Writers have pretty much dumped the adage, “write what you know,” in favor of honing their investigative skills. Yet there is nothing like fiction written by writers who have seen it, done it, been there.

Meet BarbaraHelene Smith, PhD. and author of the Connie Murphy Mysteries series about the adventures of Connie Murphy, FDA investigator. Barb herself began her career in Washington, D.C.’s FDA headquarters as an expert in cell biology. She has written government regulations, investigated and reviewed studies by food companies, pharmaceutical companies, blood banks, and even medical device companies.

Although she never carried a gun, good luck if you planned to cross the U.S. border from Mexico with a truckload of pharmaceutical contraband. Barb and her team already staked your route and are waiting to greet you.

Enter Connie Murphy

I asked Barb how much of fictional Connie Murphy was BarbaraHelene Smith. Connie is her own character, but like Barb, is tenacious, and holds companies to high professional standards. Barb, the writer, bases each Connie Murphy mystery on a real incident. Like her creator, Connie will challenge the root cause of a problem, especially if a company is not forthcoming, lied, or tried to hide documents. Barb’s (and Connie’s) 6th sense will drive them to ask questions in different ways to find the truth. Thankfully, unlike Connie, she was never shot at or kidnapped. Yet, like Connie, Barb experienced her share of stakeouts or trailing a suspicious truck through the night.

Great Reads

I enjoyed every one of Connie Murphy’s adventures in Connie Murphy Mysteries 7 to 9. Each captured my attention from the first word and kept me turning pages to the end. These short novels are enjoyable escapes into real-life challenges of a governmental agency I had never considered exciting—until now.

This February, BarbaraHelene published the 10th Connie Murphy mystery, Kill a Thirst. It’s about local hospitals overwhelmed with patients showing signs of food poisoning. Hint for fans: her newest novel, A Bitter Pill, is in critique mode among her four critique groups and will be out soon.

Her Routine

I am in awe of writers who weave one novel after another into the fabric of a series. I know two of them and they both write every day. In Barb’s case, she writes 3 hours a day and adds another hour for her critique work.

BarbaraHelene Smith


Here is the link to BarbaraHelene Smith’s author page on Amazon, where you can see more of her many novels.