The author of Murder Off the Books, Murder Takes the Cake, Riley Come Home, Moonlighting at the Mall, Zoned for Murder and The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries e-book series, Evelyn David is the pseudonym for Marian Edelman Borden and Rhonda Dossett.
Marian lives in
and is the author of eleven nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics ranging from veterans benefits to playgroups for toddlers! For more information on these books, please visit her web site at http://www.marianedelmanborden.com New York
Rhonda lives in
, is the director of the coal program for the state, and in her spare time enjoys imagining and writing funny, scary mysteries. Marian and Rhonda write their mystery series via the internet. While many fans who attend mystery conventions have now chatted with both halves of Evelyn David, Marian and Rhonda have yet to meet in person. Muskogee, Oklahoma
Please check out Evelyn's website at http://www.evelyndavid.com and their blog – The Stiletto Gang - http://www.thestilettogang.blogspot.com/ for information about Evelyn David's appearance schedule and writing projects.
Zoned for Murder -http://tinyurl.com/ZonedK
First Book in the Brianna Sullivan Mysteries series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries - http://tinyurl.com/psychicBS1
First Book in the Sullivan Investigation Mystery series
Murder Off the Books - http://tinyurl.com/motb3
What's for Dinner?by Evelyn David
First, thanks so much to Kaye for her delicious blog, full of insight, laughs, and wisdom. We're honored to be a return guest. Neither half of Evelyn David has had the pleasure of meeting Kaye in person, but on the other hand, neither half of Evelyn David has met the other. Yep, ten years into our writing partnership and we still haven't been in the same room together.
But as we've all learned, the Internet provides a remarkable opportunity to forge friendships. So maybe it doesn't seem so odd that Rhonda and I started planning a dinner party, even if we wouldn't be together for the event. But that's okay because our guests, we each got to invite three people, were our favorite sleuths, gathered around our virtual table, munching and chatting about constantly stumbling over dead bodies (somebody mentioned the Cabot Cove syndrome they all seemed to suffer from). The dinner was hosted by Maggie Brooks, the intrepid reporter, reluctant sleuth of our new mystery, ZONED FOR MURDER.
Marian, the Northern half of this writing duo, invited Mary Alice Sullivan Nachman Crane, the hysterical, six-foot, 250-pound older sibling found in the wonderful Southern Sisters series by the late Anne George. Always the life of any party, Mary Alice could out-eat, out-drink, but not necessarily out-detect the guest to her left, Miss Jane Marple of St. Mary's Mead. An elderly spinster (do we ever actually know how old Miss Marple is, because old wasn't so old when Agatha Christie was writing those books), Miss Marple insists throughout the dinner that detecting is just a matter of seeing the similarities in people, regardless of the differences in circumstances. Marian's final guest is Precious Ramotswe whose No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency makes her the only professional sleuth in the crowd. MMa Ramotswe, sharing an after-dinner cup of bush tea, challenged the others to solve the case of a husband gone missing after a Baptism ceremony in a river.
Rhonda, the Southern half, invited Park Ranger Anna Pigeon from the series by Nevada Barr. Experienced in navigating the wilds of the National Parks, Anna was at a distinct disadvantage in the fictional
village of Milford,
suburb of the Big Apple. She passed on the tea, suggested they open a bottle or
two of red wine, and reminded Maggie Brooks to give her a call the next time
she investigated a crime scene in the woods. Maggie nodded but knew she'd never
make that call. She just didn't have the physical endurance or luck to survive
an Anna Pigeon investigation. Rhonda's second guest was Judge Deborah Knott
from the series by Margaret Maron. Deborah was more than happy to take up MMa
Ramotswe's challenge, after she returned a half-dozen telephone calls from her
new husband Dwight and her extended family back in New York . She reminded the group of
the time she was missing for days – stuck in a wrecked car on the side of a
mountain. The final seat at the dining table was filled by psychic Brianna
Sullivan, the heroine of our on-going series set in North Carolina .
Widow Maggie Brooks wanted to ask Brianna if her deceased husband Pete was
haunting the house, but decided if he was, she didn't want to know about it. Lottawatah, Oklahoma
"I really can't detect without my sister," Mary Alice declared. "Are we sure that the husband is really missing? Was he fully immersed or just sprinkled?"
"The ghost I'm seeing looks pretty dry except for the blood." Brianna pointed towards the doorway. "If I had to guess, something blew up in his face. There's black stippling on his skin."
"A gun! Was he a hunter?" The question was asked simultaneously by both the Judge and the Park Ranger. Deborah and Anna immediately got into a discussion over firearms and the statistics concerning the likelihood of being killed by your own weapon.
"No," MMa Ramotswe said, softly. "He lived in
on a farm. But the ceremony was in a river, filled with crocodiles and with
dangerous snakes in the area. So you are surmising that this was a tragic
hunting accident?" Gaborone
"My last by-line concerned a fisherman who was killed." Maggie served a platter of Girl Scout Thin Mints. "Sorry about the dessert. I didn't have a chance to pick up the cake I ordered. My daughter is a terrible cookie saleswoman and I'm no better. I have a whole freezer of these stockpiled for a rainy day. I buy them and both Zoe and I avoid a lot of stress. We keep it a secret from the Girl Scout leaders."
Miss Marple accepted a cookie. She took a small bite and placed it on her teacup saucer. She'd declined the bush tea and had very reluctantly accepted a cup of Lipton's brewed from a teabag. Maggie heard her murmur something about "Americans."
The little old lady with the lace gloves spoke so softly, everyone had to lean forward to hear. "I wonder about the wife's role in the disappearance. Reminds me of a young maid in
Mary's Mead who insisted that her boyfriend had disappeared, when in fact, she
had killed him. I knew it the moment I saw how she had hung out the wash."
Maggie Brooks was confused by Miss Marple's comparison of the two cases, not to mention the concept of hanging out the wash. She resolved to look up St. Mary's Mead on Wikipedia. The evening closed with stories about bear baiting, moonshining, World War II spy craft, electronic voice phenomenon detectors, and a bare-bottomed
landmark (which elicited
a roar of laughter from Mary Alice and a quiet tut-tut from Miss Marple). Birmingham,
As the "all-knowing" narrator, both halves of Evelyn David sat back and enjoyed the party. We hope you have too.
We had fun imagining such a dinner party. But what it actually tells us is something that we, and all writers, know. Our characters are our friends. We know them as well, if not better, than people we know in real life. We can envision spending time with them.
Which sleuths would you like to see around the dinner table? Sam Spade and Nick Charles (with or without Nora and Asta)? V.I Warshawski (playing opera in the background?) and Stephanie Plum who brings a bag of Cheetos for the host?
Leave a comment and win a free download of I TRY NOT TO DRIVE PAST CEMETERIES, the first Brianna Sullivan mystery.
Thanks again to Kaye – and with whomever you dine, may your meal be filled with delicious food, (fictional) murder, mayhem, and (very real) fun.