Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A blog for PIs and writers/readers of the PI genre

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    A Guide for Writing Fictional Sleuths from a Couple of Real-Life Sleuths

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Posts Tagged ‘Mistletoe and Murder in Las Vegas’

Five Holiday Safety Tips

Posted by Writing PIs on December 4, 2016

Holiday Safety Tips (Image Licensed by Colleen Collins)

As the holidays approach, our work load invariably picks up as more criminal cases come into the office. Sometimes on a festive evening, such as New Year’s Eve, we’ll look at each other and say, “Wonder what’s happening tonight that brings in work over the next few weeks or months?” Notice we don’t say “Wonder if something will happen…”

Five Safety Tips

Below are a few safety tips to keep you and yours from hiring attorneys or private investigators over the next few weeks.

Tip #1: When you go shopping, lock your car. It sounds so simple, yet you’d be surprised at the number of people who forget to do this. People get preoccupied with shopping, holiday parties, who’s picking up Great-Aunt Sarah on Christmas Eve…and they forget to lock their car doors. That makes easy pickings for thieves looking through car windows—if they see a package, it can be theirs within seconds. Several years ago, Sergeant Foley of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department claimed that nearly 50 percent of the car break-ins in his area were due to cars being left unlocked.

Tip #2: Park in well-lighted areas. Don’t tempt a thief by parking where there’s little or no lighting.

An unlocked door is an invitation to a criminal

Unlocked Doors Are Open Invitations to Criminals (Image Licensed by Colleen Collins)

Tip #3: Avoid parking on side streets. Vehicles parked on secluded side streets are easy prey for thieves. Also, with increased holiday traffic, and drivers preoccupied with cell phone conversations, passengers, or even eating while driving, your vehicle might be the victim of a hit-and-run.

Tip #4: Drink responsibly.

You Don't Want to Wear One of these Bracelets This Holiday

You Don’t Want to Wear One of These Bracelets This Holiday (Image Licensed by Colleen Collins)

Yeah, this sounds like one of those ads, but it is smart advice. Many of our criminal investigation cases involve people drinking too much and doing something stupid that they regret for years to come.

Watch the other guy, too —is someone getting blitzed and out of control at a party? Be proactive and make sure he/she has a sober driver to take them home. Or call a taxi and pay the driver upfront for the person’s ride home, which might be the best holiday gift they get. Also if a party is getting out of control, it’s a good time to leave.

Tip #5: Be aware. Perhaps the best advice is to be aware and use common sense.  Don’t carry so many packages to your vehicle that you can’t quickly reach your cell phone or car keys. Shop in groups rather than alone. If you have a choice to shop during the day or at night, pick daylight hours. Don’t leave items visible in your car that might tempt a thief. Have fun at parties, but drink responsibly and avoid those who aren’t.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!

One-Day Sale! Mistletoe & Murder in Las Vegas is FREE on Monday, Dec 5, 2016!
2016 I Heart Indie Finalist

(Click on banner, below, to go to Amazon page)

Click on image to go to Amazon page.

A heartfelt, humorous, romantic-mystery story about a down-on-her-luck lawyer, a special agent visited by the past, and an arson dog named Maggie who join forces to rescue the holiday spirit!

“Mistletoe and Murder in Las Vegas” is Colleen Collins at her best. It’s got the charm and humor of the best romantic comedies combined with a genuinely good mystery–an unbeatable combination. I couldn’t put the book down once I started it.” ~Nancy Warren, USA Today Bestselling Author

wreath line

All rights reserved by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman. Please do not copy/distribute any images noted as copyrighted or licensed. Images noted as in the public domain are copyright-free and yours to steal.

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Real-Life Christmas Investigation Tales, Free Holiday Movies and Books, and a Kindle Fire Giveaway

Posted by Writing PIs on December 24, 2015

Christmas horizontal wreath

Merry Christmas from Guns, Gams & Gumshoes to Our Readers!

Today we’re offering a few real-life holiday investigation stories, as well as links to free Christmas movies and books, and a link to a Kindle Fire giveaway hosted by one of the Writing PIs. Enjoy!

Real-Life Christmas Investigation Tales

(Image licensed by Colleen Collins

(Image licensed by Colleen Collins)

Every year as PIs, we worked on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Even now with one of the Writing PIs working as a criminal lawyer, we both still work most holidays. For example, today is Christmas Eve and Shaun, the lawyer half of Writing PIs, is visiting a client in jail.

We’ve had some funny investigative experiences on Christmas, one being an irate wife whose lawyer contacted us and said she wanted her philandering husband served divorce papers on Xmas & no other day would do…so we did…and the ex-husband-to-be thanked us!

That story and others are in this article we previously wrote for Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes:

A Few Holiday Investigation Stories

Free Christmas Movies

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (image is in public domain)

Below are some vintage Christmas movies available via the public domain. Despite Santa Claus Conquers the Martians regularly appearing on lists of the worst films ever made, it has become a cult classic, including being featured on “Elvira’s Movie Macabre.”

Santa's Portrait by illustrator Thomas Nast, 1881 (image is in public domain)

Santa’s Portrait by illustrator Thomas Nast, 1881 (image is in public domain)

Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost (1901) (via Public Domain Review)

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) (via Public Domain Review)

The Night Before Christmas (1908) (Internet Archive)

Free Christmas Books

Two Writing PIs’s books, one fiction & one nonfiction, are free December 25 + 26:

Mistletoe and Murder in Las Vegas (by Colleen Collins) Regular price $2.99

Click on image to go to Amazon page.

Click on image to go to Amazon page

A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers: From Crimes to Courtrooms (by Shaun Kaufman and Colleen Collins) Regular price $7.95

Click on image to go to Amazon page

Click on image to go to Amazon page

Win a Free Kindle Fire Tablet

To celebrate the release of Mistletoe and Murder in Las Vegas, Guns, Gams & Gumshoes’s Colleen is giving away a Kindle Fire Tablet. For a chance to win, enter here (giveaway ends Dec 29): 

 

Wishing you and yours a happy, safe Christmas!

(Copyright Colleen Collins)

Shaun and Santa, Oxford Hotel, Denver, 2013 (Copyright Colleen Collins)

All rights reserved by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman. Please do not copy/distribute any images noted as copyrighted or licensed. Images noted as in the public domain are copyright-free and yours to steal.

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