Saturday, January 29, 2011
HIT THE ROAD, DEAR ABBY
by Jitty the ghost
From BONE APPETIT by Carolyn Haines
Hi, y’all, Jitty the haint here. I’ve abandoned my duties of watching over Sarah Booth Delaney to visit for a bit. In the Mississippi Delta mystery series, Sarah Booth gets a lot of ink solving mysteries, so I’m gonna talk about me
I date back to the Civil War, and I was the nanny for Sarah Booth’s great-great-grandma, Miss Alice. We both lost our men in that terrible war, but Miss Alice and I worked hard together to keep Dahlia House and the land around it. If it wasn’t for that fertile land and our hard work, we woulda starved and the Delaney line would be no more. Now, Sarah Booth is the last of the line, and I’ve come from the Great Beyond to guide her—and lord, she needs some guidance. She’s headed for her mid-thirties and that girl ain’t got no husband or no baby. She taxes all my skills, but I’m not about to quit tryin to keep her headed down the aisle toward matrimony and a Delaney heir, no matter how much she bucks and balks.
Mostly what she wants to do is solve mysteries with her partner Tinkie Bellcase Richmond. I thought Tinkie, the daughter of the owner of Zinnia’s bank, would be a good influence, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Sarah Booth gets her in all kinds of situations. If I weren’t already dead, those two would give me a heart attack.
Sarah Booth didn’t start out to be a private detective. She wanted to be a Broadway star. That didn’t work out so well for her, and she ended up back in Zinnia, Mississippi and had to take some quick action to save her family home, Dahlia House. The old house needs some work (then again, so does Sarah Booth—but don’t tell her I said that).
At any rate, one thing led to another, and now Delaney Detective Agency stays pretty busy. She’s met all kinds of interestin’ folks, but she is just a death ray when it comes to romance. I try hard to help her, but so far my success rate is pretty dismal. Work, work, work, that’s all she thinks about.
Most recently, Sarah Booth and Tinkie took a vacation to Greenwood, Mississippi and ended up in the middle of a beauty pageant cook-off, complete with dead bodies, in BONE APPETIT. And before they’d recovered from that, they took a case in Natchez, Mississippi. A “simple insurance” case, as Sarah Booth calls it. Only BONES OF A FEATHER is anything but simple. You can read all about that one in June.
Right now Sarah Booth and Tinkie are runnin’ around New Orleans tryin’ to find a medium who bilks rich people out of their money. No wonder she can’t catch a man. She don’t hold still long enough for a man to get hold of her.
Most recently, I’ve taken up writing an advice column. Since Sarah Booth won’t heed the good advice I give her, I figured I could put my decades of knowledge to good use and help some other folks. So if YOU there, reading this, have a question, please go to www.carolynhaines.com. I got my own pages called Jitty’s Jilted Hearts. You might want to read over some of the advice I’ve already given, but if you don’t get the answer you want, drop me a line. I’ll be sure to answer. And it’s free. Why pay a shrink when you can talk to me for free?
Thanks for chattin’, and see you around the Mississippi Delta.
You can also find Carolyn Haines on facebook.
And Jitty, too!
Tomorrow’s guest on Killer Characters will be Ellen Byerrum.