Time Off? Or Just Time Away?

I’m currently enjoying a long overdue vacation on a tropical island. I brought a notebook, pen, and laptop. They’re always with me, like a security blanket. But it’s hard to think of murder and mayhem while I’m staring at waves crashing on a shore, listening to the surf, and trying to turn off my brain for a while.

Hm, those waves are crashing so hard they could hurt someone. I’m not the strongest swimmer in the world but I’m having fun bobbing in the waves and body surfing back to shore. The waves are unusually strong for this time of year due to a storm system to the northwest. What if someone lured a weaker swimmer into a set of unusually strong waves with those three little words, “just trust me”?

Stop it, I tell myself. I’m on vacation. My only job right now is to relax. Refresh. Revitalize.

The heat and humidity drive me from the beach to the hotel pool. I look around from the comfort of a shady chaise lounge with a frosty adult beverage in my hand. Looking up, I notice the space beyond the railings of the balconies of the rooms overlooking the pool are at least 2 feet wide. Plenty of space for a prowler to walk the perimeter from room to room without fear of falling. Even if the prowler were to slip, the fall would be broken by the canvas rooftops of the row of cabanas lined up against the building. And, hm, there are no security cameras.

This island paradise suddenly seems ominous. I set my drink down and reach for my notebook.

Does a crime fiction author ever truly take a vacation?

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