Monday, October 23, 2017

Predatory Smiles

from Janet Marsh of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

Hello, it’s Janet Marsh again, with more about our peculiar visiting author, Daphne Wood. Here’s a bit of my conversation with Christine, at the ceilidh, after Gillian Gillespie thought she was introducing Daphne to Tom the photographer (as well as being Gillian’s significant other) only to find out that Tom and Daphne had already met, already been on a photo shoot, and were already working on a calendar together. The ceilidh, being held at the library, was meant to be a lovely party with food and dancing to welcome Daphne to Inversgail.

“What do you think a predatory smile looks like?” I asked Christine.

“Like this.”

“Whoa. Where did you learn to do a thing like that?”

“Shark Week, a few years back. Tony adored those documentaries,” Christine said, referring to her late husband. “Why?”

“The way Daphne smiled at Tom Laing, just now.”

I’d hopped up after Tom announced he and Daphne were working together on that calendar. Gillian’s reaction to the news had convinced me it was the perfect time to get more lemonade for everyone, and I’d interrupted Christine’s mother in the middle of describing her latest bout of vertigo to ask Christine for help carrying. When we reached the drinks table, I filled Christine in on the developing awkwardness. Then, still haunted by the unpleasant salad greens I’d eaten, I downed another whole glass of lemonade while Christine looked back toward Gillian, Tom, and Daphne. Tom and Daphne were talking and laughing. Gillian appeared to be stabbing my blackberry tart. 

“Huh,” Christine said. “I didn’t see Daphne smile, but my professional diagnosis is that she isn’t predatory; she’s crazy. Or to quote from the official DSM translated for Scots, she’s a bampot.”

“You’re a social worker, not a psychologist,” I said, “but she’s definitely an odd duck. The dog, for instance. A husky, in the wilds of northern Canada, that I can understand. But a Pekingese? And she brought it tonight? Has Sharon or anyone from the library noticed?”

“Good points,” Christine said. “Did no one check her out beforehand?”

“There probably wasn’t a sanity box to check off on the application.”

“But surely there was something like an interview.”

“You know how much a clever person can hide in an interview.”

“Good Lord, yes.”

“It’ll be a relief when her book signing’s over next week,” I said. “Then I can stop being so unnaturally nice to Daphne. It’s too much hard work.”

You’re a bampot,” Christine said. “You’d be nice to Nessie if she paddled in to buy books.”

“That’s called good customer service and for Nessie, it wouldn’t be hard at all. Not compared to Daphne.”

“Well, she’s not quite normal,” Christine said, “but who would be after living alone out in the woods for so long?”

“I wouldn’t be normal. I like watching people too much.”

“We call that being nosy,” Christine said, patting me on the back as though I was a good puppy, “and we love you for it. So why aren’t you back there sticking your nose in right now?” When I didn’t say anything, Christine looked at me. “You’re staring into your lemonade.”

“Trying to see myself,” I said. “I don’t like the image of me sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong.”

“No one’s at her best reflected in the bottom of a lemonade.”

Have you ever met someone like Daphne, who seems to have a talent for creating tension?

Book giveaway! To get ready for the January release of Scones and Scoundrels, book two in the Highland Bookshop Mysteries, we’re giving away a copy of book one, Plaid and Plagiarism. Leave a comment by noon (CST) on Thursday, 10/26, for your chance to win.

Coming in January 2018, Scones and Scoundrels, bringing together a body outside  a pub, a visiting author determined to find the killer, and a murderously good batch of scones . . .

Molly MacRae is the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter @mysteryMacRae, or you can sometimes find her the first Monday of a month at Amy Alessio’s Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts


  1. I have definitely met someone like Daphne!
    Thank you for the chance to win book one in the series.

  2. Thanks for the great excerpt. I too have met someone like Daphne.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  3. Unfortunately I have met a Daphne. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. I have met someone like Daphne. Not a good experience. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. There's always someone like Daphne, no matter where you go. bobwiesmann (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  6. Yes I have met someone like Daphne.

  7. I think people like Daphne are required staff in every office I've ever worked in!

  8. Mary Lynette MillerOctober 23, 2017 at 12:50 PM

    I know someone who is a has a little Daphne in her. Not fun. Would love to be a winner! nettiem (AT) toledotel (DOT) com

  9. I have a friend like Daphne. I would love to try this series.

  10. I have met more than one Daphne. Would really like to start reading this series. Sounds like an amazing read.

  11. I have met more than one Daphne. Would really like to start reading this series. Sounds like an amazing read.

  12. Sounds like she's trying to scry in her lemonade.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  13. I have a family member like Daphne. Can definitely make get-togethers frustrating.

  14. Thanks for the great excerpt. I too have met someone like Daphne.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

  15. There is a Daphne in everyones life sometime. Hope I win the book thanks for the chance.

  16. Unfortunately, yes. She is a family member - the good news is I don't see her very often.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  17. Unfortunately I too have a Daphne in my life. Now I live in FL I don't have to see her. Thank you for the chance. pgenest57(at)aol(dot)com

  18. I think we've all met someone like Daphne, sigh..... Thanks for the chance to win!

  19. Haven't we all met a Daphne? Lol.

  20. I have to work with a person like Daphne. Its all about her...her life is terrible, so we all have to bend over backwards so she doesn't feel bad. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

  21. Unfortunately, I know a few Daphnes. It is always nice to put some distance between us. cheers at marjimmanor dot com

  22. I've met many Daphnes over the years---and tried to avoid them.
    Thanks for the contest.

  23. I have met several Daphnes...and I work with three of them currently. thanks for the giveaway! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  24. There is a Daphne in everyone's life. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway! doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  25. Yes, I have a "Daphne" in my life.


  26. I have met many of her in my life that is for sure! This is a wonderful giveaway and thank you for the chance.

  27. I guess we all know Daphne...

  28. Thank you all for your comments. The winner of the book is Dianne B. Dianne, I'll contact you.