My son posted a comment on Facebook recently that he wondered what people would think of him if all they knew about him was the browsing history from his computer. The same is doubly true for any writer of mystery or suspense. If anyone I know dies under suspicious circumstances, there is a possibility my computer could make me look like a potential suspect.
Luckily, I have a number of hard copy resources I can use for some of my research. The Writer’s Digest Howdunit Series might be out of print now (though I can still find them on Amazon) but the volumes I have on my shelf not only serve for research purposes, but sometimes for inspiration.
For instance, my imagination starts pumping when I read passages like this from the book “Deadly Doses: a writer’s guide to poisons.”
First used in 1952, Thorazine was found effective in psychotic disorders and still is one of the most common psychiatric drugs available.
Patients who are receiving an overdose often have extrapyramidal symptoms such as unsteady gait, slobbering, stuttering, rigid back muscles, restlessness, contraction of the face and neck muscles, and hand tremors.
So if, in one of my future books, you read about a character who is trembling, stumbling, drooling and stuttering like a zombie with a facial tic, you’ll know exactly what the poor devil has been poisoned with.