Please help me welcome the fabulous Christine Wenger!!
TRIXIE AND NANCY, COLOMBO AND MONK
AND OTHER MYSTERY ICONS
I am so thrilled to be asked to blog for Mysteries and Margaritas and a big thank you goes to the lovely ladies of mystery who invited me.
I’m a writer of contemporary romance (mostly western settings), but don’t go away yet! I want to talk about how I got started reading mysteries. And who doesn’t love a great mystery?
Picture me in fourth grade at St. Margaret’s Grammar School in Mattydale, New York. I am wearing a white blouse and a forest-green jumper and black saddle shoes. I’m the tall girl in the last row with thin, pin-straight, blonde hair who is NOT paying attention to Sister Mary Mary teaching whatever….I have a Nancy Drew mystery that I’m reading under the lip of my desk.
Nancy had a roadster, which I was pretty sure was a car. She had great friends, a hunk of a boyfriend, and a father who never knew where she was or what she was doing as she solved mystery after mystery. I wondered how long it would take me to save my 25-cents a week allowance to buy my own roadster, but it never crossed my mind to pay attention to Sister, and I might know the answer to that.
I identified more with Trixie Belden. Trixie had blonde hair like mine, was a tomboy like me, and solved mysteries with her rich friend Honey Wheeler, who had horses that Trixie could ride. Trixie also had a potential boyfriend by the name of Jim Frayne who I was in love with. Trixie roamed all over the Catskill Mountains (I believe) solving mysteries with Honey, and later Jim, and her parents never knew where she was or what she was doing.
How did one get such parents? Mine would barely let me ride my bike off the street.
Anyway, I loved Jim Frayne so much that I had to marry a Jim. I turned down at least seventeen men with other first names until I found a Jim!
That brings me to the TV detectives…my favorites will always be Colombo and Monk. I was thinking of their similarities and differences and I came up with the obvious, but what the brilliant writers of both series did was highly develop each character.
Characters. I’ll always remember Nancy and Trixie, Colombo and Monk, Kay Scarpetta and Stephanie Plum, Richard Castle and… soon I’ll remember Samantha Granger (by Kari Townsend!!).
CHRISTINE WENGER, AUTHOR