Local author Crystal Heidel releases debut novel 'Still Life in Blood'

Crime fiction follows Delaware State Police Homicide Unit
August 26, 2013

Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild member Crystal Heidel has published her debut novel. In the tradition of other bestselling crime and mystery writers such as Lisa Gardner’s D.D. Warren mysteries which take place in Boston or Laura Lippman’s Baltimore-based mysteries, "Still Life in Blood" is Heidel’s first novel in a series set in southern Delaware’s resort area. It features a captivating cast of characters that centers around the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit.

"Still Life in Blood" is the product of eight years and hundreds of hours of research on medical examiner procedures, painting and sculpting techniques and tools, historic painters, state police ride-alongs, and interviews and follow-up questions with a Delaware State Police homicide detective who says the novel is a “fantastic, true-to-life murder investigation with a local flair.”

The story revolves around Francesca Munro, a successful artist in Rehoboth Beach, who has kept her psychic abilities a secret for years. However, when the police question her about a woman’s murder, Francesca fears her visions may be exposed.

Delaware State Police homicide detective Jack Remington begins to investigate the murder of a woman drained of blood and left in a Rehoboth Beach alley. Jack suspects Francesca is somehow involved, but he doesn’t know to what extent until more bodies are found.

Francesca begins to question her connection to the murders when a diary belonging to her mother surfaces, plunging her into the past and her mother’s suicide.

Can Jack solve the murders before Francesca becomes the final piece in a twisted killer’s one-man show?

A longtime resident of Sussex County, Heidel likes to observe award-winning movies and successful television shows for the conciseness of dialogue and the use of smash cuts and lighting to try to create near-perfect scenes in her own writing.

"Still Life in Blood" is available on, and at Browseabout Books and Odysea in Rehoboth Beach.

For more information about Heidel or "Still Life in Blood," go to the Our Writers tab at or connect with her on Facebook at