Monday, November 13, 2006
Guess the Plot
1. At least, that's what ad exec Morton Flume's Clio-winning commercial says. But Gasparilla, the hip new soft drink, really does contain gold, and for silver-throated soprano Bubbles Silverman that spells trouble.
2. Nosy spinster detective Amelia Pettipants, on a cooking vacation in Spain, discovers it isn't all flamenco and flan. Rummaging through the pantry looking for boullion de pollo, she finds a Basque separatist's cache of bullion instead. And tomorrow they are making iced bombe!
3. After his fiancée dies, tee shirt salesman Jack Darby decides to simplify his life. And what better way than to go off in search of the pirate treasure known as . . . Gasparilla's Gold.
4. One Sunday morning, Bert Dweeble looked out his window. What he saw was a hairy man, chain smoking Marlboros. Now Bert feels compelled to lean the strange story of the man they call Gasparilla.
5. Gaston Gasparilla masquerades as a high-priced rent boy in the evenings, but few know of his real daytime identity, Herbert Gold, securities exchange trader. Few, that is, until the blackmail notes arrive.
6. A new strain of apple takes the market by storm. Nutritionists hail the fruit that people can't get enough of--until it's discovered that Gasparilla's Gold is more addictive than heroin.
Dear Mr. Evil,
Gasparilla’s Gold is a mystery written for an adult audience, and is complete with a word count of 105,000.
Small-time entrepreneur Jack Darby is trying to let go of his past and rebuild his life, keeping the complications to a minimum. The death of his fiancé [Presumably you mean "fiancée," though I'd better not rush to judgment.] and his resulting battle with alcohol have left him with a desire for simplicity, and for now he is content to operate his tee shirt business and enjoy the slow lane in Neptune Beach, Florida. [His best-selling shirt: My uncle rebuilt his life, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.] Life gets tricky when he encounters Lou De Silva, a mysterious drifter on a quest for ancient pirate treasure buried near the coast of northeast Florida. After saving Lou from a deadly assault [What deadly assault?] Jack is drawn to his adventure, [Drawn to his pirate treasure adventure? I don't think so. A more likely scenario:
Lou: My God, those guys were trying to kill me! If you hadn't come along, pulled me out of the line of fire, shot out their tires and driven me to safety, I'd be dead meat.
Jack: No problem.
Lou: Hey, I know what we can do . . . you wanna go search for pirate treasure?
Jack (slowly backing away): Umm, I . . . think I'll pass.]
and they set out with only a family myth, a peculiar painting, [The Last Supper, by Da Vinci. If you look closely at the painting, you'll see the tablecloth is actually a map of Florida, the item toward which Jesus is gesturing represents Key Largo, and the apostle to Jesus's left is actually the Dread Pirate Roberts.] and a cryptic poem
[An old pirate named Gasparilla,
Stole some gold from a bank in Manila.
He hid it in Florida
Near the I-95 corridor,
In the crypt of a wench named Priscilla.]
to serve as clues in their pursuit of the gold. [Wait a minute, they have a myth, a Limerick, and The Last Supper, and they have to search northern Florida? I can't find my remote control, even when I haven't moved from the couch since the last time I used it. They have no chance.]
Lou De Silva isn’t the only interesting development in Jack’s life. Samantha Dubois has captured his attention, but even as his interest is growing, a part of him still clings to the remnants of his tragedy. He knows he must allow his past to fall away and permit his heart to heal, and he struggles to move forward.
Graham Kilpatrick – a ruthless drug dealer who attempts to eliminate Lou for being a witness to murder – learns of their hunt for the hoary plunder and plans a heist that will provide him with the means for an early retirement, and leave Jack and Lou in a watery grave. When he abducts Samantha to use as leverage, Jack must find the treasure they are to have any hope of survival. [Assault, murder, drugs, kidnaping, etc. Out of curiosity, what was Jack's life like before he decided to keep the complications to a minimum?] As Jack unlocks the riddles and follows the clues to the gold, he discovers that he and Lou share a destiny wove together by tragic threads from the past that bind them to their demons here and now. [Technically, the threads are the destiny, woven together by a tragic loom from the past.] Intrigue, deception, and revenge interlace as the [loom of death goes on a killing spree and the] search for the treasure becomes a quest for redemption and closure. [How is this plot any different from Sleepless in Seattle?]
I’ll be pleased to send a partial or the full manuscript at your request. Thank you for your consideration.
So the mystery is . . . where's the pirate treasure? Is there a murder with a bunch of suspects? If not, you might describe it as a thriller rather than a mystery. There's mystery in most fiction, but to appeal to mystery fans, you usually need a character who solves a murder case.
Rarely does anyone drop everything to search for pirate treasure just because some stranger suggests it. What makes Jack think this is a good decision?