Mystery Writer’s Gratitudes

Ah. . . Thanksgiving.  It’s that time again to express to no one in particular and everyone in general our thanks for the abundant gifts of our lives.  We’ll make Thanksgiving toasts. We’ll make cherry pie. We’ll make a mess of the kitchen! What joy!

Some will find quiet, reflective moments, in between deep-frying the turkey and football half-time, to think of all we have and how “that person over there ought to develop a better attitude about being grateful.”

Some may think about the first Thanksgiving in the snow and cold, while they wait in airports filled with passengers from cancelled flights, because of the snow and cold.  If this were a “feel good” column we’d be off with a Frank Capra plot line of Thanksgiving dinners arriving from local restaurants for all those stranded travelers out east.

But this is a mystery column, so I’m plotting against the airline ticket person with the I’m-not-sorry-for-you attitude, and enjoying the vision of a suitcase used to subdue the guy with the shifty eyes, who just cut in line. Back to reality, and I have one more thing to be grateful for–I’m not among the ones stuck there.

Before the hoopla of the holiday season begins, I thought it would be good to express my personal thanks as a mystery writer:

  • Newspaper clipping that started it all.

    Mysteries-I’m grateful for them all.

    Thanks for the 1860’s . . .
    This is when the era of mystery writing took off.  Something about the repressive nature of the Victorians created a need to pop a button or two, and do-in–in the most civilized manner and only on paper of course–one’s friends, neighbors, and loved ones.

  • Thanks for obnoxious sales clerks . . .
    who take forever to ring up purchases.  When I’m not plotting their deaths, I’m enjoying the “wasted time” in creating new story ideas.
  • Thanks for frozen turkeys
    As I poke and prod to check for thawing, I get a real idea of what a dead body might feel like–heh, heh, heh.
  • Thanks for those who betray, for cruel bosses, & neurotic childhoods
    They make great victims, murderers, and odd characters in between. . .and best of all, they have no idea what a source of inspiration they are!
  • Thanks for Sudoku and Crosswords
    They help me sort, shuffle, and explore the possibilities of multiple solutions to one puzzle.  What could prepare me for detective work better?
  • Thanks for the gruesome, gory, and “too close to real” mystery shows
    They convince me to stick with cozies as a writing genre. Eew!
  • Proph & Nalla with my book signing table

    My partners in crime.

    Thanks for pesky pets
    When I’m not filling food bowls, walking out in obnoxious weather, playing chase to get my shoe back, or cleaning up “accidents,” these special creatures cuddle up and inspire great love–through a cloud of bad breath and smelly coats–kind of like an old gumshoe.

  • Thanks for Littleton, Colorado
    With a name like “Littleton” what could possibly go wrong?  It’s a place full of friendly people, but isn’t it great to be able to drive around where you live asking yourself, “where can I dump this body today?”
  • Thanks for “deadlines”
    Who needs lifelines when a good solid, dead one will work very well?  Self-imposed or set by an editor, a deadline reminds us that every good thing must come to an end.
  • Thanks for my reading friends
    Without you, I’d be just another tree falling in a deep dark woods, and wouldn’t tell a story or make a sound.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season ahead.