Art Taylor, one of the editors of Malice Domestic 12: Mystery Most Historical, was kind enough to allow the authors of the submitted short stories to talk about ourselves in the blog Sleuthsayers. My small contribution may also be found here.
As a former prosecutor, my favorite cases almost always could be found at the intersection of a compelling victim and forensic evidence—a story to make the jury want to do right coupled with the proof to make a conviction possible. When crafting fiction, I try to combine both elements: a historical narrative to grab the reader’s interest paired with an application of forensic science.
In “The Measured Chest,” the captain of a U.S. naval sloop during the War of 1812 directs the ship’s carpenter to explain the disappearance of the purser. Was he murdered by a crew member or did he fall prey to the mysterious spirits which have long haunted sailors?
The inspiration for the story can be found in a two-thousand-year-old forensic science technique from India. Once read, I knew this bit of history needed to find its way into a mystery. The solution to “The Measured Chest” turns on a 19th Century re-imagining of this tale.
I appreciate him giving me the opportunity. More on Malice Domestic when I’ve had the chance to catch up a bit on life.