Saturday, June 25, 2011

Are You What You Wear?

By Susan C. Shea

First, a big thanks to Reece Hirsch for inviting me to guest blog this week. Reece and I both went through debut book launches last year, although he handled his with more panache than I managed.

My protagonist, Danielle O’Rourke, is not a professional sleuth, except that her day job is sniffing out money and treasure from San Francisco’s social lions and persuading them to give it to the museum for which she works. She has a slight advantage over most fundraisers in that she used to be Married to Money in the form of Richard Argetter III. Alas, Dickie decamped with an artificially endowed underwear model and that led to some wardrobe changes for Dani, specifically the addition of a new wing in her closet for clothing that reflected her reaction to the divorce: M&Ms for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three months. What she is wearing when she stumbles over bodies or is being grilled by S.F.P.D.’s homicide inspectors is more likely to be The Size That Will Not Be Named Above 12.

Dani was too proud to take Dickie for all he was worth ($450 million, to be precise), but she did keep the jewelry Dickie gave her. It’s stashed in a bank vault most of the time because who can wear a 12-carat diamond ring or an emerald bracelet to the office? Plus it seems to gall wealthy socialites to have someone with better jewelry than they are wearing ask them for money.

Dani’s social life is a little sketchy. She doesn’t feel comfortable hanging out with Dickie’s gossip-fueled crowd; the only guy who has stirred her interest since the divorce is a homicide cop with amazing green eyes and a 24/7 job; and her ex, long since parted from the celebrity model, is pestering her to give him another chance.

I’d say Dani looks a lot like the rest of us, but –like the rest of us – has some intriguing clues to her personality hidden in her closet.

Susan C. Shea’s first Dani O’Rourke Mystery, MURDER IN THE ABSTRACT, came out in 2010 and Booklist called it “…a series to watch.” She is a former fundraiser, on the board of the Norcal chapter of MWA, and a member of SinC.

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