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4 Movie Like Moments from Detective LT. Joe Kenda’s “I Will Find You: Solving Killer Cases from My Life Fighting Crime”

Novel Suspects Featured Image Writing Mystery

If you love sci-fi thrillers or space murder mysteries, you’ll love reading Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes, a genre mash-up that will have you on the edge of your seat. If you’re a writer yourself, Lafferty has six tips that will help you write a great mystery novel, too—and she keeps it interesting by making all of her rules contradictory.


1. The Time Kenda was Tossed through a Bar Window

You could call a young Detective Kenda your real-life action hero. With Kenda’s reputation of trouble following him, other cops didn’t even want to be around him. The detective welcomed throwing himself into risky situations; situations like heading into a bar to break up a fight without backup. This resulted in him being grabbed by the linebacker-sized antagonist and being thrown through the front window of the bar. He then flew over the sidewalk, bounced off the side of his patrol car, and landed in the street. Needless to say, the next time he was called to break up a fight, he went in with backup.

2. The Time a Fight Broke Out at a Funeral

When Detective Kenda responded to a call about a disturbance at the local mortuary, he could not believe his eyes when he opened the doors to the funeral home. The grieving crowd was engaged in hand-to-hand combat; clothing was ripped, purses were used as weapons, and someone had gotten a skull fracture from being hit over the head with a metal folding chair. But perhaps the most startling image was that of someone on top of the corpse laying in the open casket, delivering hard punches to the recently departed. It turned out, this started because some of the attendees weren’t a huge fan of the deceased and vocalized it—profanely—in front of everyone. A scene like this is so odd, one has to ask them self, “How is this real?”

3. The Time a 67-Year-Old Woman Saved a Case

Luck was on Kenda’s side for this case. What would’ve turned into a cold case was saved by a woman practicing her memory exercises. The unnamed woman had recently suffered from a stroke and had been instructed by her physical therapist and doctor to begin working on her memory; this included looking out of her window and writing down things that happened in the neighborhood. In a stroke of luck, our witness knew the culprit the detectives were looking for, wrote down his name, the car he was driving, his license plate number, and the time he fled the scene. It seems her memory exercises had been paying off after all.

4. The Time Kenda’s Wife Became the Protector

There are some negatives that come with the job of being a detective, one of them is making enemies. A disgruntled speeding ticket recipient called Kenda’s home, threatening to hurt his family. His wife called the police and armed herself with a gun. When she heard rattling by her children’s window, she turned around and pointed her gun at the man in the bushes, threatening to blow him away. It turned out to just be a police officer there to help, and she had frightened him so badly that he relieved himself in his pants. Kenda didn’t seem too surprised, though. “Yeah, Kathy could do that to a guy.”

About the Author

Mur Lafferty is a writer, podcast producer, gamer, runner, and geek. She is the host of the podcast I Should Be Writing and the co-host of Ditch Diggers. She is the winner of the 2013 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She is addicted to computer games, Zombies, Run!, and Star Wars LEGO. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband and daughter.