The idea of Anastasia Pollack inciting a riot is totally absurd. Why on earth would a middle-aged suburban single parent and magazine craft editor incite a riot? For what? Complaining about the price of asparagus at her local ShopRite? Puh-leeze!
Her communist mother-in-law Lucille is quite another story, though. That woman’s been arrested more times than Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan put together. Lucille goes out of her way to annoy the police in Westfield, NJ where she’s her daughter-in-law’s unwelcome permanent houseguest. The cops are so fed up with Lucille that Anastasia suspects they’ve got her mug shot pinned to their firing range targets.
So it should come as no surprise that Anastasia is often saddled with talking Lucille out of the hoosegow. Back when Anastasia lived in blissful ignorance of her late husband’s financial malfeasance, she’d simply write a check to bail Lucille out and make sure she’d show up in court. However, now that Dead Louse of a Spouse is…well, dead, and Anastasia has inherited his debts, she barely has the money for a weekly run to ShopRite, let alone bail for her crazy ingrate of a mother-in-law.
So now Anastasia is reduced to trying to talk the cops into dropping charges whenever they pick up Lucille for anything from jaywalking to organizing the Daughters of the October Revolution in a massive picket that blocks the busiest intersection in town. Anastasia has just about had it, though, and the next time Lucille pulls one of her arrest-worthy stunts, she’s vowed to let Lucille stew in the hoosegow until her court date. Will Anastasia have the courage of her convictions?
PS: I realize there's a difference between snarling up traffic with an entourage of picketing octogenarians and inciting a riot, but you never know what Lucille's actions might lead to in the future. Besides, I've learned an author should never force her characters to do something they refuse to do.
Lois Winston writes the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries. The character of Lucille the communist mother-in-law is loosely based on one of her own relatives, which is probably why many of her relatives no longer speak to her. Visit Lois at www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia, her alter ego amateur sleuth at www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com.