Monday, November 22, 2010

Author Elaine Viets Visits

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,,, and


  1. Hi Mason and Elaine .. I can see the setting & the ins and outs of a lingerie shop - good place for murder novel. We have all changed shaped .. and kids' taunts aren't 'nice' for anyone - but as you say we live and learn. I like the title .. an uplifting murder .. thanks - Hilary

  2. It's no wonder we have issues with our bodies especially when we get taunted if we have too little or too much.

    I've read all of Elaine's books and all are very enjoyable. An Uplifting Murder is a great read.

  3. Mason - Thanks for hosting Elaine.

    Elaine - It's not easy to weave discussion of an important social issue like body image into a mystery that readers will want to solve. Good for you to have done just that. I wish you much success with An Uplifting Murder.

  4. Too funny! And we'd all save ourselves a lot of grief if we'd just listen to our moms. :) Looking forward to reading your new release, Elaine!

  5. Those high school days were rough. An Uplifting Murder sounds like a great read.

  6. Thank you all for your kind words and to Mason for hosting me.
    Adult women understand how much those harsh words hurt when we were teens. Wish there was a way to reach the mean girls.

  7. Elaine, thanks again for guest blogging here. Josie has made me look at looking differently.

    Hilary, if only we could change the kids' taunts life could be a little easier.

    Dru, your words are so true. I've enjoyed all of Elaine's books too. They're all fun and interesting.

    Margot, thanks for stopping by and her your kind words.

    Elizabeth, it's funny when we're young our mothers know nothing and when we're grown we realize just how wise they really were.

    Carol, who knew high school girls (and boys) could be so mean.

  8. LOVE it! It's like mystery chicklit. Sounds like a great, fun book. Thanks, Mason! :o)

    also, love the author photo~

  9. Cool photo! And the series sounds fun.

    I really laughed when I read this guest post. I am in my late 40s, and I got my D-cup for free, but that was before the big boobs hit Denmark so I´d probably have been willing to swop. And I won´t go into details, but after three childbirths ....

    Well, I suppose we´d better try to make to most of what we have - or haven´t.

  10. "Josie has to save the woman who helped her when the murder becomes a TEMPEST IN A C-CUP." That cracked me up. I love the of the article. Lots of giggles.

    As for cups, I was almost 14 before I grew much more the "bug bites". I worried I'd never have boobs, lol! I think I was an A for a couple of weeks and then grew into the D-cups. My sister was one they teased a lot as she developed earlier, like 11. It made her self conscious.

    But what a wonderful setting for a story!

  11. I love books that can make me laugh and I get a feeling from this post that’s just what this book would do. I can’t wait for my next trip to the book store.

  12. This looks like a fun read. Mystery and laughter inside the same cover - my kind of book.

  13. Funny post. Good luck with your book. If the writing is as entertaining as this blog post I'm sure it will soar.

  14. What a fun guest post. I enjoy both of Elaine's series very much and never miss one when the new ones come out! Thanks!


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