Thursday, February 3, 2011

I really have to speak out

Submitted by Josey Thring who lives in West Quebec and is indispensable in Mary Jane Maffini’s Fiona Silk mysteries, Lament for a Lounge Lizard and Too Hot to Handle. Honestly.

My name is Josey Thring and I am Executive Assistant to Fiona Silk, the well-known romance writer. If you were just about to say that I should be in school, please be informed that today is a Professional Development day for the teachers at my school. Yes, it is. Just take my word for it. There is no need to call and check. It only seems like we have a lot of days off. Besides, I’m getting straight A’s in my grade eleven classes so I should have a bit of leeway. Plus, and this is important, Miz Silk needs my help. She always does. It’s not her fault she gets involved in murder. But murder’s not even her biggest problem. I mean, she may seem a bit shy, but she is a very kind and funny person and you can always count on her to do something unusual if you’re about to be killed. Or someone else is.

But I really want to use this opportunity to get a message to our author, Mary Jane Maffini. I know for a fact that she reads this blog. Excuse me for a moment:

Dear Miz Maffini:

First of all, this is February, which could be called Love Month. So, I think it’s only decent if you would let Miz Silk have some kind of romantic life. For once. In the beginning, you gave her that really horrible ex-husband, Phil Silk, when you introduced her in Lament for a Lounge Lizard. Could you have found a more entitled person? I don’t think so. And then you killed her former flame and left his body in her four-poster. St. Aubaine is a small village and that was all people could talk about for months! Yes, I know Benedict Kelly was a sleazy, underhanded poet with more girlfriends than you could count, but even so that was such a dirty trick. And then, I couldn’t believe it when you pulled that stunt with Marc-AndrĂ© Paridis, the really nice guy. It’s just not fair. We want him alive and don’t you forget it.

In fact, I think you could treat Miz Silk better all round. Why can’t she get a new book contract? Does she have to be a failed romance writer? Can’t she even buy some decent clothes after you wrecked her periwinkle suede outfit? Why did you make her write that erotic cookbook when you know …? Why did you give her all those tax troubles? Does everything have to catch fire in Too Hot to Handle? That’s very unsettling for us characters. Try to do better.

It’s a good thing that I am here to help Miz Silk with the shoveling. There’s a lot of snow in the Gatineau Mountains in West Quebec. And I can take Tolstoy for extra walks, because Samoyeds are born to love snow. I’d do more, even though she always tries to get me not to, but I’ve been kind of tied up because of Uncle Mike’s latest trip to the slammer. I have an idea of how to spring him, but I’m not going to mention it in this public place. For all I know, the St. Aubaine cops read this too. They seem to be everywhere. Especially that Sergeant Sarrazin.

When I grow up, I’ve decided I am going to be a lawyer. Uncle Mike could use one on a regular basis. And Miz Silk and a lot of the other ladies in mysteries need someone to draw up a Bill of Rights for characters like them. I got some practice doing that at school and I posted a really good Bill of Rights for Students on the bulletin board in the staff room. Holy Moly. Who knew teachers were so sensitive? But I didn’t really mind the suspension. I had lots of driveways to shovel and other stuff to do, and a mouse got into Miz Silk’s basement. So I guess it paid off. I hope you are not going to steal that story and use it in the next book. It’s like you think you can get away with murder now.

I’m going to be putting my snow-clearing money, my dog walking fees, my summer lawn mowing cash, my handyperson earnings and Uncle Mike’s beer bottle returns to start a college fund for myself. I might get creative too. They say it takes seven years to get through college and law school, although I’ll try to shave off a bit. Until then, I’ll be looking out for my friends.

Yours sincerely,

Josey Thring

Executive Assistant

Okay, enough of that. I’m back. You readers at Killer Characters seem like really nice people. I’d be happy to drop over and give you a hand too if you have shoveling to be done or a mouse problem or need some snooping, or library reference books removed without anyone noticing. Anything. My business is called The Thring to Do. My rates are competitive and I am expecting even more PD days at our school, so I’m available pretty much any time. And while we’re talking, how would you like to contribute to my law school fund? I’d be happy to print you out a tax receipt.


  1. What a great advocate for Fiona! And...Miz Maffini, I think she's right. After all, it's Love Month!

  2. Bring our snow shovel over here, Josey.

  3. PD day, Josey? Couldn't you have been more imaginative?

    I will tell you one thing, though, Josey-girl, if Miz Silk wasn't a *failed* romance novelist, she wouldn't have time to investigate murders... they keep authors pretty busy!

  4. Josey, it is a pleasure to meet you. You have peaked my interest in the goings on with Fiona and yourself. Should I start with the first story or the latest?

    Good luck with your college fund.

  5. Great to see you have so much space to state your case, for a change, Josey. I've always realized how valuable you are to Fiona Silk, and I've always admired your ingenuity. Library reference books, huh? Besides, you have some great lines!

    Dru -- I'd suggest start at the beginning (I've read them both) because they're both so much fun. Although the second can be read on its own.

  6. Josey, I have high hopes for you in law school. You stated your case very well. Miz Maffini should take a listen!

    Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

  7. Josey, you sound like a very hard working, enterprising teen. I think a trip to the library or bookstore is in order. I'd like to read more about you.

  8. Josey, you've got me deeply concerned about a possible class action suit on behalf of cozy sleuths against their writers. Yikes.

  9. Fiona (and Miz Maffini) are lucky to have you, Josey. I'm hoping to hear more from you here and in Fiona Silk's stories. Eleventh grade puts you about 16 or 17, right? The perfect time for adventure!

  10. Since Mary Jane and Josey are traveling today, I'll just jump in and say I think Josey might respond that an Executive Assistant never admits her age. You've got the adventure part right, that's for sure!

  11. Josey, bring that shovel down here! I could use a professional snow shoveler.

    ~ Krista

  12. Who let that kid in here? She gives me more grief! I admit she comes in handy at a tense plot moment and you can always count on her, but she actually sends me bills!

    Be careful, my friends.