Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Guess the Plot
Hit or Missus
1. When agent Zack Martinez gets an offer to go over to the dark side and work as a contract killer for the Zamboni crime family, he has to think long and hard.
2. A college baseball rivalry heats up when a married couple on the brink of divorce (and with a trustfund on the line) are hired as coaches for the two teams.
3. The members of one-hit-wonder rap group Hit or Missus are out of rehab, converted to born-again Christianity, and recording a gospel CD. But is their transformation genuine or a publicity stunt for reality TV?
4. Hollywood director Cece's rom-coms have been successful, but not the megahits the studio execs want. Enter handsome Jack Miller, the actor she has to have for her new movie. When she meets him at the set he rocks her world. Can she get the hit she desperately needs . . . and Jack?
5. Private investigator Peri and her detective boyfriend Skip discover that the cases they're working are about to collide head-on. And the fact that a young female officer is after Skip isn't helping. Also, a guy who's obsessed with Dean Martin.
6. Baseball star Milo Strong has been in a slump ever since he got engaged to rock star Keri James. The team won't make the playoffs if Milo doesn't turn it around, and his teammates are only too happy to let him know Keri must go. What a pickle to be in.
Dear Evil Editor; [Percentage of agents/editors who would notice that you used a semicolon instead of a comma or colon after the salutation: 36. Percentage of that 36% who would use that as an excuse to read no further: 25.]
Private investigator Peri Minneopa [Anagram: Minneapolis pimp] thinks she's taking a typical case: a rich businessman suspects his wife of cheating. Snapping pictures and collecting hotel receipts should be easy money. So color her surprised when her life is being threatened, possibly by the cheating wife herself, along with her gang of wealthy BFFs. [While it's possible to have a gang of FFs, I'm thinking only one of them can be your BFF.] [I'm not sure there's such a strong connection between a job being easy money and not being dangerous that I would color Peri surprised. I mean, if I handed you a gun and said I'd give you a million dollars to kill a complete stranger, that's easy money, but if you did it, you wouldn't be surprised to get arrested.] ["Possibly by the cheating wife" leads us to wonder if the threat might be totally unrelated to this case. Is the threat "Stay away from Mrs. Businessman or else," or is it "Prepare to die, private eye."?]
Her boyfriend, Skip, is worried, but as a detective in the Placentia Police Department, [Look, I know there's a real place called Placentia, but if you use Placentia in a novel people will think you made it up and go Ewwww. No doubt Placentia gets its share of ribbing, what with that extra "i" being almost invisible. In fact, it is invisible here. And that site has even higher search engine ratings than the placenta recipe sites.] he has his own case to handle. Peri's elderly neighbor died of a heart attack, which wouldn't be unusual if her husband hadn't died of the same thing two weeks earlier. Skip doesn't believe in coincidences, and his suspicions prove correct. [Actually, there's evidence to support that spouses dying close together is more than a coincidence.]
Peri's cheating wife case soon collides with his murder case, and Peri finds it hard to keep her nose out of everything. The deeper she investigates, the more dangers she encounters. She's willing to ignore the threats on her life to get to the truth, until the bodies start piling up…
Skip's concern for her safety has led to constant fighting, leaving Peri feeling insecure about their relationship. Her self-doubts couldn't have come at a worse time, as a younger female officer in the department is pursuing him. [I can see adding this paragraph if the book is a romance. This being a mystery, I'd rather have a hint at how these cases are colliding.]
And in the middle of completing her case, defending herself against a vengeful wife, and protecting her relationship turf, her former client Benny Needles comes to her for help. The needy little man who's obsessed with Dean Martin needs a job. [Benny Needles needs a job is the big finish? Get Benny outta here.]
Peri must decide what's worth keeping, her boyfriend, her career, or her sanity. Can't she have it all, with a dirty martini on the side?
Hit or Missus, a mystery, is complete at 75,000 words.
In order to make this sound like a mystery you might want to fill us in on whose bodies are piling up and how they are connected to the cheating wife case. If the mystery is Who's the murderer, we might want to know that there are several suspects. Right now I think there's too much mystery in the query.
I feel like it should be Peri who suspects the neighbors were murdered. She's your main character; don't you want her to be responsible for spotting the crucial clue that causes her case to collide with the deaths?