Many of you attended virtual MurderCon last summer and/or Writers’ Police Academy Online’s recent seminar  “Mystery and Murder: Transforming Reality into Fantastic Fiction.”  Those of you who couldn’t make it missed not only a couple of fantastic training sessions for writers, but also the reference to a few wonderful research books that could help bring a bit of extra zing to your stories.

During his MurderCon presentation, homicide detective Jeff Locklear referred to “Practical Homicide Investigation: Tactics, Procedures, and Forensic Techniques, Fifth Edition (Practical Aspects of Criminal and Forensic Investigations), the unofficial gold standard of death scene reference books.

This book again made an appearance last week when international bestselling author Tami Hoag held up a copy of the book during her session at the “Mystery and Murder” seminar. By the way, Tami gave her prevention from her office, giving the world a peek inside her stunning home.

I, too, have a copy of “Practical Homicide Investigation” and often refer to it either for new information or to reinforce my memory. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but worth every dime. Actually, it worth every penny for the photographs alone, if your crime-scene-writing stomach can take it.

Highly recommended.

*For your shopping convenience, please click the links below.


Next up is a book recommended by Dr. Katherine Ramsland.

“Crime Scene Staging Dynamics in Homicide Cases” by Laura Gail Pettler is another “must have” book if the bad guys in your tales wish to fake a murder scene in order to throw detectives off their trails. Dr. Ramsland’s “Mystery and Murder” presentation about staged homicide scenes, by the way, was simply fascinating, and we can’t wait to see what she has in mind for future classes.

And, while we’re speaking of Dr. Ramsland, her book “How to Catch a Serial Killer” should have a home on the shelves of all serious crime writers.


Here’s an oldie but goody. “Spy the Lie” It’s an entertaining read, albeit a quick read, that describes the things to look for during a interviews interrogations. The author also details how easy it is ruin opportunities to garner confessions. There’s a bit of intuition involved as well.


Of course, we mustn’t forget …


Looking for stocking stuffers and other unique gifts for crime writers? What about a Pen Multitool used by Military Pilots, Navy SEALS, First Responders, SWAT, and more? It’s a self-defense weapon as well as a super cool pen.


It’s a glass with a real .308 bullet embedded in its side.


Perfect for taking notes when interviewing cops for your next book, jotting down important details while attending Writers’ Police Academy events, or creating the weekly to-do lists. This pack of notebooks is formatted to help you “get it right.”


Coming January 23, 2021, a live and interactive seminar featuring crime scene mapping using lasers and drones, sexual assault investigations, the craft of writing with USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Lisa Regan, and more!

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