The Shocking True Crime That Inspired My Last Mystery

The Shocking True Crime That Inspired My Last Mystery



…and if you wear glasses like I do, it might just haunt you, too. It's also the inspiration for my most recent book.

IT's the story of Jeffrey Gilham, a Sydney man who confessed to fatally stabbing his brother, Christopher, one shocking night in 1993, but insists he did it in a fit of rage after discovering Christopher had first stabbed both their parents and then set the family home alight.

It was such an extraordinary story—and defence—and an uncle, for one, refused to believe it, eventually forcing Jeffrey to be tried for all three murders. He served three years in jail before being acquitted on appeal, and is now living free with his wife and daughters.

While I am in no way suggesting that Jeffrey Gilham is in any way responsible for his parents' murders, there was one teeny detail about the crimes that really stuck with me—according to the police report, the dead brother, Christopher, was not wearing his eyeglasses at the time he went on his stabbing/burning frenzy. Even though he was myopic and, allegedly, could not see without his glasses.

Flying blind…

Now, I've been short-sighted since I was thirteen and that felt so strange to me. Who would possibly embark on a killing spree WITHOUT their specs? Who could? For me it would be an impossibility. And even if I did get carried away in a moment of madness (watch out, folks), I'd have to stop very early in the piece to fumble my way back to my bedroom to find my specs. I'm as blind as the proverbial bat without them.

But that's what happened that gruesome night, and that's what's always haunted me. So, what is an author to do when something just won't budge? She pops it in a novel, of course!

If you've read my latest—Blind Men Don't Dial Zero—you'll know exactly what I mean. If not, you've probably already guessed from the title. It's a juicy little clue that really helped move my plot along, and encouraged my motley sleuths to take the case seriously.

The result is a very different story to the true crime I mentioned above—and again, I make no judgement on that case. But it does give you an idea of how crime writers conjure up their mysteries, let alone source their clues. It's not all fiction, folks. At least, not all of it I can assure you!

But that's not all…

When I sat down to write book two in the series (because, yes, there is now a book two!), I couldn't help but be kick-started by a real-life incident, this time one that happened to me. It was an incident so eerie, I just HAD to get it into a book.

I promise to tell you more about that incident in the next newsletter, but for now, let me share one clue with you—the title.

Drum roll, please…

Smart Girls Don't Trust Strangers
(Sleuths of Last Resort, Book 2)

This book will be out in time for Christmas, until then, don't hesitate to meet the sleuths and catch up on the story now, at all good eRetailers, including Amazon. It's available as an ebook and a paperback everywhere. Or return to the home page for more sales links and story deets.

Happy (clue-laden) reading, everybody!
xo Christina