more nuanced. Life was gentler and so became her music.

As a writer, I see that youthful energy becoming middle and late-aged certitude.

That’s good stuff, but I try to mine the music even more deeply. For example: what flavor of music within whatever genre happens to be the soundtrack?

In my Jace Salome novels, the protagonist soundtrack is jazz. Lots of different jazz, but the flavor is Miles Davis. Incredible musician? Sure. Also a drug addict, a cold-hearted bastard, an egotist of gigantic proportions. But mostly…a rule breaker.

And that detail can inform a character.

Ditto Johnny Cash. Remember him flipping his middle finger at the camera? San Quentin Prison, 1969. The photographer asked Cash what he thought of the prison authorities.

That was Cash’s answer.

So how about a character who doesn’t really care for country music, but has huge issues with authority and wears a t-shirt, or has a tat, of that picture?

Music allows me into the heads and hearts of my peeps. The characters are already at least partially born as I start to write but choosing their soundtrack either (a) helps me add dimension and depth, or (b) puts me onto something different but more interesting.

The Barefield novels (Down and Out Books) each have a particular artist as soundtrack. For 2,000 Miles to Open Road, it was Johnny Cash (for exactly the reasons I already cited). Exit Blood was Joe Ely. Death is Not Forever—Merle Haggard.

Though those novels had mentions of other music, overall they had an outlaw country vibe so the soundtrack was obvious, even if the flavor took some tweaking.


As I write, January 10, 2020, about 3:50 central standard time, my phone started blowing up.

Neil Peart is dead.

The drummer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band Rush. I have followed this man, and learned from him, since I began to discover my own music. Call it 40 years.

I am a drummer, and most of the licks in my drum set repertoire I straight-up stole from him.

But I also stole ideas and thoughts, ways of looking at the world, from his writing. From his lyrics, his books, articles, even album liner notes and tour books sold at their concerts.

This is how I write: a melding of two loves until they are a single thing. It ain’t just the words, it’s the words and the notes, and I can’t imagine one without the other.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Self-written Obituary by Warren Bull

Self-written Obituary by Warren Bull

Image by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash

I shared an obituary written by a daughter about her father on WWK before. Below is an obituary written by a young woman before her death that is also well worth sharing. I regret that I never met Ashley Ann Kuzma. I think I would have liked her. The obituary was published in the Erie Times-News.  It was also published online and a number of news organizations have reprinted it. I think she wouldn’t mind if I share it too.

Ashley Ann Kuzma
Self-Written Obituary
1987 - 2019
shley Ann Kuzma Obituary
When you have recurrent laryngeal cancer that just won't take no for an answer, you have a lot of time to think about death. The good thing is I no longer have to worry about saving for retirement, paying off student loans, or trying not to get skin cancer??? One positive outcome from having recurrent cancer was that it taught me to let go of the insignificant things and to just enjoy the people and places. After three recurrences, my body finally had enough and I passed away on Sunday, September 22, 2019, at the Cleveland Clinic.

I was born on May 21, 1987, in Beaver County, Pa. I grew up in Conway and attended Freedom Area High School (class of 2005). I earned a Bachelor's in History and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh (class of 2009), where I also became a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. I completed my teaching certificate and Master of Education degree at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. After I graduated high school, my family moved to Erie. While I spent a few years teaching in Lancaster County, I returned to Erie to plant my roots and became a gifted support teacher at McDowell Intermediate High School. In my spare time, I enjoyed reading, cuddling with my cats, wine tasting, relaxing on my dad's boat, watching movies, golfing, decorating my house, watching football (go Steelers!), appreciating a good sunset, and watching TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, the original Will and Grace, and Friends. While in college I spent a semester abroad in London and was able to travel to Paris, France, Krakow, Poland (it had been a goal of mine to visit Auschwitz for many years), Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, Italy. Some of my favorite family vacations include experiencing the awe of the Grand Canyon and enjoying the sun, sand, and family time in the Outer Banks. After I found out my cancer was back for the fourth time, I went to Mexico and saw Chichen Itza. I am extremely grateful for the life that I lived. I was fortunate to have a loving family, supportive friends, a stable and meaningful job, and a house to call my own. My wish for you is to stop letting insignificant situations stress you out. Do what is important to you. Relax and enjoy the company of those around you. What do you value in your life? In the end, that's what matters.

I am survived by my wonderful parents, John William Kuzma and Vicky Lynn (Barron) Kuzma of Fairview, Pa.; my sister, Kristen Marie Kuzma of Clinton, Pa.; our family dog, Lizzy; my cats, Archie and Stella; my maternal grandmother, Verda Ann (Durst) Barron of New Brighton, Pa.; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends.

I was preceded in death by my paternal grandparents, John Allen Kuzma and Dolores Marie (Gajewski) Kuzma; my maternal grandfather, Robert Eugene Barron; my childhood cat of 18 years, Sammy; our beloved family dog of 17 years, Dylan; and my cat, Leo.

Since I think viewings are too sad for everyone, I requested that my family host a celebration of my life. Please join them on Sunday, October 13, 2019 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Perry Highway Hose Co. Oliver Rd., Erie, Pa. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania (Erie Humane Society), Orphan Angels Cat Sanctuary & Adoption Center Erie, Pa., or , Cleveland, Ohio.

This obituary was written by Ashley preceding her passing as part of the many preparations to make the transition easier on her family.

Published in the Erie Times-News on Oct. 3, 2019

What would you say if you wrote your obituary?

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Movies, Movies, Movies! by Marilyn Levinson

This past month and a half I've watched several wonderful movies in a local movie theatre and at home on Netflix, and via CDs I've borrowed from my library. Given the outstanding selection offered as 2019 drew to a close, it's no wonder that for once I clocked in more movie-watching hours than reading hours during this period.

I pride myself on knowing which movies I'll enjoy and I'm rarely disappointed. I was pleased that almost all the movies I chose to watch were honored at the recent Golden Globe Awards. So many good movies were released this past December. Part of the reason is that Movieland, in its infinitive wisdom, releases its crème de la crème as close to the New Year as possible so that those movies will be eligible for this year's awards. And then there's the wonder of Netflix. I consider myself lucky to have seen the newly released "The Irishman," "The Two Popes," and "Marriage Story" in the comfort of my own home.

My taste in movies is broader than my literary preferences. Character and subject matter still matter most, immediately followed by setting and cinematography.  I loved Greta Gerwig's looser, free-er updated version of "Little Women" the ongoing dialogue between Benedict and Francis in "The Two Popes," the excruciating breakup in "Marriage Story," the amazing cast in "The Irishman."

As a mystery writer, I took great delight in watching "Knives Out," tickled to have learned immediately after seeing the movie that the movie makers had asked the Malice people for an Agatha teapot to set among the murdered mystery writer's objects. I loved "Blinded By the Light," based on the life of a teenaged Pakistani boy in 1980's England, who is dazzled by Bruce Springsteen's songs. And "Rocket Man," Elton John's story, was spectacular from beginning to end.

I've discovered that the movies I like best are either based on the lives of real people, like so many I've already mentioned including the heartwarming "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," and movies based on books, like "Little Women."

Two movies I meant to catch when they came out—"Parasite" and "JoJo Rabbit"—have already garnered praise and awards. I'll see them when they become available on CDs.

What were your favorite movies this past season? Do you prefer watching a movie at home or in a theatre?

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

An Interview With Libby Klein by E. B. Davis

“Nope. No way. The price is too high. If I get involved in this,
the whole town will label me a death magnet.”
Mother Gibson’s eyes softened and she took my hand. “Oh,
honey. That ship sailed long ago.”
Libby Klein, Theater Nights Are Murder, Kindle Loc. 1500

Poppy thought her toughest challenge this winter would be sticking to her Paleo diet and filling all her orders for her gluten-free goodies, but now she has to choose between two suitors. She’s not the only one with boyfriend drama. Aunt Ginny’s long-ago high-school beau, Royce Hanson, a retired Broadway actor, has returned to Cape May, New Jersey, to star in a Senior Center staging of Mamma Mia. Leaving Aunt Ginny to wonder: What's his motivation?

Slated to open February 13th, the problem-plagued production seems to be cursed—with stolen props, sabotage, and even a death threat. But when a cast member plunges to his death from a catwalk, it soon becomes clear a murderer is waiting in the wings. Now Poppy, Aunt Ginny, and a supporting cast must take center stage to catch the killer—before it's curtains for someone else . . . 

 Theater Nights Are Murder is the fourth book in Libby Klein’s Poppy McAllister mystery series. I’m a fan of Libby’s, and I wanted to interview Libby so I could read the book. (I’m bluntly honest—deal with it.) I admire writers who can craft humor. Libby is one of the best, and she combines it well with mystery. I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that Poppy and her cat, Figaro, are quite the team, along with Aunt Ginny and her crew of old biddies.

Set on the cusp of Valentine’s Day, the book is about love—all types, some of which aren’t as healthy as others. Poppy whips up Valentine’s Day bakery delights, but with murder, thievery, insurance fraud, and geriatric acting, love takes second stage to Poppy and the biddies going under cover to solve whodunit.

Please welcome Libby Klein back to WWK.            E. B. Davis

Poppy came back to Cape May, NJ from Virginia to help her eighty-something Aunt Ginny stay out of assisted living. To make Aunt Ginny’s grand Victorian house pay for itself, Poppy opened it as the Butterfly Wings B & B. If Cape May is a cape, how is it an island?  

Cape May is a man-made island. It became an island when a canal was created to connect the harbor to the Delaware Bay. It’s a real place with a lot of history for me. I grew up there. I went to high school, fell in love, got married and had my children there. Not in that order. It’s absolutely beautiful with the golden sand and silvery ocean, the stunning Victorian homes, the historic lighthouse. When I go home again, most of the places I frequent are little shacks off the tourist track that sell food from my childhood memories.

Poppy is involved with two men. Tim, her old flame from high school, and Gia, a new café owner with a wicked mother. Tim has a habit of stringing women along with romantic intent, but it could be subterfuge for keeping culinary talent for his restaurant. Is Poppy in denial or is she hoping his interest is more than business?

Poppy has loved Tim for most of her life. It’s hard to let go of that first love. And when they’re together, the memories and feelings come rushing back – for both of them. It doesn’t hurt that Tim is a very sexy chef, and he’s living the dream that he and Poppy once had together. Her decision is a hard one for lots of reasons. This could be her chance to reclaim her lost love and her lost career. Or she could end up breaking the heart of someone she cares very deeply about – for the second time.

Gia seems like the perfect guy, but he comes with family baggage. In a contest, who would win? Georgina, Poppy’s late husband’s problematic mother or Gia’s old Italian mother?  

There is no doubt, Momma Larusso would destroy Georgina. Georgina was only able to boss Poppy around because Poppy would lie down and take it. Poppy entered her marriage with Georgina’s son John under a cloud of guilt and shame. It’s only since she’s come home to Cape May and started her life over that she’s learning to stand up for herself. Now if the contest were between Momma and Aunt Ginny… My money’s on Aunt Ginny. Momma is tough and scary, but Aunt Ginny is clever and has a backup posse in the biddies.

How did Sir Figaro Newton get his name? Does he defy gravity or prove Newton’s theories correct?

I think it’s more that he’s sweet and sometimes sticky like a cookie. Sir Figaro Newton is my real black smoke Persian and my son named him. When my kids were little, I took them to see a professional puppet show in the park and they did a version of the Marriage of Figaro with cat and dog puppets and a bakery selling fig rolls. I can’t prove it, but I’m pretty sure that was his inspiration.

Where does Aunt Ginny get her tee-shirts?

On the internet. My guess is passive-aggressiveTs.com You can have anything custom made nowadays. And god knows she’ll bedazzle it when it gets home.

The B & B is getting bad reviews from a troll, who uses different online names so the reviews look like they are coming from multiple people. How do most people deal with trolls?

Some people get into Twitter rants or post vague aggressive messages on Facebook to the trolls. Some people ignore them and know that any reasonable person will see their critical judgment as just one person’s opinion. We can all see that a one-star review that a troll leaves for a book they haven’t read but are angry because the post office delivery was slow is absolute rubbish.

Like many doctors remind patients with Celiac Disease, gluten-free doesn’t mean calorie-free. Is this Poppy’s problem in losing weight or is she seriously plateauing?

Poppy has a lot of health issues that are keeping weight on her. She’s doing everything she can to lose the weight and it just isn’t working. Some people may have a hard time believing this is possible, but even medical science is now acknowledging that there is so much more to weight loss than calories and exercise. You can do everything “right” and still not lose weight because of stress, hormones, genetics, illness, medications, etc. Poppy is going to have to accept that she can’t beat her body into a size five if it refuses to go there.

Aunt Ginny’s high school boyfriend, Royce Hansen, comes back to Cape May after a career in Broadway theater, during which he won four Tonys. He has volunteered to star in a play at the Senior Center as a fundraiser. Ginny’s heart was broken by Royce. Why does she agree to try out for a part in the play, Momma Mia?

A mixture of morbid curiosity and the confidence that he was the one who lost out. Aunt Ginny knows she’s a catch. Let him see what he’s missing.

When one of the seniors is found dead in the theater, only Poppy and the old biddies believe it was murder. I was surprised the local cops didn’t investigate more seriously. Why didn’t they?

The cops didn’t feel there was enough evidence to support a murder investigation.  

There’s a wonderful scene you’ve created in which Gia and Poppy discuss Royce and Aunt Ginny, but it isn’t really about them, is it? Or are they discussing Momma Mia?

Hopefully readers will pick up the delicious subtext.

Georgiana drives a Maserati. Aunt Ginny has a Corvette. If they both have the money for those cars, why aren’t they helping Poppy pay the taxes and bills for the house?

Georgina has old money and her former daughter-in-law’s great aunt’s house isn’t her responsibility. Not to mention that Georgina doesn’t do anything unless it’s profitable for Georgina. Aunt Ginny has a gorgeous Corvette, the sale of which would not pay the property taxes for one year. Cape May is a very expensive place to live, and if you have the pleasure of owning one of the beautiful historic Victorians, you’d either have to be very wealthy or like cooking eggs for tourists.

What’s next for Poppy and the old biddies?

Their next adventure is Wine Tastings Are Murder, and it launches December of 2020. Poppy signs up to be an official tour stop and lodging for an organized Wine Tour. A tour guest dies - but no one knows how. Aunt Ginny gets an Alexa, Poppy makes a MAJOR decision, and someone brings a Pomeranian to stay at the “Pet Friendly” B&B.

Your madcap and intricate plots combined with biddie mayhem remind me of Jana DeLeon’s writing. Are you a fan of hers?

I’ve never read Jana DeLeon, but I will definitely check her out! I love hijinks. My favorite stories are full of humor, irony and sarcasm. I grew up on Carol Burnett, I Love Lucy, and Laverne and Shirley. They were a big influence on my writing. You’ll see a lot of their influence in the upcoming Wine Tastings Are Murder.

What is your secretary’s name, and does he resemble Figaro in character or demeanor?

This is my baby, Miles Davis. He crossed the rainbow bridge a couple of years ago and I miss him terribly. Miles is a seal point Himalayan. He looks nothing like Figaro who is a black smoke Persian, but just about everything Figaro has done came from Miles. The infamous flop belongs to this guy.

Libby's Secretary

 Libby Klein