Inside Murderous Means

Dysfunctional families can be complicated. So can writing a mystery. Imagine writing a mystery centering around a dysfunctional family, which is what happened in MURDEROUS MEANS, #6 in my Southern California mystery series. Was it tougher to write? Maybe. But also more fun.

Book Cover: Murderous Means by Lida Sideris

I like playing around with words. I came up with the name of this blog* after a visit to Boston Harbor where most of the boats have memorably clever names (the Codfather, the Reel Deal). I was thinking of those names when I came up with the Means Well Ranch, the perfect setting for an odd, not even close, family named the Means. Oh, those family dynamics! Gets me every time.

Telling the future can be complicated, too. How about that psychic/medium/fortune teller who insists the Means family matriarch didn’t just die in her sleep. What’s that about? Exploring the psychic world opened up many opportunities for shenanigans in my book. I’ve never been to a séance, have you?  Rather than attend an actual (or is it pretend?) one, I threw a séance into my book and let my heroine and her sidekicks handle it. 

A hands-on mother can also be complicated. Especially when you’re an adult child. Just ask Corrie. Victoria Locke definitely has her own ideas about everything, especially about the direction her daughter’s P.I. work should take. Victoria somehow manages to fit herself into each situation, risky or not, much to Corrie’s chagrin, but Corrie can’t get rid of her. Or maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t want to. Corrie’s never exactly told me. Victoria is there mostly to watch Corrie’s back and to be part of the thrill of the investigation. If she knew how exciting cracking a case was, she would’ve joined in sooner! The mother-daughter scenes make me smile the most while writing them. Do they remind me of my own mother-daughter scenes? Maybe, a little.

I had a different story in mind, when I first started writing this book, as well as a different criminal, but my characters showed me I was dead wrong (forgive the pun). 

* It’s not “Follow the Lye-da.” It’s “Follow the Lee-da.” Get it?

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