If we hadn’t been born sisters I’m convinced Fate would have somehow made a connection between Annie and me. Growing up together (there’s a mere eighteen months between us) we made a captive audience of two watching film noir movies on television. We lost ourselves in The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Laura. Our active imaginations molded us into Gene Tierney or Mary Astor or Myrna Loy, complete with dressing up in what could only be described as our self-designed, 1940’s Hollywood garb (we could have given Edith Head a run for her money). Playtime fantasies gave us the chance to escape danger on a stormy night, driving a 1940’s roadster down a rain-slicked road, a gun coolly hidden inside a coat pocket just in case we needed to use it on a bad guy. And there would be a bad guy. We followed Charlie Chan, the Thin Man, and Bogie while they sifted through clues, ruled out suspects, and solved the question of whodunit.
Eventually we outgrew our make believe and shifted to reading mystery books, enjoying the adventures of Mildred Benson’s Nancy Drew and finding red herrings alongside Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. We read and re-read Murder in Okefenokee by Cecile Hulse Matschat until the book fell apart. Same with Green Jade for Laughter by Maurene Chenoweth, as Tiare solved the mystery of her green jade ring. We sprinkled some Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer throughout our reading list, grabbed a bottle of Pepsi and a bag of pretzels, and lost ourselves in the pure enjoyment of reading mystery books.
We have wanted to write our own mystery book for a long time and have finally accomplished that goal with Final Sale. It’s been great exploring the town of Bittersweet Hollow and we’ve run across some friends there. We’re going to stay, at least until the pretzels run out. Rae