Guest Blog: Catherine Astolfo

It's so nice knowing that you aren't the only one who subjects your family to forensic research...

The Weird and Wonderful Workings of the Criminal Mind

I am taking a lovely, summery day ride in the car with my husband. Our favorite rock and roll music wafts in the background. A fine cooling breeze lifts our hair and our arms are being tanned as we lean casually through the open windows.

Inside my head, it’s a different picture altogether. Down in a dark, dank basement, a man lies slowly bleeding to death from a shotgun wound. I am contemplating how long it would take him to die, when my husband asks me what I’m thinking. Unfortunately for him, I tell him. This is a scenario from Book One.

A large raccoon is splayed upside down in the slope of the ditch on my right. He is stiff and awkward on his back, lips pulled back in an angry grimace. Maggots crawl out of his mouth and flies swarm everywhere. I can hear their frenzied delight as we stop for a red light. I am fascinated. Book Two!

Next we pass a burned-out shell perched forgotten on a side road. I am thrilled to see it. I ask my husband to stop so I can get out and breathe in the scorched wood smell and the stench of furled plastic and dead things underneath the ash. Great experience for Book Three.

Forensics for Dummies, Until You Are Dead, Criminal Investigative Failures – these are the books which dominate my shelves during the writing of Book Four. Along with questions to which I find an answer through Sisters in Crime’s forensics specialist: Can you paint scenery on a dead body?

Lucky for me, my husband is not only tolerant but is actually enabling of my weird and wonderful way of thinking. He likes my books, helps edit them in fact, and isn’t easily startled or frightened. As the step-father of children who are involved in the film industry and grandfather to a budding musician, he is also used to the fact of fantasy: that my novels will be international best-sellers, that our films will make us Hollywood darlings, that our drummer grandson will be famous, and that we’ll walk the red carpet together some day. One perspective on all of this is: why you? There is a massive amount of competition in those industries. My perspective is: why not us?

If you are in the mood to traverse the book, film and music industry, here are some places to visit:;; or check out Pocket City on Facebook. Enter my fantasy world. Enable my weird and wonderful criminal mind if you dare.

Catherine Astolfo is an award-winning author of the Emily Taylor Mystery Series and several short stories. The Emily Taylor Mysteries are available on Amazon: The Bridgeman, Victim, Legacy, and Seventh Fire.

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