How To Poison Someone?

There is a murder in my novel. I know who the victim is and who the murderer is but I don’t know how it was carried out. I conveniently managed to skip over that part in the first draft. I want it to look like a natural death so maybe poisoning is the answer, but with what? It has to be something that anyone can get their hands on and that is easy to slip into food or drink. I don’t want to use something that has been done before, like the old poisonous mushrooms in the omelet or cyanide in the tea. I’ve been searching on the internet for ideas and find myself concocting more and more unlikely scenarios. Why go to the effort of burning poison ivy in the fireplace in the victim’s office or of tricking the victim into bashing open an unripe ackee when emptying the contents of a load of sleeping pills into a bottle of whisky would be easier?

The reason I want the death to look natural is so that the police don’t get involved. I don’t want to get caught up in doing a lot of research into police procedure. That’s the kind of thing I could do if I had a published novel behind me. Then I would feel justified in pestering someone in the police force into answering my questions or checking my manuscript for errors. With a first novel, and no guarantee of it ever being published or even getting it finished, I wouldn’t have the audacity to waste a professional’s time doing research for a plot.

I have done some superficial research for my novel using the internet but am now a bit worried that the government is monitoring the websites I have been visiting and has flagged me up as a potential criminal. As well as all the searches I have done today for “poisons”, “clues that someone has been poisoned” and “poisonous plants”, I have recently visited sites on how to bleach the numbers off dollars and what kind of paper to use for fake bank notes because the main character in a short story I was writing was a counterfeiter.

I had been planning on putting an embezzlement subplot into my novel but I might give that a miss in case my internet research arouses too much suspicion.

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9 thoughts on “How To Poison Someone?

  1. Pingback: Blogoversary 2 « My Writing Life

  2. Hi,

    I know this is probably a bit late – but I am having the same problem (in relation to poison for a book I am writing). Did you manage to find anything out that was useful?

    Thanks in advance x

    • Hi Rebecca, thanks for commenting. I’m afraid I never figured it out. That novel went onto a back burner, then fell off the stove all together. Good luck with your book. Any problem you have is nothing that a few hours in a library can’t sort out. You just have to be motivated enough to find a solution, and I guess I wasn’t

    • Hi Helen,

      Thanks for your reply. I think I will leave what the actual poison is as a bit of a mystery – it’s only a short story anyway 🙂

      I hope that even though this story has disappeared, that you have inspiration for further writing!

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