Friday, August 30, 2013

In Defense of Rocks

This past week a reader posted a review on Amazon for one of my Odelia Grey novels. In the review she called Odelia "dumber than a box of rocks."

L-O-L!  No, really. My first response was really to laugh out loud.  My next response was to make this part of my blog post this week, because, frankly, Odelia's purse is like mine - pretty normal and boring.

So back to the rocks ...

First of all, what does this reader expect? All fictional amateur sleuths are a bit off their rockers (pun intended). They purposefully put themselves in harm's way in pursuit of justice. If they acted like normal, real people they would simply call the police and be done with it.

Oh yeah, now there's a best seller in the making - right?

If the amateur sleuths found in the pages of novels were really smart, they wouldn't go trekking after killers, clues and motives, and we wouldn't be having this conversation because I wouldn't be a writer of humorous crime fiction. Without proper training, these everyday, nosey faux detectives are simply stumbling around hoping to catch the killer or killers before they get whacked themselves. 

As for rocks themselves, let me remind you that rocks are far from stupid. Depending on their origin, they can be loaded with valuable minerals and information. They are historians and storytellers, chronicling the evolution of their location, including animals that once thrived there and weather and events that changed it forever.

There are rocks that decorate your garden. Rocks that provide a home for your fish. Rocks that you drive hundreds of miles out of your way to visit on vacation, including Mount Rushmore, one of the most famous rocks.

We carve sayings into rocks and give them as gifts of love, support and encouragement. We even use them to mark and honor the graves of our loved ones.

Remember the Pet Rock? In 1975 this simple item hit the marketplace selling 1.5 million units and making its creator/owner/lucky stiff thinker-upper a millionaire.

Doesn't sound too stupid to me!

Oh, and let's not forget The Rock. One of the cutest of cutie pies with a rock-hard bod and killer smile, and a genius at self-promotion.  Have you seen his commercial for milk? He could sell the stuff to someone with a severe lactose intolerance problem.

As for Odelia's purse, like I said, hers is a lot like mine (seen here):

Kindle, cell phone, makeup, wallet, several pens, hand sanitizer, one large key ring with keys to my apt. security door, car, mail box and gas tank, another key ring with keys to my office, business cards, nail file, gum, ibuprofen, cough drops and tissues. 

Boring, yes. Dumb, no.


Meredith Cole said...

Your purse looks so organized! Impressive... And not dumb at all!

Susan C Shea said...

Then there are the rocks that come all the way to Earth packed with information about the formation of the universe...

I think the amateur sleuths (I write one too so maybe I'm biased) are actually heroic. After all, as news stories show, most people in real life won't even bestir themselves to call 911 when they hear, see, or smell a serious crime. So there!

Anonymous said...

I would call Odelia perhaps impulsive but not dumb :) I really enjoy the Odelia Grey books and I read many cozies. The point of a cozy is that the sleuth is an amateur, not a professional, therefore they are not going to proceed according to police procedures or investigative techniques.