A Day in the Life with Callie Parrish by Fran Rizer

Murder is On The Clock“Good morning—Middleton’s Mortuary—Callie Parrish here—How may I help you?” At least five days of each week in my world begin with those words.

My whole name is Calamine Lotion Parrish, but everyone calls me Callie except Daddy. My mother died the day I was born, and he had to name me. Daddy got drunk—really drunk—and tried to think of something feminine. He had five sons, but I’m the only girl. He named me for the one pink thing he could think of in his hammered state. Thank heaven he didn’t think of Pepto Bismol.

Jane Baker is my best friend forever. Politically correct people call Jane visually handicapped. I call a spade a flippin’ shovel and say she’s blind. When I began telling my stories in books, Jane had a wild streak, but she’s calmed down a lot. Some people might think her job as telephone fantasy actress Roxanne isn’t respectable, but it allows Jane to keep her independence. Of course, her boyfriend—my brother Frankie—doesn’t like it at all.

A few years after I began teaching kindergarten, divorce smacked me in the face. By then I was tired of spending my days with five-year-olds who wouldn’t sit still, be quiet, or take their naps. I moved back to my hometown, St. Mary, on the coast of South Carolina.

I’d earned my SC Cosmetology License in voc ed during high school which qualifies me to be the cosmetician at Middleton’s. I like the work—my clients don’t ever jump around, talk, or need to tee-tee every five minutes. My bosses, Otis and Odell Middleton, offered to send me to mortuary school to learn preparation (Funeraleze for embalming), but I prefer to leave that up to them. For me, it’s enough to create beautiful memory pictures for loved ones.

Speaking of Otis and Odell, they were born identical twins, but the years have changed their appearances so now they don’t look any more alike than their personalities. When they began to bald, Otis got hair plugs; Odell shaved his head. Otis is a vegetarian; Odell is addicted to barbecue. This has led to about a forty-pound weight difference between them. The most outrageous thing Otis has done is to install a tanning bed in Middleton’s prep room.

Jane says, “Callie, you attract murder like a magnet.” I confess I’ve found more than my share of homicide victims leading to lots of harrowing situations. In my seventh book (Hickory, Dickory Dock, Murder Is On The Clock; released on November 3, 2015) I discover a corpse hog-tied and left inside an industrial trash bag. You can guess where Jane and I found a body in A Corpse Under The Christmas Tree.

That’s the world I live in. At the end of the day, I go home, eat a Moon Pie, and pet Big Boy—my spoiled rotten Great Dane dog.

In answer to readers’ questions:

My books are cozyesque: no profanity. I created Kindergarten Cussing to avoid swearwords, and I can’t even spell the F-word. In order of emotional response, my most common expletives are Dalmation! Then A Hundred and One Dalmations! and in extreme situations—Shih Tzu!

Yes, it’s true I wear “blow-up” bras—not like a terrorist’s bomb, but inflatable. Why? My chest is more of a valley than a hill. When other girls blossomed, I hardly budded.

I have no idea why my readers keep e-mailing me wanting to know more about my love-life and suggesting which of the men I meet would make suitable partners. They must think celibacy is a terminal illness. To them, I say: “You asked for it! The new book brings an end to my dry spell, but you’ll have to read Murder Is On The Clock to find out who.

You can read more about Callie in Hickory, Dickory Dock, Murder Is On The Clock, the seventh book in the “Callie Parrish” mystery series, published by Odyssey South Publishing. The first book in the series is A Tisket, A Tasket, A Fancy Stolen Casket.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on November 20 for the chance to win a print copy of Murder Is On The Clock. (US entries only, please.) Good luck everyone!

Meet the Author
Fran Rizer’s fiction, published in the USA and Canada, has been read world-wide. Early in her fiction career, she won a Porter Fleming Award in Fiction. Her first six novels were Callie Parrish mysteries which were nominated for SIBA, Edgar, Agatha Christie, and other awards. She is a featured author on the SCETV series, A Literary Tour of South Carolina, an instructional program offered to all South Carolina public schools. In addition to the cozyesque Callie Parrish mysteries, she is the author of thriller Kudzu River—A novel of Abuse, Murder, and Retribution.

Rizer lives in South Carolina near her two sons and grandson. Readers are invited to correspond with her directly through email at franrizer@gmail.com, visit with her at FranRizer.com, and like her on Facebook.

36 responses to “A Day in the Life with Callie Parrish by Fran Rizer

  1. Give Big Boy an extra pet from me. He needs it!

  2. Nancy Roessner

    Well. this book sounds like a stitch! Or, like it would give me a stitch in my side from laughing. Lots of fun!

  3. This book sounds hilarious! Thank you for the chance to win.

  4. Calamine Lotion — what a name. I need to read this book. I bet it’s good. Thank you.

  5. Oh my, what a riot!

  6. Linda Stillinger

    I’m excited to see who makes the cut and gets to date Callie.

  7. Murder Is On The Clock sounds like a fun read. Fran Rizer is another new author for me. Thank you for this chance!

  8. Sounds like a really fun read

  9. Can’t wait to find out how the dry spell ended!

  10. This book sounds like a lot of fun,can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  11. Just the thing to liven up my morning! Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  12. I haven’t read any of this series yet but it sounds like a hoot!!

  13. Barbara Hackel

    I own all the “Callie” books thus far in the series, and they have given me hours of laughter and sore ribs! I can’t wait to read this new chapter in Callie’s life! Thanks Dru for alerting me that it was out! Thanks Fran for the chance to win a copy! 🙂

  14. As a very retired kindergarten teacher, this book fascinates me. I’d love to win it.

  15. What a poor, poor girl to have been named Calamine Lotion Parrish. At least she can shorten it to Callie so she doesn’t stand out as much. I’d love to have the opportunity to read this book. robeader53@yahoo.com

  16. I have to read a book whose main character’s name is Calamine Lotion–sounds like it’s full of humor along with the mystery

  17. This book is captivating and special. Thanks.

  18. You’ve done it again, Dru. A brand new series for me. Thanks for the intro and a chance to win.

  19. What a great sounding book. Thanks, Dru, for the intro to this series.

  20. How have I missed this series? It sounds laugh out loud funny. Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. That is quite a name to live with!

  22. Sounds like a series to try. Thanks for introducing me to it and for the chance to win.

  23. Callie sounds hilarious! I would love to win a copy of Murder is on the Clock. Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. elainehroberson

    Another new-to-me author to try and I love humorous stories. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  25. A reader called to my attention today that the new book is not yet available on Kindle. I contacted the publisher who checked into it and has responded that it should be available on Kindle the first of next week. Sorry for this mix-up. Love your comments.

  26. Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Murder is on the Clock.

  27. Sounds like a laugh out loud book! Wonderful! Thanks for the chance!

  28. Sounds a fun read.

  29. A new to me author and series. Thanks

  30. Love life…blow up bra this sounds hilarious…please enter me.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  31. Thanks for introducing me to a new series.

  32. I would really like to meet Callie. Thanks for the chance.

  33. You had me at Calamine Lotion. This read ought to be a real hoot. Fingers crossed

  34. How did I miss this series/author????
    Thanx for the heads-up & giveaway….

  35. Darlene Peterson

    A new author for me. Would love to give it a try.

  36. Contest is closed.