Pushing Up Daisies: A Dirty Business Mystery by Rosemary Harris ISBN: 9780312369675
Meet Paula Holliday, a transplanted media exec who trades her stilettos for garden clogs when she makes the move from the big city to the suburbs to start a gardening business. Paula can handle deer, slugs, and the occasional human pest---but she’s not prepared for the mummified body she finds while restoring the gardens at Halcyon, a local landmark. Casual snooping turns serious when a body is impaled on a garden tool and one of Paula’s friends is arrested for the crime. Aided by the still-hot aging rocker who owns the neighborhood greasy spoon, a wise-cracking former colleague, and a sexy Mexican laborer with a few secrets of his own, Paula digs for the truth and unearths more dirty business the town has kept buried for years.
to the preview of my book, Pushing Up Daisies, the first title in my new Dirty Business mystery series. It was inspired by a tiny article in The New York Times that read Mummified Body Identified. Given the circumstances, I found myself thinking, what if they're wrong? Daisies is my version of what happened. I hope you enjoy reading it each day and look forward to any comments or questions you may have--Rosemary Harris
Daisies was my very first book, and like many first-timers I originally included a lot of backstory at the beginning of the book. When I reread it, I thought "you can tell them that later..where's the body?"
Hi Rosemary, This sounds like a book I'll enjoy, and I definitely plan to read the rest of it! I can't believe there was a real mummy.
I happen to live in one of the many New York City bedroom communities in Connecticut, near Rt 7 but a few towns north of the Sound. So I'll appreciate the local references, too.
I can't wait to find out more about this mummy!
I love the book. I will check it out. Need to put a name to that body.
You grabbed me with the Peacock Garden. I love plants and got a big urge to go with her to get that garden in shape. When you are a garden lover you feel a feeling of birth when you talked about the flowers poking their heads through the earth.
One burning question I have as an ardent reader. WHY do authors always make ladies have auburn hair like the lady that came into the garden. Very few women in reality have auburn hair, but authors always seem to give women auburn hair?????
Karen, I've wondered the same thing about auburn hair. The other thing I've always wondered about with authors is why is the genetic acquisition of "long tapered fingers" aristocratic? What is it about long thin fingers that is supposed to make a person from the wealthy population as opposed to those of us with short stubby fingers. [ Yes, that's me, short stubby fingers, oh how plebian!]
Ah yes..who ARE these women with the auburn hair? I think they really just exist when a writer wants to make someone seem interesting but doesn't want to make her a blond! Having a character who's blond almost seems to require them to be either innocents or vixens (depending upon whether they are "cornsilk," "white-hot," "bottle," etc.) As a brunette - at least today - maybe that makes me guilty of profiling.
I just love the way you write - it's like listening to a friend tell a story, sometimes almost gossipy (is there such a word)!
How do you select names for your characters? In my 50+ years of reading I never thought of that before, but you named one of your characters Renata - an unusual name - it was my mother's name and with the exception of the opera singer Renata Tibaldi I've never known anyone else by that name. So what makes an author chose one name over another?
I am truly enjoying your story - continued success,
Joanne: How interesting that you brought up character names in a book. Besides wondering about the auburn hair syndrome, I also wonder about names. It seems that every author tends to name the characters with similar names such as James, John and Josiah as opposed to James, Fred and Bob.
I may put a book down for a couple days and when I pick it up I find it difficult to decipher people with similar names.
I wonder why authors do this. Maybe to get us to read with more thought????
I just put a sticky in the front of a book and explain who they are briefly for quick reference.
Maybe Ms. Harris can answer these questions for us.
This is a fun subject. It can be difficult to come up with the right name for a character. In Daisies I tried to have a range that reflected the different ages, socio-economic backgrounds and cultures of the characters. Conventional wisdom recommends not giving characters names that start with the same letter, so as not to confuse the reader. I'd go further and add that I try to avoid too many names that end with -y, as in Bobby, Jackie, etc. or are the same number of syllables.
Paula Holliday is named after my sister Paula, who passed away while I was writing the book. The Holliday comes from Judy Holliday who was one of our favorite old-time actresses (I highly recommend Born Yesterday, and Adam's Rib, two of her best movies.) Renata is the name of a very dear friend of mine. The book is sprinkled with the names of friends and the children of friends but I made sure that none of them was a victim.
Two other notes...my editor asked me to change the name of the killer because she thought it was too hard to pronounce and I've never gotten used to what he/she is called in the book. And I've recently returned from a mystery conference where a fan bid on and won a character name in my next book - so there will be someone named Nina Mazzo in book three of the Dirty Business series.