What do you mean, my characters aren’t developed?!

Here’s a not-so-good review of Too Much Blood, which is the subject of this blog and self-flagellation.

TOO MUCH BLOOD, A THRILLER in which author, Jane Bennett Munro takes the main character, Toni Day and wakes her in the middle of the night. An autopsy needs to be performed on a low life attorney, Jay Braithwaite Burke. In the investigation to find out what killed the lawyer, Day discovers quite a few people who had a reason to take him out.
On the list are most of her friends from the hospital where she works, her neighbors and many more.Burke was involved in some not so kosher deals which drew the attention of FBI agents.  He was also father of many children with many women. He leaves an odd condition in his will so the  children will be taken care of.
this is one big web.  Along with the low life lawyer, Day has an idea her husband is not being so faithful. Looks like the pathologist has a full plate.

 Ms. Munro herself is a 34 year pathologist, so writing the medical parts of the book are second nature to her.
The author wrote a good thriller with lots of webs to untangle.I only have one complaint with the book.  too many characters to keep up with.  There wasn’t time and room in the book to go into depth on most of the characters.

This was a good read but there just wasn”t enough depth on the characters and the story kept going back and forth all the time, never giving a chance to get to know the characters and their real situations.

I would give this book 3.5 STARS.

Well, I guess that’s better than no stars at all. I’ve sent my books out to be given honest reviews, and that’s what I wanted to get. I shouldn’t complain when I get constructive criticism because that’s what I wanted to get. Most of my reviews have been 5 stars so far, so getting one for 3.5 stars is a bit of a dash of cold water in the face. No matter. It’s life for an aspiring author.

My first reaction was What do you mean, my characters aren’t developed? Of course they’re developed. I spent lots of time developing them. But wait. I did that in Murder Under the Microscope. I didn’t re-do it in Too Much Blood. That’s probably a common mistake inexperienced authors make when writing a series. They assume everybody’s read the first one. But they haven’t.


Besides which, there are an awful lot of characters in Too Much Blood. Many of them are children, who are peripheral. Why did I make the Maynards and the Burkes so prolific in the first place? I’m not a mother, so I didn’t give Toni children. I didn’t think I’d be able to make her convincing as a mother. So I gave the kids to her best friend and next door neighbor, Jodi Maynard.

I didn’t need to give Jay Braithwaite Burke so many children. I did so to make him look like more of a sleaze, leaving not only his wife but four children besides.

Mea culpa.

It’s too late to do anything about that in Grievous Bodily Harm; it’s already in publication. But I took the criticism to heart. In Death by Autopsy, I’m developing the pure living bejeezus out of my characters, just as if it were the first book in the series.

Let it never be said that I can’t learn from my mistakes. Thanks Goodreads, for setting me straight.


Hello Mystery Lovers!

Dr. Jane Bennett Munro

Did you ever have a person in your life that you really hated? Someone without whom your life would be so much easier, only it’s illegal to kill them? What did you do instead?

What I used to do is threaten them that someday they would be in my book; you know, the one I’m going to write someday.

Well, someday is here.

Over the years, I’ve developed a little list of candidates for extermination, and in my books I plan to kill them off, one by one. At least for starters; the list isn’t that long. Perhaps you, my readers, can add your own candidates to my list for future books. One of my doctor friends has already done that.

I’ve had essentially the same job for 34 years now, and feel pretty secure in it, but that wasn’t always the case. Many years ago, when I was much younger and hadn’t been out of residency that long, we had a locum tenens (temporary) physician to help with call on the weekends. Soon, she was working during the week as well, and she got abusive with the lab right away. When I tried to intervene on behalf of my techs, she attacked me; brutally; publicly. She ruined whatever self-esteem I had. All the other doctors sang her praises, and didn’t back me up at all.

My protagonist, Toni Day, isn’t me; but she walks in my shoes. She’s a lot more confrontational than I am. My solution to this problem was to just stay the hell out of that doctor’s way until her time was up and she left. Of course there was never any talk of putting her on the medical staff, and she never threatened my job, either.

But what if she had?

What would I do? Bitch and moan? Fight back? Threaten to resign?

Luckily I never had to find out. But Toni does.

In Toni Day, I created a character who is what I wish I could be; smarter, more assertive, more confident, certainly more athletic, and a lot snoopier.

In Sally Shore, I made the locum tenens a brilliant surgeon with impeccable credentials, and as such, why is she here? Why does she start off being so antagonistic to Toni? And why does she have such a stranglehold on the medical staff that she can just have people fired at her demand? What gives her so much power?

Toni could have cheerfully killed her, but she didn’t. Somebody else did it for her, and made sure she’d get blamed.

What next? What’s Toni going to do now? How’s she going to get out of this mess? Find out. Read Murder Under the Microscope, and enjoy.