The Whole Danged Family

Hi there, guys and dolls! Everyone hanging in there? Well, I’ve been a busy bee, mixing, mingling and making new friends and readers, too! That makes yours truly giddily happy. So for this week we’re going to do things just a little differently. I’m going to take my new pals and followers on a little introductory tour to the main characters of my three Poppy Cove Mysteries, starting today with STRANGLED BY SILK. For those of you already familiar with the books, think of it as an opportunity to revisit some old friends.

And long term friends and readers, do not fear, I will be continuing on with my flaky, shaky advice on Friday and back to my dear diary adventures next week. Sometimes it’s just good to do things a little different every now and then!

Cover Hi Res
Book One – Strangled by Silk

Daphne Huntington-Smythe — fun loving and spontaneous California golden girl in her mid-20’s, with sun-kissed blonde curls and blue eyes, always on the go with dinner dates, social events and Sunday afternoons at the Yacht Club.  Somehow still finds time to do her job as accessories buyer and part owner of Poppy Cove with aplomb.

Margot Williams — recent resident, Margot made fast friends with Daphne and became the designer and dressmaker partner of Poppy Cove.  Also in her mid-20’s, she’s the more contemplative of the two with sleek brown hair and a slim yet curvy figure with a passion for fine silks, linens and tropical wools.  Her tastes run to jazz and classical music and enjoys her leisure time with Tom, her boyfriend of two years, who just happens to be Santa Lucia’s top Police Detective.

Loretta Simpson — Santa Lucia Times Society Editor.  Quick as a bird, Loretta’s all over town, catching the scoop on all the Do’s our little berg has to offer.  Originally from Vermont, Loretta moved from a stint in Los Angeles and quickly became Santa Lucia’s answer to Hedda Hopper.

Nancy Lewis — born and bred local banker’s wife and influential social climber know for her famous public rivalry with Constance Stearns-Montgomery, who was found strangled with her silk scarf.  Nancy spends much of her time scheming to get what she feels she is due in life and making sure her three daughters keep in line.

Irene Swanson — young woman with a past as a Hollywood wildcat, Irene was moved out of the city by her parents to live with her grandmother, where she still finds a nightlife worth sneaking out for.  A voluptuous and vivacious twenty-two year old raven haired beauty with a quick wit that charms as much as it barbs and head for figures, makes a savvy store manager and live model for Poppy Cove.

Betty Young — bright and perky twenty-two year old girl.  Her proudest achievement to date is marrying her college sweetheart, Dwight, one of Smart’s Oldsmobiles’ top salesmen.  Betty came into Poppy Cove as a bride to be, had her wedding dress designed by Margot and after her honeymoon, brought her sunny disposition into the fold as a part time salesgirl.  She is the consummate hostess, baking cookies and making lemonade to bring to the store, making the clientele fell at home, yet still has time to keep a neat house and put supper on the table for her new husband.

Peter Carson — swarthy newcomer in town who is setting his money on a new business development along Santa Lucia’s beautiful oceanside and his eye on Daphne.  A Los Angeles man of the world, his direct forthrightness and suave sophistication has fascinated one of our heroines.

Daniel Henshaw — riding instructor at the new Stearns Academy for Girls.  The strong, silent, athletic type, born and bred in California with an easy-going attitude, rangy gate and warm smile, appeals to Daphne’s nature and is a strong rival for her attention.

Tom Malone — the man in Margot’s lift, her one and only steady beau since she arrived in Santa Lucia, he is mutually devoted to her.  Tall, dark and handsome with a steady character, in addition to his background as a San Francisco beat cop, Tom is perfect in his role as the Santa Lucia Police Department’s lead detective, helping the citizens sleep soundly at night.

Constance Stearns-Montgomery — sadly, Constance was tragically murdered before any of you got to know her (and featured on the cover, before everything goes terribly, terribly wrong).  She was born into one of the founding families and married to a leading Santa Lucia businessman, Reginald Montgomery.  Very active in the community, Constance was involved in many charitable organizations and instrumental in setting up Stearns Academy for Girls, the private school named after her family and where her body was found.  Her death occurred under mysterious circumstances, after public rows with socialite Nancy Lewis and Katherine Larsen, headmistress of the Academy and amid rumors of an affair, which was very much against her solid, tweedy public image.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more posts. And don’t forget to give my Poppy Cove Mysteries a try if you haven’t already.

Toodles, Barbara Jean

About Barbara Jean Coast

Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. She is currently hard at work telling the cozy tales of the fictional town of Santa Lucia, loosely based on Santa Barbara in the late 50's, early 60's, known as The Poppy Cove Mysteries.
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