A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

So I went to Vienna...

…and ever since, I’ve been wondering how to use the experience in a story. We writers are like squirrels in that we store life's little moments for future use.

I’d never had a deep longing to visit Vienna but I’d always wanted to see the famous Lipizzan horses so, as they wouldn’t come to me, I had to go to them. I booked tickets for a performance and, at the end of June, flew out to Vienna.

Worried we’d get lost and be late for the horses’ performance, I was at the Spanish Riding School early. So early in fact that I saw the horses being moved from their stables to be prepared for the big show. I couldn’t believe I was up close to these famous animals. In fact, I’d watched in open-mouthed amazement for a few minutes before I realised that the shiny black thing hanging around my neck ought to be used to record this momentous occasion. 

Lippizan heading straight for me!
Inside the Imperial Palace waiting for the horses to strut their stuff

(No photography was allowed during the performance, sadly.)

The rest of our brief stay in the City was spent exploring and I fell in love. All the while, however, I was wondering how to use the experience in fiction. A murder committed while a spellbound audience watches the beautiful stallions perform beneath the huge chandeliers?

Maybe a body discovered in the Palm House? Decomposing nicely among the rare plants in the hot house?

The Palm House 

The Palm House

Or perhaps the body has been cunningly hidden in a piece of artwork?

Monumental Break by French artist Julien Berthier

Weapons disguised as accordions?  Killers wearing animal masks?


A power struggle ends in murder in the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace?

The Gloriette in the Schönbrunn Palace Garden

Um, killer hare takes over a city?

As it stands, I'm still trying to finish The Final Echoes (aka The Book that Refuses to be Written), a story in my Jill Kennedy & DCI Max Trentham series, and that is firmly set amid the brooding hills of my hometown, but you can rest assured that Vienna will one day be the setting for some murder and mayhem. Whether that story involves killer hares or horses playing accordions remains to be seen. Watch this space!


Maureen A. Miller said...

Fantastic pictures, Shirley. I'm so jealous of your trip! Clearly there should be a desperate escape atop a Lipizzan stallion!

...and no -- no horses playing accordions. :)

Shirley Wells said...

I'll make room in my suitcase the next time I go, Gladys. :) No horses playing accordions? Are you sure? I see possibilities...

Marcelle Dubé said...

I vote for the killer wearing an animal mask. Very creepy! Thanks for the virtual tour, Shirley. I've always wanted to go to Vienna.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Great pics - thanks for sharing! I love that Palm House. So gorgeous and interesting.

(And I have killers wearing animal masks in my upcoming release. LOL)

Elise Warner said...

Loved the photos. Vienna looks as lovely as the old song says. I rather like the decomposing body buried beneath the greenery although the pink rabbit looks promising.

Shirley Wells said...

Killers in masks, or anyone in masks, makes for *very* creepy reading, doesn't it, Marcelle? And you must go to Vienna, it's wonderful. I'll nip over to the Yukon and house-sit for you. :)

Shirley Wells said...

Can't wait for your upcoming release, Anne Marie! So creepy. (And I promise not to steal your idea, LOL.)

The Palm House is a wonderful construction.

Shirley Wells said...

Yes, I like the thought of the body decomposing beneath the greenery, Elise. As we walked round the hothouse, I came pretty close to decomposing. :)

Wynter said...

All great ideas - well maybe not the killer hare ;-) Wonderful pictures. I love the palace, and the killer in an animal head mask would be a great disguise!

Shirley Wells said...

You don't like the killer hate idea, Wynter? Hmm, perhaps I'll have a rethink, LOL.

Sandy Parks said...

'Pretty in pink, killer hare starts in Vienna and takes over the world.' Hmm. Maybe not. LOL. Loved your blog and the photos. I saw the Lipizzan horses in college and was mesmerized then and still am every time I see their photos or videos. Want to take hubby to Vienna someday. Your photos reminded me of how lovely it is.

Shirley Wells said...

Pretty in Pink - great title! :) Those horses are amazing, aren't they, Sandy? You should definitely take hubby to Vienna and spend as much time as possible in their company.

jean harrington said...

Loved your post, Shirley. Yup, you're right, inspiration is everywhere!

Shirley Wells said...

Thanks, Jean. Yes, we're lucky that it's everywhere. :)

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