Murder on eBay

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Author Biff Mitchell is looking for someone to kill Â? and the victim has to bid at eBay for the honor of being done in.

How much would you pay to be murdered? Check out the bidding action at eBay this week to see how much others will pay. Author Biff Mitchell is looking for a murder victim for his next novel, "Murder by Burger," and he’s looking at eBay to fill the slot.

The bidding started on the first Monday morning of October at a whopping one penny. By evening the bids had topped a hundred bucks with a small group of bidders eager to be killed off in Mitchell’s satiric murder mystery. The bidding ends October 18. But why eBay?

“Everybody has a fantasy,” said Mitchell. “And I figured there’s got to be people out there who ponder things like…would I die gracefully if I were murdered? So I invited some of my friends to join me in exploring these possibilities. They all said, sure, but we get to do the writing. I said no, I’m the writer. There were no takers. I had to look somewhere else and, while I was looking, I received one of those fake eBay-update-your-personal-information-so-we-can-get-your-credit-card-number-and-rob-you-blind emails and I said this is the perfect place to find my murder victim.”

Mitchell is the author of three previous novels. His most recent, The War Bug (Double Dragon Publishing, 2004), was a bestseller at EPIC and has been received favorably by reviewers. “It's rare that a novel can so thoroughly capture the mind, heart, and imagination. Biff Mitchell is a blessed breed of writer who mixes the real, surreal, and potentially real by fusing philosophy, science, human emotions, humor, and terror,” said the Blue Iris Journal.

“'Murder by Burger' is shaping up to be my best work so far,” said Mitchell. “It’s set in the near future in the headquarters building of a global junk food franchise. The product: cloned hamburgers. The mystery: why are people turning up dead in the headquarters, apparently by having committed suicide from eating themselves to death?”

And that’s how the winning bidder at eBay will die: by eating him or herself to death. “Whoever wins the bidding gets to choose what they eat themselves to death with from a list,” said Mitchell. “So far one character has eaten himself to death on cloned hamburgers, another on toothpicks. But I’m open for suggestions from the victim.”

Along with appearing in the novel, the winning bidder will appear in the acknowledgements when the novel is published and will receive an autographed copy with a personalized note. “I figure,” said Mitchell, ”something like: thanks for letting me kill ya. But I’m not sure what the rules of conduct are on this sort of thing.”

Mitchell will send the winning bidder a questionnaire to learn about the victim’s habits, appearance, background, and other information that will help build the character. He’ll also be asking for a photograph and a description of the victim’s voice. “I want the fictitious character to be as much like the real life person as possible,” said Mitchell. “This will be the most graphic murder scene in the book. If the winning bidder doesn’t feel something, then other readers won’t. That would really tick me off.”

Besides three novels, Biff Mitchell has published short stories and poetry through publishers in Australia, England, Canada and the USA. Echelon Press has published two of his novels as Dollar Downloads. Recently, he self-published his first novel, Heavy Load (originally from Jacobyte Books, 2000), at eBookAd and share-it!

“I like the idea of publishing an ebook at share-it!,” said Mitchell. “Share-it! is a software sales outlet, and the ebook is software. It’s an interesting slant on how technology interplays with other arenas, like the arts.”

Double Dragon will be re-publishing his second novel, Team Player (a satire based on his 25 years in the information technology industry), in the near future. Mitchell also has several free ebooks at his web site and at

“This experiment with eBay is pretty much the most exciting thing in my publishing career to date,” said Mitchell. “I mean, I get immediate feedback. I get dollars and cents. I get participation. I get competition. And maybe I’ll even get a victim.”

The bidding continues till October 25 at: in the category Everything Else/Weird Stuff/Totally Bizarre.


Contact Person: Biff Mitchell


Phone: 506-455-3678 or 506-460-1628

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