Top Five Fictional Murder Weapons #writing

by S.J.I. Holliday

1. Pigs
Method: Breed some scary pigs, the big hairy boar type. Torment them and abuse them for several years. Feed them whole animals to get them prepared. Taunt them at your leisure. When they appear to be suitably feral, toss in your victim and leave the piggies to their dinner.

Cause of Death: Mauling, blood loss, shock.

Whodunnit? Popularised by Hannibal Lecter and The Mafia.

2. Superglue
Method: Gag first – a pair of socks should do it, held in place with a couple of layers of duct tape (right round the head, make sure it can’t slip off). Then the pièce de résistance – squirt the superglue up each nostril (be careful – don’t add too much or you’ll end up glued to the victim… that’s your alibi screwed right there), then pinch nose gently until the glue sets and the nostrils fuse.

Cause of Death: Suffocation.

Whodunnit? I believe both Craig Robertson and Fergus McNeill have used this method (in their books...)

3. Icicle
Method: Wearing big gloves with a good grip (maybe those silicon gauntlet oven gloves), select a very cold and spiky icicle from the roof of a ski lodge. Stab your victim through the heart or into the carotid artery, if possible. Note: can only be done in winter.

Cause of Death: Exsanguination (or they could possibly freeze to death first – either way, it’s a win)

Whodunnit? Christopher Brookmyre used this in his first novel, but he made it extra special by adding mercury to the tip of his lethal ice pole.

4. Leg of Lamb
Method: Another disappearing murder weapon… select one large leg of lamb (note: works best if frozen), take one drunk, cheating husband who is complaining about his dinner not being ready… wait until he is seated at the dining table, then bludgeon him to death with the meat. Once he’s dead, stick the lamb in the oven at 150 degrees for a few hours while you dig his grave. Don’t forget to braise. Enjoy with new potatoes and a sprinkling of fresh mint.

Cause of Death: Blunt object trauma.

Whodunnit? Roald Dahl in his Tales of the Unexpected short story, ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’. Dahl had form, too... I never trusted him after he drugged those pheasants in ‘Danny, the Champion of the World.’

5. Gold Paint
Method: Buy a large tin of gold paint. Wait until victim is asleep (possibly drug them so they don’t struggle). Undress them. Coat their entire body with the paint – don’t forget the nooks and crannies. Cross your fingers that it works, because you’ve only seen it on TV at Christmas after you’ve drunk half a bottle of sherry.

Cause of Death: Epidermal Suffocation (allegedly).

Whodunnit? Why, Auric Goldfinger, of course. The scamp.


P.S. There’s a fabulously inventive murder weapon in Mark Edwards and Louise Voss’s soon-to-be-released novel ‘The Blissfully Dead’ – but I won’t spoil it for you… If you’ve got any other inventive fictional weapons, tell us in the comments!

P.P.S. Thanks to Marnie Riches for suggesting this topic as a blog post.

Black Wood

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday writes crime and horror. Her debut psychological thriller ‘Black Wood’ was published in March 2015.

Find out more at her website or on twitter @sjiholliday and facebook (SJI Holliday).


  1. Frighteningly disturbing - superglue in particular. I only knew the Gold Paint. I now have to go and read 'Danny, the Champion of the World', and consider what ones I have used in stories, I can only think of scissors and poison - oh and an umbrella to the chest on a train. Definitely room for improvement.

  2. Thanks, Miranda. It's a great list, isn't it!

  3. Minor pedantry, the 'icicle' method wasn't a pure icicle, it was a frozen rod fired from a crossbow. And it wasn't Brookmyre's first book - it was his first Angel X novel, but there were several Parlabane novels before that...

  4. Thanks for the clarification, Lyle.

  5. Victim bound to chair and forced to drink large quantity of neat bleach. Sit back and read a book while the effect prove fatal. Best to use this method at the victim's address to negate the bother of having to transport the body somewhere else.