Wicked Wednesday–Thankful for the Odd Couples

Thankful for Our Readers Giveaway:  For a chance to win Murder in an English Village leave a comment below. Tell us about an odd pairing in your life–or simply wish Jessie the best with this new series!

We’re celebrating the launch of Jessie’s series debut in the Beryl and Edwina Mystery series from Kensington, Murder in an English Village.

Here’s the blurb:

As friends, the boisterous and brash American Beryl couldn’t be less alike than the prim and proper British Edwina. But as sleuths in an England recovering from the Great War, they’re the perfect match . . .

1920: Flying in the face of convention, legendary American adventuress Beryl Helliwell never fails to surprise and shock. The last thing her adoring public would expect is that she craves some peace and quiet. The humdrum hamlet of Walmsley Parva in the English countryside seems just the ticket. And, honestly, until America comes to its senses and repeals Prohibition, Beryl has no intention of returning stateside and subjecting herself to bathtub gin.

For over three decades, Edwina Davenport has lived comfortably in Walmsley Parva, but the post–World War I bust has left her in dire financial straits and forced her to advertise for a lodger. When her long-lost school chum Beryl arrives on her doorstep—actually crashes into it in her red motorcar—Edwina welcomes her old friend as her new roommate.

But her idyllic hometown has a hidden sinister side, and when the two friends are drawn in, they decide to set up shop as private inquiry agents, helping Edwina to make ends meet and satisfying Beryl’s thirst for adventure. Now this odd couple will need to put their heads together to catch a killer—before this sleepy English village becomes their final resting place . . .

Everyone loves an odd couple. So Wickeds, I’m wondering are you a part of an odd pairing like the original Felix Unger and Oscar Madison? Were you influenced by a friendship like Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s and the late Antonin Scalia’s? Have you written about a duo like Samuel Beckett and Andre the Giant? Tell us all..

Edith: Congratulations, Jessie! I truly can’t wait to read this debut. As for odd couples, I’ve had a few very tall good female friends (before Julie, that is). My dear friend Sarah, whom I met when we were both technical writers in the same hi-tech firm, used to have to start loping when I walked too fast for her. My short legs could go faster than her much longer ones. Fictionally, my teetotaler and religious Quaker midwife Rose Carroll has the very unconventional Bertie Winslow as her best friend (that is, sidekick). Bertie, a lesbian and the postmistress in town, rides her horse astride rather than sidesaddle and is irreverent and outspoken to Rose’s more conventional – albeit independent – behavior. I love that they can respect their differences and still be best buds.

Liz: Jessie, yay! So excited for you and this series. I always think of me and my friend Glenn as an odd couple. Some of you may remember Glenn from one of our Ask the Experts blogs – he runs a few funeral homes. We’ve been friends for over 20 years and mostly, we’re nothing alike. But our friendship has lasted through a long, strange journey and I know he’s one of the very few people I can call if I’m every seriously in trouble, and he’d be there in a second. Plus, we make each other laugh wicked hard – and I guess that in itself is enough!

Barb: Congratulations, Jessie. I am so excited about this book. I think of my former business partner, Carol Vallone, and me as an odd couple. Carol is the ultimate extrovert, a born salesperson, and person unafraid to ask for, and to fight for, what she wants for her business. She’s slim, and dark, and always beautifully turned out. I’m the insider who likes to figure stuff out, work with employees and people I know to make things happen, sit for long hours writing a speech or preparing a presentation. And I look like, well you all know. I’ve always believed that’s why our partnership worked, because we wanted and enjoyed different things, and made up for each other’s deficits.

Sherry: I’ll go with a fictional pairing — Sarah Winston and Mike “the Big Cheese” Titone. Sarah Winston spent half of her life as a military spouse. It’s a world of rules and order. To top that off her ex-husband CJ was also part of the Air Force security police and police chief of Ellington, adding more layers to her rule driven world. In All Murders Final! Sarah meets Mike, a man from the North End (the Italian section) of Boston. She knows he’s gotten off racketeering charges, but he doesn’t seem like a bad guy. When she needs help, Mike helps but at a huge personal cost to Sarah. Mike is mentioned in the first two books, but comes alive in the third one. I love it when their worlds intertwine.

Julie: First of all, huge congratulations Jessie!! SO excited!! RE odd couples–I don’t know. I think of people who compliment me, or push me out of my comfort zone, but those differences make us better friends. Friends who are too much like me are boring. Not sure what that says about me.

Jessie: I think I have a thing for odd couples! My first book’s protagonist and her sister are opposites in most ways. In my Change of Fortune series my sleuth con artist/ psychic Ruby Proulx is nothing like the alternate viewpoint character, straight-laced policeman Warren Yancey. And now I’ve imagined Beryl and Edwina, a boisterous American adventuress and a genteel English country woman.  I think it has to do with the fact that I’ve often thought there are two vastly different sides to me and one or the other will come out to play depending on the circumstances. No matter what the reason, I do love odd couples!



Readers: Tell us about your odd-couple selves and your favorite fictional odd couple!


41 Thoughts

  1. As a widow, I try NOT to choose favorites as I need to keep my options open, but I would love to win a copy of the book. Anyway, oddity is in the eye of the beholder: what one person sees as odd another may see as the perfect match (which may have nothing at all to do with how the members of the couple view their relationship).

  2. I prefer to think of us as a complimentary pairing– how those eccentricities play off one another! Like a Lucy and Ethel! Or evidenced when my bff and I go tearing off to multiple Hy-Vees (grocery) to check out her displays or thrifting for Pyrex. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  3. Congratulations on the new release!! I have been loving that cover for weeks.

    Me and my sister are an odd pairing. She’s tall, has a very light complexion, excels in math, is very business oriented, and doesn’t read mysteries or novels of any kind. And she despises chef boyardee ravioli. I, on the other hand, am the complete opposite. Yet we talk on the phone for hours.

    I’ll have to get back to you on my favourite fictional odd couple.

  4. Congratulations, Jessie! And thanks for a novel harking back to the Golden Age. Would there were more novels centering on “three or four families in a country village.”
    I live only in worlds of odd couples. In the world we laughingly call “real,” I am married to an engineer/economist who does not understand why there is fiction. (It works: 30th anniversary coming up.) In the mystery I’m writing, the professor-protagonist studies African witchcraft and the irrational human race, while her sidekick is a sternly rational and somewhat pickle-faced lawyer. That seems to work, too.

  5. Just read a great review of the book in Library Journal. I look forward to reading it.

  6. Congratulations, Jessie! I love a good village mystery – can’t wait to read it. Odd couples? I thought of the original TV odd couple – Felix and Oscar.

  7. Happy New Release (& series), Jessie! I can’t come up with an odd couple in real life. My sisters & I maybe? (There are three of us, tho.) We all have different personalities & interests, yet when we get together we spend the entire time laughing & talking.

  8. I guess my favorite odd couple is one of the original ones – Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. Talk about opposites attracting and friendships that endure, not matter what!

    Jessie, I’m really looking forward to reading this book. I adore period mysteries – always have. I cut my teeth at 9 and 10 years old reading through every Agatha Christie mystery my mother could get her hands on for me.

    Good luck with this new series!

  9. I always thought my father and mother were an odd couple. My mother came from a large family while my father had only two other siblings. My mother loved Bingo, dancing, parties, as long as she was home. My father loved traveling, didn’t dance (said he had two left feet), didn’t like parties (big crowds), camping. How they ever got together puzzle me and my brothers but they were married 50+ years. I’d say they were definitely the odd couple.

  10. The first thing that popped into my mind was my first post-college roommate. Josh is 6’8″ and big. Then there’s me at 5’7″. Our personalities were quite opposite as well. Yet it worked out well. We were roommates for four years before he abandoned me to get married.

  11. I guess my favorite odd couple would have to be my husband and me. We really have the same philosophy of life, but our personalities are opposite. I’m very outgoing and he is really shy ( but good at hiding it). Most people who know us can’t figure out why our marriage works so well, but we’ve been together for 44 years and are still very much in love.

  12. Congratulations on the new release. I’ve been looking forward to this book. My husband and I have completely opposite personalities, so maybe odd couple? But it works for us!

  13. Hi, I got this book from the library yesterday and just started it this morning…so far, so good. I think all other commenters here have a big treat in store.!

  14. Love your writing & can’t wait to read this new series. I find most couples to be odd pairings.

    1. Congrats on your new release! I would like to read “Murder in an English Village”. I can only come up with the fictional odd couple of Felix and Oscar.

  15. My Applied Science series which came out several years ago on Big Pulp (I’m reworking it for a book collection) has several odd couples. Two-fisted investigator Steve Flanagan and his brainier partner Gwen Montgomery. Steve and his girlfriend turned Army medic Boston Brahmin Dani Taylor. And Dani and her best friend, polyamorous genius Claire White.

  16. I’ve occasionally told my wife we’re an odd couple just like the movie Time After Time: I’m the reserved, shy Brit, she’s the flirtatious, seductive American. She doesn’t see it though.

  17. I am reading Miranda James’ newest book Fixing to Die and I think the sister characters are an odd couple: An’gel and Dickce.

  18. My favorite odd couple in a book is Hugh & Dot in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries… they are so opposite in a million ways but mesh perfectly together!
    Kelly Braun

  19. Since I am a Star Trek fan, I would suggest Captain Kirk and Spock. The captain relays on intuition while Spock I’d totally logical.
    This book sounds like lots of fun.

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