I've always loved mysteries. Trying to outguess the sleuth and discover the killer before he/she does at the end of the book has always been half the fun of reading a "who dunnit". Now that I finally followed my love of mysteries into writing them, I've discovered I like puzzling together the red herrings that draw the reader away from the real killer and finding interesting clues that prove the murderer or disprove the most probable killer.
Right now, I'm trying to figure out if a silk scarf encased in clay for thirty years with a body would have any thing left for the police to latch onto. One thing I discovered and while I knew silk was an organic fabric, I didn't realize how many others were and how quickly they decompose.
Cotton: can decompose in as little as a week and take up to 5 months depending on how much cotton is in the clothing.
Linen: can decompose in 2 weeks. The finer the cloth the quicker it decomposes.
Wool: even alpaca, can take up to a year and even as long as five years to decompose.
Bamboo: (didn't know they made clothing out of this) can take a year or longer to decompose.
Hemp: Will break down in a short amount of time because it is plant based.
Silk: breaks down quickly because it is made from the cocoons of silk worms.
Silk was the fabric I wanted to learn about. One site said that silk and cotton would be deteriorated by the time a body in a casket becomes a skeleton. The problem: my body isn't in a casket it was buried in clay. I also discovered asking the question on a yahoo loop I'm on that has lots of crime fighter types, that I could slow down the process of the silk deteriorating if it was in contact with the skin and was in something that wouldn't deteriorate fast like a leather or vinyl purse. I liked the idea of leather since the body is that of a rodeo cowboy. But what could he have on him that would hold a silk scarf like they wore around their necks?
I found another less biodegradable way to link someone to murder but I still like the idea of the silk scarf that is seen in several photos. We'll see what happens!
This book, Tarnished Remains, will be released February 10, 2015. Stay tuned for information about the first book in this series, Double Duplicity- A Shandra Higheagle Mystery coming in January 2015 with a pre-release in November.
Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
Her first book was published in 2006. Since then she has published seventeen novels, two anthologies, and five novellas. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.
You can learn more about Paty at her blog; Writing into the Sunset her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager , Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1005334.Paty_Jager and twitter; @patyjag.