Thriller Writer Tj O'Connor

I Love the Boo-Too

Nov 8, 2023

If you are reading this, then you will learn herein . . . I am dead. Murdered. Struck down in the prime highpoint mid-point . . . er, late-prime, early twilight-ish. The police came. They crime scene investigated. They left. Case unsolved. But then, I’m just a nobody struggling author and consultant.

Here’s how it went.

First, as you might recall from my previous blog-I Love The Boo— I was working on my annual Halloween party featuring a murder mystery. This one was entitled-The Will. Those invited: All five of my darling children, their families, and one able assistant, editor, and friend. I should preface all this with a warning. The normal docile, friendly, and fun-loving crowd turns notably insane and murderous during my annual party. Most of them, no matter what the theme, descend into chaos and focus on one single thing—kill Sean, my cop son. It doesn’t matter what the theme: pirates—all kill Sean; Gangsters—all kill Sean; Sci-Fi heroes, all kill Sean; Ballerinas, all kill Sean. Okay, so we’ve never had ballerina themed mysteries, but trust me, it would end the same way.

I decided to change the game plan and save Sean from yet another slaughter at the hands of his siblings, nieces, nephews, and friends. So, being the dutiful and loving father that I am, I did the only thing I could.

I sacrificed myself.

It all began when I announced to the family—via email—that I’d had amassed a net worth of over $580 million dollars (not)—made up of book sales, winning the lottery, an HBO series and movie deal, and a litany of investments. For those who are just reading me, no, I am not worth over $580 million. I’m not worth a minuscule percent of that. But I had to motivate one of the family to do me in.

And that’s how it started.

Next, I sweetened the pot and informed them that I knew of their misdeeds and illegal activities. Once again for those just catching up, no, they are not bad people. They are not murderers, embezzlers, and con artists. Though, for this murder mystery, they are. Get it?

What do you think happened? Yep, they plotted and executed my demise. Well, one of them did, anyway.

After further emails, a video of me taunting them, and cutting them all out of my will, Saturday night and my annual party came. The game was afoot.

Let’s take a breath here and I’ll explain for the newcomers. Each year, I throw a Halloween gathering for nearly 20 people—family and friends. I put on quite a feast of homemade grub and good spirits, and everyone is in costume. This year, I was unable to get into costume because, thank you Amazon, it was lost and I had no time to get a new one given I spent two solid days cooking. Alas, my son, Sean, and his family also did not costume up. Sean felt that if he were going to spend the entire night being murdered, at least he would be in comfy clothes. But everyone else outdid themselves!

Now, back on the case, Watson.

As everyone arrived, they began gorging themselves on my famous (it really is) steak chili, hand-spiced chicken wings, tiropita, an ample charcuterie board of fixings, smoked bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, chips, dip, and every possible appetizer imaginable to accompany my murder. Wine, beer, seven kinds of expensive bourbon (and the cheap stuff I slip into my wife’s drinks—shush, she doesn’t know the difference!) soda, juice, you name it. It looked like a Greek food-orgy. (Can I say that in a blog without the crazies attacking me?)

And within moments of reading the mystery rules, I was dead—stabbed with a 24-inch carving knife; shot in the knee; and poisoned with two different, exotic Voodoo potions. Yikes, someone wanted to make sure I was really gone! The party-goers mission—solve the crime and sneak in their own version of the will into a security box if they wanted any money.  

As if Walmart had a $2 sale on 500-inch TV sets, the house erupted into chaos!

Here’s a summary of the highlights:

  1. Son Sean, the copper, did not wear a costume as stated above. Instead, he wore a police bulletproof vest to curtail those who might continue the family tradition of “let’s all kill Sean!”
  2. Lovely Melany R—son Shane’s squeeze—at first believed I had hit the big time and was worth over $580 million. Shane had to burst her bubble and explain it was all for the mystery. She was heartbroken—she wanted me to get her a part in the HBO movie.
  3. During bobbing for apples (yes, adults and kids), there were cheaters (really Jean?) but the youngsters Rail, Jaiden, and Connor beat the grownups hands-down! True, a couple of adults nearly drowned, but come on, lift your head up!
  4. There was sleuthing, conspiracies, and partnerships formed! Wow, that’s a first.
  5. The round of finding the hidden secrets in a bucket of disgusting goop (spaghetti, canned sludge soup, pumpkin guts, and other things we normally throw in the trash) . . . once again the kids beat the adults in no time!
  6. The last game—trivia—embarrassed some, taunted others, and generally showed that 2 hours of alcohol and great food does not mix with Halloween trivia. No shit, right?
  7. Finally, the end was upon them.

The conclusion? Chaos and mayhem won. The house was nearly destroyed in the melee. Then, there was Annie-Rose, our Yellow Lab, who sat at the kitchen table full of food, sneaking a snack here and there while the chaos ensued. Kathrine and Connor—the 2-and 3-year-olds—watched Mickey and Minnie on TV. Sawyer, our mix-rescue (dog, not kid), patrolled the house making sure no one hurt the kids (sorry Sean, you lost that game). And in the end, only three solved my murder. At least, they claimed to have solved it. Only three.

I’ll keep the guilty person’s name out of this. No need to ruin reputations. Still, the keen investigative family totally blew it. In the opening video and in the crime scene photos provided, the killer’s initials and the words “did it” were brazenly displayed. No one saw it—though three claim to have. Right. The three that took credit for solving it did it out of SWAG. You all know what that is- Scientific Wild-Ass Guess.

Alas, Halloween is over (sniff, sniff). The skeletons will soon be back in the closet. The monsters and mayhem are soon to be boxed and stored. It’s a sad day today. Sad. But next year- Vikings! Can you imagine the carnage and pillaging that will take place with that theme? I can… and I can hardly wait.


I first fell in love with writing while in grade school and over the years continued to dabble with characters and stories whenever life allowed. Lately, I've focused my energy on pursuing this dream—interrupted only by life as a security consultant and the demands of two Labrador retrievers.

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