Monday, August 17, 2009

The Zack Martinez Chronicles

As those who've been around here a long time (or have read the archives) know, amateur sleuth Miss Amelia Pettipants was once a frequent character in Guess the Plots. Miss Pettipants, created by Kate Thornton (who apparently doesn't visit us anymore), was so popular we spent a week compiling information about her for use in a writing exercise.

In recent months, homicide detective Zack Martinez (created by Khazar-khum) has made frequent GTP appearances. I suspect Miss Pettipants and Detective Martinez have each made dozens of blog appearances, but I've chosen ten of each for your enjoyment.

Ace Homicide Detective Zack Martinez

The letter pinned to the starlet's bikini said only "N." For Zack Martinez, homicide detective, this meant two things: those first thirteen murders were related, and he'd better stop off for take-home BBQ at Nairobi Bob's.

When the letters U and I turn up missing from alphabet soup cans at crime scenes, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: he's on the trail of a kleptomaniac serial killer who was traumatized by a childhood word guessing game; and he'd better remember to pick up his wife's Andy Warhol comforter from Hang's Dry Cleaning.

When heartthrob Justin Spears is killed on the set of his new movie "Drug Money", homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: the stunt gun was replaced by a real .45, and he'd better get an original picture of Spears if he doesn't want his wife to shoot him.

When the partially eaten body of celebrity photographer Marc Austin is discovered in Griffith Park, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: the cougars who stalked the handsome Austin aren't the type with fangs and claws; and he'd better not forget his son's birthday at the zoo on Wednesday.

Two AM. Dead husband. Pickles and curd rice on the counter. Half-melted peach ice cream in the bag. Homicide detective Zack Martinez has seen a lot of cases, but this one adds up to a pissed & pregnant wife. Or does it? Either way, he'd better get some rocky road on the way home, or his own pregnant wife will kill him.

When homicide Detective Zack Martinez is summoned to the Gem City, a huge wholesale jewelry building, he knows two things: he'll run into his ex-wife at her boutique, and he'd better bring his new wife some earrings.

When Carl Saperstein, owner of top 3-year-old Fortune's Fool, is shot dead outside his store in LA's Garment District, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: finding the perp is a long shot, and he'd better bring his new wife some of that silk dupioni.

When peace activist and actress Angelica is found at the bottom of her pool, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: One, the lawyer who helped her adopt her posse of adopted kids is somehow involved, and two, if he doesn't bring home an autographed picture of Angelica's hunky hubby Tad his new wife will put him at the bottom of the pool.

When the body of fashion guru Roberto Garibaldi is discovered in his plush Beverly Hills home, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: Garibaldi didn't sever his own carotid artery with pinking shears, and he'd better get his wife a new pair of scissors to replace the ones he wrecked gutting fish last weekend.

When the plush velvet curtains of the Pantages part to reveal the corpse of actress Dame Catherine Holt lying in a gory heap, LA homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: he's going to be pulling serious overtime, and he'd better get his new wife orchestra seating to "Wicked" to make up for this fiasco.

Miss Amelia Pettipants

When gardeners plow up what might be an old cemetery on the grounds of Catalpa Hall, Boring-0n-End's oldest building, amateur sleuth and all-around busybody, Amelia Pettipants, suspects the Illuminati are at it again.

When sexy spinster Amelia Pettipants goes undercover in a lingerie factory, she discovers a frightening plot to blow up the southbound Chunnel using explosives hidden in corset-boning. Can she prevent a rapid British population decline? Or will France be forced to digest the influx of British cuisine?

Village snoop Amelia Pettipants discovers the body of Lady Bulgrim stuffed into the red phone box at the end of the lane, a Eurorail Pass flattened across her nose. Both the village doctor and Miss Nasale, the French teacher, have disappeared. Will the busybody sleuth discover the murderer before the next train to Calais?

Becoming a demon master wasn't on the agenda for bridge night, but it's in the cards when intrepid Amelia Pettipants finds a gateway to Hell burgeoning in her basement. Will the bridge mix hold up to the heat?

Colonel Huffelrump's insatiable appetite for spicy curry has led to digestive problems, but it's his daughter, Lady Martita Gasbag, who is found in poisoned gastric distress. Before expiring, she leaves a cryptic clue. The air is thick with suspicion and it is up to nosy spinster Amelia Pettipants to sniff out the culprit.

Persnickety spinster Amelia Pettipants returns to Boring-on-End to discover her tiny cottage in a mess. Partridge, her char, has disappeared, leaving only a dirty mop bucket as a cryptic message. Can the busybody sleuth find her maid before the Vicar's visit? Or will dust and spotty teacups once again spell murder?

Vicar Cy Loutly in the the quaint village of Boring-on-End is justifiably proud of his collection of Staffordshire porcelain. But will pride go before a fall when spinster detective Amelia Pettipants discovers a priceless Staffordshire spaniel in the lifeless hands of the village barmaid, Rosie Bottoms?

In this latest book in the series, plucky spinster Amelia Pettipants leaves her charming village, Boring-on-End, and travels to Paris. But a devil with spray paint has been at work, vandalizing the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Can Amelia find the culprit before the tour guide herds them to the next desecration?

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!

A sour-tongued minion wearing a tan coat, some type of eyewear, a hood, a strange cap and a disturbingly pleasant smile is dragged from her home by Canadian mounties during a blizzard. Her crime? a stream of ascerbic, hostile blog replies. For the next 15-20 years she is forced to edit the complete set of Amelia Pettipants posts and comments -- a fate . . . Worse Than Death.

We'll be doing a writing exercise featuring Zack Martinez, but first we need to gather information so that our scenes don't contradict each other. So, anything you happen to know about the man, send as a comment. But first read the comments that have already come in so you don't contradict them. Don't submit more than three facts in any one-hour period. Note that the GTPs above indicate he lives in Los Angeles and is on at least his second wife.


_*rachel*_ said...

Zack's first wife was kidnapped by rogue chocolate smugglers and declared dead.

His daughter (via the aforementioned "pregnant wife") is in kindergarten and loves the color pink.

He has a pale scar along his jaw, left by a knife wound in an ugly mob case several years ago.

Matt said...

-He's aroused by the smokey air of a late night bingo hall.

-Every time he goes to the bathroom, he feels ashamed and refuses to look at himself in the mirror until at least half an hour later.

-His apartment is wallpapered with posters of Antonio Banderas.

Anonymous said...

Methinks numerous authors write GTPs with these characters. I started ace homicide detective Zack Martinez and superspy Mae Wong, and have occasionally used Pettipants. Zack Martinez regularly shows up in amusing plots written by other people, although nobody else seems to use Mae Wong and her band of nautical sidekicks.

Evil Editor said...

All the ZM GTPs I've found were submitted by anon or Khazar-khum (mostly the latter). Of course many people go by the name anon, especialy with GTPs, as credit isn't given anyway.

pacatrue said...

When the screen revealed the text of Evil Editor's new blog post, homicide detective Zack Martinez knew two things: There are some clever minions about this web site; and he'd better get his wife a copy of Why You Don't Get Published or he'd end up a fictional character.

_*rachel*_ said...

Yeah, we did forget Mae Wong.

Zack... loves anything dipped in fondeau, edible or not.

Mame said...

I'm still trying to get over the name Amelia Pettipants. Hilarious.

Sarah from Hawthorne said...

Zack Martinez cannot remember anything that happened to him before the age of eight.

Zack Martinez knows how the television show "Lost" will end. (I don't mean he has a guess. He KNOWS.)

Except for his thick, jet black hair and toned physique, Zack Martinez has a startling resemblance to noted character actor Paul Giamatti.

Faceless Minion said...

-Zack Martinez's birthday is February 2.

-Zack Martinez has amazingly accurate and detailed hunches.

-Zack Martinez's son (from #4) loves animals and is currently in 3rd grade.

(Strange, one of those guess the plots was (mostly) mine. I usually sign them, but maybe I missed this one)

Anonymous said...

Zack wears a small cross around his neck on a golden chain. He's Catholic.

He is still really pissed that his first marriage did not work out and secretly refers to the ex as that "unfaithful bitch". She secretly refers to him as that Jack Ass. They are really nice to each other when they meet, which makes the second wife jealous.


Faceless Minion said...

-Zack Martinez's current partner thinks he's psychic (and blames Zack for lying when his lotto picks don't turn out).

-Zack Martinez enjoys fishing on the weekends.

-Zack Martinez flubbed big time the last time he was undercover.

_*rachel*_ said...

The last time he was undercover, it was as a hula dancer.

Matt said...

-Zack has a pet monkey.

-Zack is deathly afraid of turtles.

-He likes MMA, but he hates talking to other people that like MMA.

Faceless Minion said...

-Zack Martinez's sister is a navy seal. His brother is in the CIA. He's considered the black sheep of the family.

Robin B. said...

Zack Martinez almost always knows not one but two things.

Zack Martinez refers to himself in the third person and always uses his first and last name, baby. Oh yeah.

Robin B. said...

Zack Martinez's favorite food is alphabet soup.

_*rachel*_ said...

He uses the alphabet soup for ideas on his case, like writers slam the keyboard to come up with names.

Anonymous said...

About Zack Martinez, I know only two things: He is never seen in the same room as Miss Amelia Pettipants, and he also has a pair of well-worn, beige Clarks court shoes.

Khazar-khum said...

I'll leave Zack's true origin a mystery...for now.

Zack Martinez was born in Los Angeles. His mother never wanted him to leave home.

Zack went to Cal State Long Beach on a math scholarship. He still hates Long Beach.

He met his second wife at a Trojans vs Notre Dame game, where he was working in a case involving the Trojan's mascot, Traveller the white horse.

Kathleen said...

Zack Martinez loves riding his green Vespa scooter.

McKoala said...

Ah, I miss Amelia Pettipants. And Kate Thornton. Now Amelia's back! What happened to Kate? Did Amelia have something to do with it...

Evil Editor said...

Kate's blog is titled It Doesn't Take a Genius.

Steve Wright said...

On one assignment, Zack spent so long camped out under the second "O" in the Hollywood sign that people started delivering his mail there.

Anonymous said...

Zack Martinez was the official 1998 Surf King in Malibu, an experience from which he never fully recovered.

Anonymous said...

Zack's second wife has a reason to be jealous: he's got a boyfriend.

Zack's favorite came is fondue dick.(and it's not what you think)

Zack really isn't Zack Martinez. He has no memories before he was eight because he was switched at birth and has never recovered from trauma.

Faceless Minion said...

-Zack Martinez likes his coffee black and his chocolate white ... and is under doctor's orders to avoid both.

_*rachel*_ said...

under doctor's orders about the chocolate because it triggers panic attacks related to his wife's kidnapping, and about the coffee because doctors can do that sort of thing.

The only chocolate that doesn't set off the panic attacks is fondeau.

Faceless Minion said...

-Zack Martinez is very non-photogenic. His pictures look so bad it's hard to tell they're actually of him.

-There is a sealed file on Zack Martinez in the paranormal investigation files of the FBI

Anonymous said...

Dear Rachel,

Google has a question for you:

_*rachel*_ said...

Eh, in US History we had a presentation on oil barons, and the group doing it struck oil with chocolate in a fondue maker. Then we got to dip pretzel sticks in it. The only other time I've come close to fondue was in reading Asterix in Switzerland.

So, Zack likes all fondue, especially chocolate, and fondue is the only way he can eat chocolate without panic attacks.

Thanks, Anon.

Anonymous said...

...and the group doing it struck oil with chocolate in a fondue maker. Then we got to dip pretzel sticks in it.

I think Wes could use that in his new story...