Earlier this week my first cozy mystery, You Can’t Get Blood Out of Shag Carpet, debuted on Amazon. This one doesn’t represent much of a genre hop since my readers know these women as the “old ladies” who play such a big part in the plot of the third Lockwood Legacy book, Alice’s Portrait.
In that book, Clara Wyler, Sugar Watson, Wilma Schneider, and Mae Ella Gormley are feisty old women. In Shag Carpet, I turn the clock back to 1968 when they were feisty young women sporting big Texas hair lacquered in place with a thick coat of Aqua Net hairspray.
If you have no personal experience with Aqua Net, I assure you that the stuff will not only anchor your bouffant in a gale force breeze, it’s also excellent bug spray. You may have to pry the remains up off the floor with a crowbar, but the bug will be dead — and preserved for perpetuity as well.
As you know, I am actually two people. The characters and many of the experiences in this book are drawn from the Texas half of me, but it was the Boston half that recognized, appreciated, and polished the humor — after she managed to stop laughing herself.
The book is largely a homage to a group of ladies who were the members of the Daedalian Study Club in Junction, Texas. While they may not have been as flamboyant as the women in Shag Carpet, the Daedalians were all larger than life in my eyes.
They had no concept of the need to be liberated since they were perfectly in charge in the confines of their own world. In a small West Texas ranching community, it’s difficult to “oppress” a woman who’s a better shot with a 30-30 than any man in her life.
These are the kind of women who help pull a kid goat during a difficult labor at 4 o’clock, have supper on the table at 6 o’clock, and show up for the Saturday night dance dressed to the nines at 8 o’clock. I loved and admired them all and I was scared to death of them.
This book is an absolute labor of love and was more fun to write than I can possibly describe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have and that you’ll look forward to the next installment, You Can’t Put a Corpse in a Parade, which will be out later this summer.