It’s my pleasure to welcome award-winning author Elaine Viets back to Thoughts in Progress as the special guest blogger today.
Elaine’s latest release is AN UPLIFTING MURDER, the sixth installment in the Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper Series. She stops by today to talk about her ’Uplifting Research’ for this book.
I did $200 worth of research for “AN UPLIFTING MURDER,” my new Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper novel.
This time, Josie mystery-shops a lingerie store. Her favorite high school teacher, the woman who saved her from the mean girls, is now working as the shop manager. Frankie, a high school acquaintance Josie hoped she’d never see again, turns up and is murdered at the mall. Josie’s teacher is the main suspect, and her alibi is flimsier than the lingerie she sells. Josie has to save the woman who helped her when the murder becomes a tempest in a C-cup.
Josie learns the lesson we all know. You never get out of high school.
In high school, I was an A – and I’m not just talking about my grades. I didn’t understand that a bigger future was waiting for me. If I did, I would have ignored the mean girls in gym class who joked about the “bug bites” on my chest. Okay, I would have tried to ignore them. I could have avoided countless tears and endless conversations with my best friend, Sue.
In high school, I didn’t listen to my mother. She said if I had a flat chest at 16, I’d have less sag after 40.
I thought her advice was stupid. Forty was so old, nobody would care what I looked like.
Mother also said I should find a man who would appreciate my fine mind.
I ignored that advice, too. Men could admire my fine mind after I was 40 and too old for sex.
I did listen to Mom’s bra advice once. She caught me trying to bust out of the house without a bra. I figured since I had a flat chest, no one could tell. Mom could. She pulled out a National Geographic with photos of topless tribal women. Their bare breasts were 36 Long.
“That’s what happens when you don’t wear a bra!” she said. Mom didn’t mention that these women had also endured poverty, poor nutrition, and many pregnancies.
One look and I got the picture. The bra went back on.
Today’s women are better endowed than my generation. Some experts say a D-cup is now the average size for young women.
But girls with generous builds suffer, too. They endure the crude taunts of teen-age boys. Busty women hate that line from the old movie, “Young Frankenstein.” You know the one I mean and you know how the scene is played.
A girl walks down the school hallway when some twit yells “Great knockers!” If any teachers are around, he makes a big show of pretending to admire the school doors. Which have push bars.
Size matters for girls, too. The pain of those insults lasts a lifetime. They might be funny once we’re adults, but we never forget those old feelings. Hopefully, we outgrow them.
Elaine, thanks for guest blogging here today. If only we knew (and believed) then what we know now, life would have been easier.
Elaine writes two bestselling mystery series. Publishers Weekly called her Dead-End Job mysteries “wry social commentary.” “HALF-PRICE HOMICIDE” is the ninth. Her Josie Marcus mystery shopper series is set in Elaine’s hometown, St. Louis. “AN UPLIFTING MURDER” is the sixth novel. Elaine won the Agatha, Anthony and Lefty Awards.
Elaine's books are available in major bookstores, as e-books and online at many outlets, including Mystery Lovers Bookshop, www.mysterylovers.com, bn.com, and amazon.com