A to A Blogging Challenge Letter A -- Alibi, Antagonist & Arsenic

                                                 Letter A 

Arsenic will kill your Antagonist and the you'll need an Alibi for the Murder.


A in the legal arena is for Alibi: n. an excuse used by a person accused or suspected of crime. In the original Latin it means "in another place" which has to be the ultimate alibi.

The accused may try to offer an alibi (a person to testify) that the accused was somewhere, other than the scene of the crime, at the time crime was committed. This is an alibi witness. The First National Bank on Main St., Tampa, Florida, was robbed on October 1, 2017 at 4:45 P.M and the defendant is accused of the crime. In his defense, the accused offers testimony from a witness who will testify that the accused was with alibi witness, in Denver, Co., therefore he could not have committed the crime. 

Antagonist in crime fiction:

One of my favorite antagonist and a stand out character is Anton Chigurh, the creepy villain portrayed by Javier Bardem in the film No Country for Old Men. The novel was written by Cormac McCarthy.
The character's known not only for his bad haircut, but for his lack of conscience and killing people with a a bolt pistol. He showed no emotion as he flipped the death coin ... the toss of a coin. Each victim, per instruction, chose heads or tails and unknowingly decided their own fate. Correct choice big bad dude spares your life. Wrong call and Anton executes you with a bang. Fair enough ... huh? I mean at least he keeps his word. Pretty nice for a cold blooded killer, don't cha think. 

A weapon (method) used for murder: Arsenic --

Arsenic is tasteless, odorless, so your killer can put the poison in just about anything for the victim to swallow and she'll not be the wiser. It mimics the symptoms a natural illness and if no one is suspicious or request the ME to specifically look for it, it's hard to find in the body. Arsenic in known to cause cancer. Yikes ... that scary's enough, but what if your villain used arsenic to cause the victim's cancer. When a person dies of cancer, the only thing going on that death certificate is Natural Causes.

After watching a loved one battle and suffer through months or years of cancer, often their death feels like a relief. A relief because there's finally an ending to the never ending pain and suffering. Many people, family and friends have just witnesses his/her demise, literally watched the person they love dwindle away before their eyes until there's nothing left inside of them. They hold on until they know we will be okay. 

How cruel it would appear if one insisted upon an autopsy after their loved one's suffering finally ended? They've finally left this world for a better place. We're left behind to mourn. Why on earth would we delay our grieving. It's time to move on. But, if the loved one is unusually young for the kind /type of cancer they are stricken with, listen to your instincts. You are always your best judge of wrongdoing. That niggling inside your gut or your MC's belly ... usually means something. It's the brain sending a message that somethings wrong and needs further exploration.

Years ago arsenic was the perfect poison. Arsenic is not used as often today, but it still works and it's still hard to detect, tasteless and odorless. But, your story requires a cruel victim because death by arsenic poisoning is painful and inhumane. 

Where would your Antagonist bad guy come across arsenic in todays' world without drawing attention to himself?

  • Lumber Yards
  • Pesticides
  • Batteries
  • Glass Manufacturing 
  • Horticulture/Nursery business
  • Farming Business

A favorite book for the letter A:

Fiction: The Associate by Phillip Margolin

Non Fiction: Advanced Brilliant Writing by Susan May Warren at My Book Therapy ... Academy  offers many Writing Classes & Workshops, such as Learn How to Write a Novel

Be sure to visit her affiliate/Sister site Novel Rocket and view the Private Coaching Services. 

You''ll also want to check out Novel Academy and of course Susan May Warrens's other books & workbooks, which are incredibly helpful for creating multi dimensional characters with backstory, a wound or ghost from the past that causes them to believe a lie. The workbooks are fantastic aides for walking you through your character's flaw and how the flaw manifest itself throughout the story. You'll learn what the protagonist must overcome in order to achieve her outer goal. If you're anything like me and you had a difficult time understanding how your character's flaw and the internal and external goals and needs affect the plot, this workbook is an eye opener.

It's one of those duh ... uh ... moments when the light bulb goes off and you knock yourself in the head and wonder what took so long. 

How was your first day of the 2018 Blogging Challenge?

This is our first year with a Master Sign up List and a daily list. What do you think?

Follow the Challenge on Twitter and I love to Connect on Twitter. Here's some important Twitter Tags
A to Z Blogging on Twitter - Direct Link @APRILA2Z
Hashtag #aprilatoz

A to Z on FaceBook

AtoZ Google+


  1. Hi Melissa - lots of 'A's including A for Autopsy ... which didn't feature as such. I hadn't realised the traits about Arsenic ... I've never seen the film - but can see from the photo that your descriptions apply. Alibi ... it'd be good to have one.

    I'm not sure I like the master list ... I preferred the old one I think - and the suggestion that we go to the next number and move ahead 5 new blogs a day ... but we'll see ...

    Cheers and enjoy April - Hilary

    1. I’m a creature of habit and I like the old way better myself. I know it was a lot of work for the co-host, but having both of these lists seems like a lot of work as well. I’m off to a rocky start, visiting blogs. I hate that it started on Easter Sunday. It’s bad enough when the challenge begins on a Sunday, but Easter holiday of all days. I’ll catch up, but I always feel anxious when I’m playing catch up from the get go.

  2. Finding a way to make the Alibi fall apart is one of the fun parts of writing a crime story. Good post.

    1. yes, it's always fun to write and fun to try and make it fall apart when reading a good mystery as well.

  3. Arsenic has an historic reputation as a means for killing someone. It reminds me of a very old film - 'Arsenic and Old Lace'. I almost expected to see a reference to Agatha Christie as an author - arsenic appears in some of her plots.

  4. Informative and fun - a great combination :-)

  5. Great start to the challenge - loved your A.

    Donna B McNicol, author & traveler
    Romance & Mystery...writing my life
    A-Z Flash Fiction Tales: http://dbmcnicol.blogspot.com
    A-Z of Goldendoodles: http://ourprimeyears.blogspot.com

  6. Awesome read. Looking forward to read all your posts

    Mrs Dash's Tongue Twister for A

    1. Glad you stopped by. I apologize for getting off to such a rocky start.

  7. Great theme! I have a mystery I've been working on for too long now... perhaps your theme will prompt me to pull it back out and finally get 'er done. :D

    Happy A to Z'ing!

    1. I have the same problem with one of my earlier mysteries. Maybe we can motivate each other.

  8. Looks like there's going to be a lot around crime, law and order!!! Interesting!!! Good luck for the rest of the challenge!

    2018: A-Z

  9. Some good picks. Anton Chigurh is one of my favorites as well--loved the book and the film.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out (A)

    1. He's definitely one of my favorites. Especially with that creepy haircut.

  10. Visiting for the first time finding your blog on the #Challenge participant list. Have caught up with your posts for the AtoZ. Congratulations on this ambitious theme that was so much work to prepare. My theme this year is BOOKSTORES and for the letter M, I write about Mystery Bookstores. I have loved the research selecting the stores, writing about the architecture, location and great people who sell books. With some more creative thought, you have a book here for mystery writers don't you think? Nothing like a great mystery to stay up late with. Stephenyhoughtlin.com


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