“If only October would get here.” That’s a favorite whine of my creator, Carolyn Haines, but I have to say, I agree with her totally. The Mississippi heat and humidity are getting to me. It’s too damn hot to even get interested in a murder.
Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Murder is always pretty interesting, and that’s how I, Sarah Booth Delaney, make the money to pay the mortgage on my family home, Dahlia House.
I’m Mississippi bred and born, and I love the fertile farmland of the region where I live, the Mississippi Delta. Folks have said the topsoil is eight-feet deep and the richest in the world. Part of the alluvial gifts of the Mississippi River. The dark green rows of cotton are vital to a way of life I love.
I work with my partner, Tinkie Bellcase Richmond, in the Delaney Detective Agency. Our partnership is a long story. We’ve known each other since first grade, but I have to say, I’ve made a lifetime habit of underestimating Tinkie. She comes across as a ditzy blond Daddy’s Girl (well, truth be told she is blond and she is a Daddy’s Girl, but the whole ditzy thing is just an act) but she is the smartest person I know. And a true blue friend.
When it comes to friends, I’m the richest woman in the world. Tinkie and I get plenty of help with our cases from Cece Dee Falcon (who used to be Cecil, but that’s another long story) and Millie from down at the café. Millie knows all the local gossip and Cece, in her capacity as society editor for The Zinnia Dispatch, knows all the dirt on the upper crust. And believe me, in the Delta that’s some crusty crust.
I stumbled into being a P.I., but I seem to have a talent for it. So far, I’ve solved eleven cases, and all with a little help from my friends.
And Jitty keeps me in line and honest. How to explain Jitty? She’s the ghost of my great-great-grandmother’s nanny, a woman who struggled side by side with Grandma Alice to keep Dahlia House in the family after the War Between the States. Jitty is…opinionated. And beautiful. And she’s determined to make sure I produce a Delaney heir so that Dahlia House stays in the family and she has someone to haunt in the future. She won’t help me a lick with my cases, but she is on the case when romance or sex comes into the picture.
Between Jitty, my horses, my dog, and my fiancé, I have my hands full, but there’s a lot of murders going on in rural Mississippi. I have to admit, some men just need killin’, but nonetheless, justice must be served. That’s my job.
I hope you’ll join me in solving my cases. Believe me, Carolyn needs all the help she can get. She’s been wearing her backside out typing away on my next adventure, BONEFIRE OF THE VANITIES. I keep telling her to write faster, that my audience awaits! But writers, you can’t live with ‘em and you can’t live without ‘em.
Y’all have a great “last days of summer.”
You can read more about Sarah Booth in BONES OF A FEATHER, the 11th book in the “Sarah Booth Delaney” mystery series. The first book in the series is THEM BONES.
The life and times of Sarah Booth Delaney is written by Carolyn Haines who is the author of eleven Sarah Booth Delaney Mississippi Delta mysteries. The latest (2011, St. Martin’s Minotaur) is BONES OF A FEATHER, set in the Mississippi River town of Natchez. Carolyn also writes other books and is releasing a new e-book, SKIN DANCER, about a serial killer in South Dakota who skins and decapitates poachers. For more info or to sign up for her newsletter go to www.carolynhaines.com
** Carolyn has generously offered to give away two signed hardcover copies of BONE APPÉTIT. To enter, please leave an e-mail address in your comment. One entry per person and is open to anyone with a U.S. mailing address. Deadline to enter is September 7th at 6pm EST. The winner will be chosen using a random number generator and contacted via email for mailing instructions. **
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.