Warren Farmington and Observations on his Brother by Sally Carpenter

The Quirky Quiz Show CaperMy brother’s fame is the family curse. We’re a well-respected, talented family and never suffered any bad publicity until Ernest went his own way.

Opal Farmington, our mother, sang with a number of renown big bands before she married. Stanford Farmington, our father, is the founder, conductor and artistic director for the Golden Wing Philharmonic, a small but distinguished orchestra in Southern California. Our sister, Celeste, wrote and recorded two critically acclaimed albums in the 1960s.

As for myself, Warren Farmington, after I earned my doctorate, I took a position at Oak Crest College, a small, liberal arts school. As a tenured professor I carry a full teaching load, serve on several committees, oversee the senior recitals for the keyboard majors, and will probably eventually chair the music department.

I also serve as the house organist for the Terpsichore Theatre in Van Nuys, where I play the Wurlitzer for the Saturday matinee film series and other occasions. I married my college sweetheart and we have three beautiful children. We Farmingtons work hard, stay out of trouble, and enjoy a quiet life.

And then there’s my brother, Ernest.

We all expected Ernest to follow in father’s footsteps and eventually take over the philharmonic. I should have seen the early signs that he’d become the prodigal son. As kids, we were naturally competitive. However, Ernest never seemed to make the mark. His failures shamed him and my successes irked him. As a kid he had a wild side, taking risks and doing dangerous stunts like riding his bike in busy traffic with his eyes closed just for a thrill.

After his freshman year in college, Ernest dropped out of school and joined a rock and roll band. Father was appalled. Next thing I know, I’m in the supermarket and every magazine on the rack had my brother’s mug plastered on the cover—but not his name. No, the big teen idol changed his name to Sandy Fairfax. He was too important to be a Farmington anymore.

I was still in school at the time and the kids teased me endlessly about my brother and the stupid TV show he appeared in. The girls cozied up to me in hopes I’d get them a date with him (didn’t work). By then my brother was too busy living the high life to spend time with his family, so I rarely saw him.

It didn’t stop when I began teaching. On the first day of class, when I wanted to review the syllabus, the students peppered me with questions about the great Sandy Fairfax. I never mentioned our relationship but somehow the kids always found out.

And if you’re followed the news or read the tabloids, you know the rest of the story, how Ernest became a drunk, divorced, ended up in jail, and slept with more women than I’ve had hot meals. With his bad press, it’s a wonder my parents could hold their heads up in public.

Now Ernest has decided he wants to be part of the family again, just when we’d adapted to him being away. He claims he’s clean and sober, and I haven’t seen him take a drink lately, at least when I’ve been with him. He had a new girlfriend too. She seems nice enough but we’ll see how long that lasts.

I have to admit Ernest helped me in a huge way. Someone framed me for the murder of one of my college students. The police picked me as their prime suspect but Ernest found the clues that identified the killer, and he almost lost his life in clearing my name. You can read about this in the new cozy mystery, “The Quirky Quiz Show Caper.”

So I suppose Ernest isn’t such a bad guy after all. After all, he’s my brother.

The Quirky Quiz Show Caper is the fourth book in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol mystery series, published by Cozy Cat Press, March 2016.

Former teen idol Sandy Fairfax is a guest panelist on a TV game show—and the first category is murder! When his kid brother, Warren, is framed for killing a college student, Sandy makes it his duty to track down the thug before the police move in. After all, Sandy did play a detective once on a hit TV show. Sandy will get right on the case—right after he visits his kids; fights with his ex; woos his hoped-to-be girlfriend, Cinnamon; and convinces his parents he should be the special entertainment at a black tie gala designed to raise funds for his father’s faltering orchestra. All this while he and his biggest fan attempt to “Raise The Stakes” on a rigged quiz show where––wonder of wonders––the murder victim had recently been a contestant. Sandy’s ready to pull out some of his long blond hair as the game points and the suspects pile up.

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About the author
Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, Calif. She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do. She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.

In the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol cozy series are: The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper (2012 Eureka! Award finalist), The Sinister Sitcom Caper, The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper and The Quirky Quiz Show Caper. She has short stories in two anthologies: “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in” in “Last Exit to Murder” and “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” in “Plan B: Omnibus.” She penned chapter three of “Chasing the Codex,” a group mystery written by 34 authors with Cozy Cat Press.” She blogs at sandyfairfaxauthor.com and Ladies of Mystery. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles. Reach her at Facebook or mailto:scwriter@earthlink.net

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of The Quirky Quiz Show Caper. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end July 19, 2016 at 12 AM (midnight) EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

26 responses to “Warren Farmington and Observations on his Brother by Sally Carpenter

  1. Patty Allen

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

  2. Jill Broussard

    Definitely interested in reading this book! Thankyou for the opportunity!

  3. I’m not familiar with this series. I love trivia and quiz shows so this one intrigues me.

  4. Since there are so many talent shows on television today, it only makes sense to have a mystery series based around this. Thanks for hosting this book and author on your blog. robeader53@yahoo.com

  5. Peggy Hyndman

    Another new series and author for me … thank you for the introduction! The Quirky Quiz Show Caper sounds fun.

  6. Elaine Roberson

    Sounds interesting, I’d love to win a copy.

  7. Sounds different, lol would love to read

  8. Jessica Evans

    Sounds like a fun read! I’d read it based on the title alone. Definitely want to read after checking out the plot info!

  9. elainefaber4u

    You experience with theater, I’m sure, had added a good deal of authenticity to your story. The concept of the cruise ship is also fun and unique. Sounds like a great mystery.

  10. Barbara Hackel

    As a musician and a mystery lover, I am ashamed to say I am unfamiliar with this series! And to top that off, my musician husband’s name is Sande. Dru thank you for sharing this author and series today. I am off immediately to find the first 3 books of the series! Thank you Sally for the chance to win a copy of the newest in the series! I am anxious to read them all! 🙂

  11. Sounds like a wonderful series.

  12. Wonderful feature and giveaway. Great series. Thanks.

  13. Yes please Dru, Toss my name into the magic hat please.

  14. A nice new story spin.

  15. Another new to me author and series. Great review, would enjoy reading.

  16. Fascinating! I love the quirkiness in the twists and turns without even reading it. Definitely on my TBR list.

  17. Doward Wilson

    Fantastic post. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for introducing this series & author to us. I have the series on my TBR List & this is pushing me to get to it.

  18. Mary Jane H.

    Great storyline, I’m adding this series to my tbr list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of book four in the series.

  19. Sounds great – thanks for the giveaway.

  20. Marilyn Watson

    I haven’t read this Author either and with a brother willing to lay his life on the line I think this is the beginning of a really good mystery. Please enter me. Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

  21. Fun stuff, Sally. Thanks!

  22. Bertha Hammond

    I’m always looking for new authors and series and this book sounds interesting. Would love to win a copy of the book. Thanks

  23. sounds like such a fun series. Thanks for the chance!

  24. How have I not heard of this series?!?!
    Thanx for the 411 & giveaway…..

  25. Yep. Sandy sounds like a pain. But a helpful one, more or less. There again. A new author/series for me. And hoping, again for a quick intro to the series rather than a later one. Thanks for the heads up and the chance to get it.

  26. OK, I want this one, too. It sounds very different.