Notes of An Investigative Reporter
Doing a Story on Unusual Characters
Godwin Dulac – “She’s just so wonderful! And clever! I never thought crime could be fun till she came along! Well, except this once, when my partner, John Nye, got murdered, and the police thought I did it! Oh, my God, that was the worst, but the worst, time of my whole life! But Betsy just waded in, asked a few questions and boom! She told the police who really did it, and I was set free! She’s amazing! I love her to death! And isn’t this the sweetest shop?” He looks around, gesturing wide with both arms. “Say something bad about her? Let me think. I do love her, don’t get me wrong, but she’s cheap. I mean, it’s a good thing I have this annuity because I sure couldn’t live like I do on what she pays me – and she pays me more than the rest of her employees. She’s got plenty of money, she inherited this business and another one – a property-buying company in Wisconsin – and neither one is exactly in danger of bankruptcy, but she counts every penny and works lots of hours. She’s sweet and smart and good company, but like a bird, she’s cheap, cheap, cheap!”
Jill Cross Larson – Betsy Devonshire is in her later fifties, five feet four, maybe a hundred and forty or forty-five, blond and blue. What? Oh, sorry, I used to be a cop and have never gotten it out of my system. Let’s see. Betsy is handsome, tenacious, intelligent, curious, a hard worker. She’s outgoing and engaging. She is godmother to my oldest child, Emma Beth. Betsy was reluctant, after the first couple of times, to continue getting involved in amateur investigations. But she has a strange, wild-card talent for it, and while I understood her anxiety, I encouraged her not to deny her gift. I have nothing bad to say about her.
Mike Malloy – Attractive woman for her age, and brighter than average. She used to annoy me to no end, poking her nose into criminal investigations where she was neither wanted or necessary. Didn’t know the rules of evidence and sometimes got herself in a real pickle. But at least she’s always known when to summon the cavalry and doesn’t try confronting a perp on her own. And sometimes she can see through the forest to the rotten tree that needs cutting down when even I can’t. That last sentence is off the record, of course.
Connor Sullivan – Why do I love her? Let me count the ways. She’s got the most beautiful blue eyes, and a complexion an Irish colleen might envy. She’s independent, very intelligent, and she knows almost as many English music hall ditties as I do. She owns her own business and the building it lies in – in fact, she’s my landlady. She demands the place pay for itself, and sits up nights trying to make it so. She’s gentle and kind and loyal. And as fierce and tenacious as a bull terrier when she’s on a murderer’s trail. She likes nautical things, including me, a retired sea captain. What don’t I like about her? She gets mixed up in crime, and I worry about that. Plus, she doesn’t want to get married.
Tony Milan – That witch? That bottle blond? Fat and ugly, that’s Betsy Devonshire. Her and that damn crow! I had that money, it was good as in my hand, and she screwed me out of it, her and that Nancy partner of hers. What’s his name? Godwin, yeah. I ask you, what kind of a name is that? Probably not his real name. He’s a killer, too, you know. Only he got away with it. Me, I’m doing twenty to life while he gets to sit home knitting socks. I bet she’s killed a person or two in her life as well. Solving crimes? Hah! I bet she kills people herself and lays the blame on someone else. You’re an investigative reporter, why don’t you investigate her?
** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of THREADBARE, the fifteenth book in the series, to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends December 8. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **
Meet the author
Mary Monica Pulver sold her first short story to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine in 1983. Her first novel, Murder at the War, appeared from St. Martin’s Press in 1987. Four in that series followed. In 1992, the first of six medieval Tales, written in collaboration with Gail Frazer as Margaret Frazer, appeared. In 1998, writing as Monica Ferris, she began writing a new series for Berkley featuring a needleworking sleuth named Betsy Devonshire. The first was called Crewel World, the sixteenth, to appear in December, is And Then You Dye.
To learn more, go to Monica-Ferris.com.
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