Behind the Scene: New Mystery/Thriller Series

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.

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BLOG POST #221: This week, I’m sharing some behind the scene stuff about the upcoming spin-off mystery/thriller series, Pike’s Alley Private Investigation. Book one, currently untitled, is planned to release toward the end of 2020.

In the School Marshal series, book one, Mac MacKenna had recently retired from special operations in the Air Force and returned to his hometown, Brookfield. He agreed to go undercover as the school marshal at Blackstone Academy for one school year. With the end of the school year and the end of his commitment not far off, Mac’s making plans for what he wants to do next. Read More

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The Boy With No Friends

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True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates. Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons, Author websiteEven in a small rural community with a population of approximately 5,000 people, schools are also vulnerable to a school shooting.

Whether you live in a large urban area or a small rural town, if you have children in school, you’ll find this case interesting.

BLOG POST #217: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a 14-year-old school shooter. Read More

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Fiction Autopsy Reporting

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #202: This week, I’m sharing information about my autopsy reporting research.

For me, research helps me create authentic scenes and scenarios, which then brings the story to life.

When I think about the amount of research that goes into writing a book, it boggles my mind to think people did research with no internet. There was the library, of course, which at the time felt as great as the internet does now, but the information was dated.

With the novel I’m currently working on, Unknown Event, I had to dig into several areas unfamiliar to me, such as murder investigation, weapons, explosives, and autopsy reporting. Spoiler-alert: There will be death in the novel.

I imagine pre-internet, an author might schedule an interview with the local medical examiner or coroner. Maybe even observe an actual autopsy being conducted.

With the internet, you can search for real autopsy reports—they’re out there. I downloaded several for a specific type of death. There are also articles in medical journals about autopsies, and if you really want to nail the autopsy, you can watch videos on Youtube.

I download and read a lot of information even though I only use a fraction. Research can definitely be a time-suck, albeit a necessary task. You also have to pay attention to the source of information, if it’s not from a person in the profession or business or agency dealing with the area of research, I keep looking.

A few of the resources I found helpful were:

  • County of Los Angeles, Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner website had tons of information and downloadable forms.
  • Practical Pathology of Gunshot Wounds an article in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine journal.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Medical Examiners’ and Coroners’ Handbook on Death Registration and Fetal Death Reporting.

And still, I might not get something 100% accurate. I have to remind myself—its fiction.

What are your thoughts about this post? Did you enjoy the glimpse into my research? Join the conversation on the website. Your relevant comments are always welcome.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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Revenge At The High School

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #187: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a high school custodian.

Someone had scrawled a threatening message on the wall of a boys’ bathroom. A student reported the graffiti—sending the school into a lock down for the second day in a row.

Two days with back-to-back bomb threats at the high school put everyone on edge. The sheriff vowed to find who’d made the threats and seek justice.

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Science Teacher On The Run

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons School News BlogBLOG POST #177: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a 15-year-old high school student and her 50-year-old teacher.

It was her first year in public school. She’d been home-schooled through eighth grade.

He’d been with the high school for six years, teaching health sciences.

She’d been a student in his forensics class when another student said they’d witnessed the student and teacher kiss in his classroom. The accusation was unsubstantiated but the rumors were rampant and triggered the following events.

Crossing The Line

The morning the teacher disappeared with his student he’d left a note for his wife. He said he needed to get away and ‘clear his head.’ He took with him  $4,500 and two prescription refills of an erectile dysfunction medication.

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