Sunday, October 29, 2006
Guess the Plot
Miss Pettybone's First Case
1. Miss Hayley Pettybone, law firm receptionist, is astounded to find that the partners really won't get out of bed for less than 110K, and is left to defend the (alleged) Whittlestone Ear Boxer on her own.
2. Miss Millicent Pettybone, self-styled animal psychic and Victorian designer sleuth, establishes her reputation when she reveals who let the dogs out, woof, woof, ruff, woof-woof.
3. Miss Amelia Pettybone, frat house maid, challenges the boys of Kappa Sigma Phi to a beer drinking contest -- with hilarious results.
4. Miss Emily Pettybone has long since purchased a new set of matching luggage and forgotten all about her disappointing weekend with Brash Hardy. But when Mildred Pongle buys a lovely used cosmetics case containing Hardy's head, all the old intrigue is brought to light.
5. Miss Loraine Pettibone, postal worker, learns that a mysterious man on her route has been murdered, and decides to escape her boring life by solving the crime--even if it means no one will get mail for three weeks.
6. Miss Portia Pettybone, owner of a finishing school for young ladies, uncovers a secret plot to polyurethane the students and sell them as fashion mannequins, and must use every ounce of her genteel decorating sense to foil the plan.
If life is what you make it, then Miss Loraine Pettybone figured she took a wrong turn years ago. Her job as a postal worker, for the last twenty-seven years, is duller than her love life. [Which, lately, has consisted of nothing more exciting than licking Teddy Roosevelt stamps.] And as middle-age spreads its cloak around her, she realizes how boring and mundane her life has become. [Has become, or has always been?]
When a tall, dark, mysterious stranger rents out an isolated farmhouse on her route, she is intrigued but when he manages to get himself murdered, she is thrilled. [Hey, it's one less house to have to deliver crap to.] [Manages to get himself murdered?]
Jumping into the investigation with both size-nine sensible shoes, she is determined to investigate the murder and track down the killer. [Not clear how she would have any information or access or skills that would further the investigation. Wait, she opens his mail and finds a letter from the killer that says, If you aren't dead yet, you soon will be, for the cookies I sent you last week were laced with a slow-acting poison. If you are dead, then it must be the cops reading this. Sorry boys, you'll never find me, especially not if you look for me at the legendary antique home show. I wouldn't be caught dead there.]
Her first clue involves the legendary Antique Home Show, [What is an antique home, and how many of them are on display at this show?] which sends her and her best friend, Lynn Cooper, racing to New York City.
She quickly runs into a quandary, in the form of Sheriff Dwight Caruthers, an old childhood sweetheart who broke her heart her senior year of high school, Eli Rawls, a dashing entrepreneur who owns “The Roosters Club,” in Savannah, Georgia and two respected Antique Appraisers, all who may or may not be whom they portray themselves to be. [Unclear why this is a quandary or what any of these people has to do with the murder. Why not tell us?]
While she races after clues like her hair was on fire, [Just a wild guess, but if her hair were on fire, wouldn't she be racing after water?] she never slows down long enough to figure out what to do if she catches the murderer. A mistake with deadly consequences. [Deadly consequences? You mean like death? She dies? Miss Pettybone dies? What about the sequel? What about the lengthy series of Miss Pettybone mysteries your fans will clamor for? Have you no consideration for the millions of readers who've come to love Miss Pettybone, just from reading this query, despite her size-nine feet? Miss Pettybone's First Case turns out to be Miss Pettybone's Last Case? Let's just call it a mistake with frightening consequences.]
Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you soon.
It's a bit brief, which means there's plenty of room to fill us in on what the clues are, who the suspects are, and why Miss Pettybone should be any more successful than the police. I'm sure the novel is cute, but we need more than Miss Pettybone is racing around trying to solve a murder. We need the facts, Ma'am.