Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Woman's Gotta Do What a Woman's Gotta Do

by Frances Mae Renier (aka Miss Frankie)
from the Piece of Cake mysteries
by Jacklyn Brady

They say you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. I suppose that's true, but y'all, I don't think there's anything more important than where you come from and who your people are. Every decision they made led to who you are now and what your circumstances are. Lord knows, my family isn't made up of perfect people. Far from it, in fact! But kin is kin, and even though some of them are crazy as jaybirds, they're mine and I am there for them when they need me.

photo credit: Roger Smith via photopin cc
That's why when my friend and neighbor, Bernice, found out that her cousin Eskil had disappeared in the swamp--just like his daddy did before him--I was right there by her side. And when things went from bad to worse, we stayed there to help.

Bernice wasn't about to turn her back on her family. Standing by her people through thick and thin was the right thing to do. So what if some of them are a little unbalanced? You show me a family that doesn't have a few loose limbs on the proverbial tree and I'll show you a group of people who are very good at hiding the truth.

Take my own cousin, Pearl Lee Gates, for example. She really is a mess, but when she got herself into trouble ... again! ... did I turn my back on her? No, I did not. I took her in and arranged for her to participate in some activities that turned her (for once) into a productive member of society. That's what family does. I wouldn't leave her out there on her own, sunk in the mire created by her actions. That would be cruel, not to mention irresponsible. She does her best, bless her heart. It's not her fault that her best is never quite good enough.

I do the same thing for Rita, my daughter-in-law and business partner at Zydeco Cakes. Ever since my son, Philippe died, Rita and I have been there for each other, and I've done my best to get her involved in things that I just know will help her become a part of society here in New Orleans. She tends to shy away from getting involved, and she objects when I step in to do the best thing, but what kind of mother-in-law would I be if I just left her standing in the corner like a wall-flower? So I ignore her protests and do what I think is right. After all, a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do. And Rita will thank me some day. You mark my words!


The whole story of Bernice's family troubles will be coming soon in Rebel Without a Cake from Berkley Prime Crime. You can meet Pearl Lee in The Cakes of Wrath, available now in both paperback and e-book format.


  1. Miss Frankie, it's nice to know we can count on you to help us if we ever need it . . .

  2. I'm anxious to read these books. I'm thinking we have a woman like the Mother in Every one loves Raymond. Sound like a fun read.