Guest Post by Jill Edmondson, author of the PI Sasha Jackson Mysteries
As I plug away with my Sasha Jackson Mystery series, I find myself looking for interesting angles on crime, some kind of inspiration for my next plot. Naturally, I want (always) to do something fresh and new, something different. One topic I haven’t looked at yet is drugs. Digging around online, I came across a great deal of fodder for stories involving drugs. The only problem is that these true tales sound like utter bullshit: No one could be that stupid. Alas, yes they can be…
It’s no surprise that a number of drug “mules” have been caught trying to smuggle drugs through customs by hiding the contraband in their underwear, bras, or girdles, and hearing of drugs being hidden in the rectum or swallowed in plastic baggies is not terribly surprising these days. A few wannabe smugglers have come up with more creative, albeit unsuccessful, methods of sneaking drugs past the eyes of officials. A Chilean man’s creative attempt at smuggling no doubt played upon a bid for sympathy: He wore a cast on his leg. The cast, however, was made of cocaine. Another aspiring drug runner, this one from Panama, hid drugs in her breast implants. Yes, breast implants. I wonder if she also wore a bullet-proof bra?
And then there’s the use of our friends in the Animal Kingdom. Smugglers have frequently used animals – both living and dead - to transport narcotics. Some loathsome dirtbags from Colombia surgically implanted liquid heroin in puppies and in Mexico, Navy officials found cocaine hidden in the carcasses of dead sharks. I’d like to think of myself as fairly imaginative, but there’s no way I’d ever dream up something like this. I also suspect that publishers would politely pass on a manuscript that had such a plot.
Drug smuggling isn’t only just across borders, though. Occasionally, dimwits have tried to smuggle drug into jails. Yes, prison. Undoubtedly, one of the more inspired attempts at bringing contraband into the bighouse was to dissolve the drugs into a paste and then use the paste as “paint” to fill in a colouring book. Apparently, the colouring book was inscribed “To Daddy” which makes me think that Child Protective Services ought to pay a visit to that home.
Smuggling doesn’t only about drugs, though. It can involve restricted items, like ivory or exotic pets, and various no-no’s like weapons or cash with questionable origins. A clever attempt at money laundering involved baking banknotes into pastries. There’s got to be a pun in there about “dough”. And even things as innocent and innocuous as stuffed animals have provided cover in an attempt to smuggle guns. Imagine finding a pistol inside a Mickey Mouse plush toy?
A look at today’s headlines or a cursory search online reveals any number of mind-boggling scams and cons, any of which could be used as inspiration for a mystery novel. The only problem is that mystery fans would have a hard time accepting this stuff because crime fiction isn’t usually as strange as the real stories.
Jill Edmondson is the author of the four mystery novels. Frisky Business is the latest novel featuring PI Sasha Jackson.
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