Celebrating the 2018 release of DIPPED TO DEATH, the third book in the Olive Grove Mystery Series, I thought it would be fun to interview the three Knox sisters from the series.
First is Daphne. She’s the oldest. Svelte, fortysomething and a divorced mother of five, Daphne’s an entrepreneur, social butterfly, and Southern belle extraordinaire — ad nauseam!
Next is middle sister Pep. Petite and curvy, not to mention a bit outspoken and “outside the box” in her ways, our popular, high-spirited, Goth-loving barkeep has a knack for men, motors, and all-things mechanical. Not to mention skulls, fishnet stockings, and leather.
And finally, youngest sibling Eva — brainy, athletic, and young-at-heart, this thirtysomething PR maven is also an anxiety-ridden insomniac who boasts a litany of broken relationships with men. And still, despite her reservations and protestations regarding the opposite sex, the men — good and bad — keep coming back for Eva.
So I asked the sisters, “if you could have a “do-over” in life, what would it be?”
DAPHNE: Do over? Gracious, me. Y’all needn’t be so silly. Why everything in my life has been ab-so-lute-ly perfect.
EVA: Daph, you and your ex went through the most public, antagonistic, sensational divorce in Georgia history. Considering all the spiteful stuff he said about you, how could you not be mortified? Public disgrace qualifies for a do-over, right Pep?
PEP: Righto, sis.
DAPHNE: Ah well, Eva. <flaps hand dismissively> That’s what I get for foolishly marrying a philandering pro-ball player. Of course, Big Boomer was vicious during the divorce because I caught him with his hand in the cookie jar. His tabloid rants just made the judge more sympathetic to me. The humiliation I endured was worth it for the payout. Still, Eva, you’re hardly the one to throw stones at someone for making a public spectacle. Talk about airing dirty laundry in public. <sips olive leaf tea> You, my dear Eva, are the Queen of Public Spectacles.
EVA: Agreed. I’ve mortified myself to the hundredth power. Honestly, I can think of a lifetime of “do overs.” <groans>
PEP: Shall I start naming them? Zack Black, Dex Codman …
EVA: Stop, Pep. Don’t remind me.
DAPHNE: Well, in my case, the notoriety is small potatoes compared to the five angelic children I now have, courtesy of their father, Big Boomer.
PEP: With a name like “Big Boomer” you should’ve expected a fiasco.
DAPHNE: Well, our marriage certainly ended up being a fiasco for him. <titters> He paid dearly for his dalliances, ensuring a comfortable lifestyle for me and the children … forever. Plus, he provided me with the capital for my many burgeoning businesses.
PEP: Burgeoning businesses? Daphne, who talks like that?
DAPHNE: An erudite, sophisticated woman of the world. <sniffs indignantly> Back to the original question. Do overs? Regrets? Me? Never. I’m pleased as punch with my life. And, y’all know that I can get a new man any time I desire one. I’ve not yet reached my sexual peak I’m sure. And just in case y’all didn’t know it, I’m quite satisfied now.
EVA: Pep, Daph’s been reading Kitty Kipple books.
PEP: Oh yeah? The seamy sex stories based on fairytales and nursery rhymes? Talk about living in a fantasy world! <snorts>
DAPHNE: Oh puh-leese, Pepper Leigh. The stories are quite … creative. Eva, dear, you might try reading one or two. Maybe you’d be inspired to find yourself a man.
EVA: <laughs> Thanks but no thanks, Daph. I’m good.
PEP: Right. We’re both good.
DAPHNE: Really? From where I’m settin’, it looks like there’s plenty y’all should like to “do over.” Shall we start with that deadbeat husband of yours, Pepper-Leigh? Where is he these days? Has he run off again?
PEP: Okay. I’ll give you that one, Daph, Mind y’all, I’m not normally a person with regrets. However, I do wish I’d never laid eyes on Billy. He spent all our money — my money — drinking and gambling. Then he totally humiliated me …
DAPHNE: Running around with that tart in town.
PEP: Yes, well, her too.
DAPHNE: He could’ve at least been discreet.
PEP: She can have him. Y’all know the saying: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. No ifs ands or buts … Billy is my “do over.”
DAPHNE: Is that it?
PEP: What d’ya mean, “is that it?”
DAPHNE: Well, I was hoping you might want to “do over” those frightful black clothes you wear. <shudders> And that purple lipstick.
EVA: Spoken like a true diva.
PEP: Ha! <kisses sister Daphne on the cheek, leaving perfect purple lip marks>
DAPHNE: Pepper-Leigh! <scowls, takes out white hankie and wipes cheek> And while we’re on the subject, you could use a few fashion “do overs” yourself, Eva.
EVA: Omigosh. <slaps hand on forehead> If it will end this ridiculous ”do over” conversation, I’ll concede: I wish I’d never dated nearly every man I’ve ever dated.
PEP: Except Buck, of course …
PEP: Well, you did say “nearly every man.”
DAPHNE: All I’m saying is that I wish you could find yourself a nice fellow, Eva. Someone with money. And pedigree.
PEP: <snorts> Like Ian Collier, next door?
DAHNE: Exactly. <Pauses> Well no. Not exactly. He’s too worldly and mature for Eva.
PEP: Hmm, something stinks in here, don’t you think, Eva?
EVA: You mean, Daph, that Ian is “too worldly” for me, yet I bet in your mind that he’s just “worldly enough” for you. And he happens to be just about your age. How convenient …
PEP: <snorts and giggles>
INTERVIEWER: That’s all the time we have today. Thank you Knox sisters for your insights. Most enlightening. <grin>
Kelly Lane lives on a farm near Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to her work as editor and “slush pile reader” for a prominent literary agent, she has penned as a copywriter, journalist, and worked as a business writer, editor, and public relations consultant for Fortune 500 companies. Set on an olive plantation in Southern Georgia, ONE FOOT IN THE GROVE, COLD PRESSED MURDER, and DIPPED TO DEATH are the three books in Kelly Lane’s OLIVE GROVE MYSTERY series published by Berkley Prime Crime. Each book includes original recipes inspired by dishes in the story.
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