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38-year-old former teen idol Sandy Fairfax is a guest panelist on a TV game show--and the first category is murder! When his brother, a college professor is framed for the murder of one of his student, Sandy investigates, in between fighting with his ex, visiting his kids, wooing his new girlfriend, and presenting a concert at a black tie gala to save his father's orchestra. Sandy's ready to tear out his long blond hair as the game points and suspects pile up.
It’s a family affair
By Sally Carpenter
If families were perfect, cozy authors would have nothing to write about.
Most cozies center around an unmarried, levelheaded heroine and a kooky assortment of relatives. Generally the parents are eccentric, although one wonders how such a nutty couple could raise a sane daughter.
Often extended family is thrown into the mix, along with the heroine’s former spouse, a boyfriend or a close girlfriend.
When I created my series charter, former teen idol Sandy Fairfax (who, in breaking with cozy tradition, is a guy!), I decided not to go the “crazy family” route. Sandy has enough issues of his own without goofy relatives. Instead, I made the suspects and the people Sandy works with at his various gigs as the oddballs. This lets me create new nutters in each book. Readers don’t get tired of them and wonder why the basket cases don’t eventually wise up after several books.
Sandy’s an ace musician, so I made everyone in his family musical. His mother was a professional singer before she got married (based on the real life mom of Micky Dolenz). Mother is the one Sandy goes to when he’s upset.
Sandy’s father is the founder, conductor and artistic director of an orchestra. Father was appalled when his son left a promising career in classical music to singing bubblegum tunes (based on David Cassidy’s dad, Jack, who felt his son should have followed him into music theater). As a result, father and son don’t get along, and Sandy is constantly trying to earn his father’s respect.
Sandy’s sister, Celeste, is a singer/songwriter whose career fizzled while her bother’s boomed (you can read about this in the third book of the series, “The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper”). She’s also blind, so the other family members spoil and are quite protective of her.
In “The Quirky Quiz Show Caper,” the focus is on Sandy’s brother, Warren, a college professor. The brothers are opposites. While Sandy is wild at heart, Warren is cautious and meticulous. Warren. He looks down on Sandy’s lifestyle. The brothers haven’t spoken to each other for years. Until now.
Someone frames Warren for the murder of one of his students. Against the wishes of the family, Sandy sets out to find the killer. He pulls his reluctant brother into the investigation. “We’re not detectives,” Warren reminds his brother, but that doesn’t stop our impulsive sleuth.
Sandy also has an ex and two kids because all teen idols marry young and nearly all of them get divorced. This adds some fun, as Sandy must stay on Becka’s good side so she’ll let him see his kids, and also keep his new girlfriend out of sight.
Sandy met his girlfriend in book two (“The Sinister Sitcom Caper”) but they just now have the chance to start dating. The hot-blooded guy wants to jump into a relationship, but Cinnamon’s been burned in the past and needs to go slow. She’s not impressed by his fame, and won’t hesitate let Sandy know when he’s out of line.
I didn’t add other relatives, friends or pets because, frankly, any more would just clutter the pages. And, of course, I needed room to add all of those red herrings!
Welcome to Sandy’s family. Hope you enjoyed getting to know them!