Let’s Fake A Deal: Integrity

We are still celebrating Sherry Harris’s Let’s Fake A Deal launch!

Here’s the book blurb:

As a former military spouse, Sarah Winston’s learned a little about organizing, packing, and moving. Her latest project sounds promising: a couple of tech-industry hipsters, newly arrived in her Massachusetts town, who need to downsize. Unfortunately, when Sarah tries to sell their stuff, she discovers it’s all stolen—and she’s the unwitting fence. BUT SARAH’S PROBLEMS ARE JUST BEGINNING. Michelle, an old friend of Sarah’s from the Air Force base, is in line for a promotion—but not everyone is happy about it, and she’s been hit with an anonymous discrimination complaint. When one of the men she suspects is behind the accusations turns up dead in Michelle’s car, Sarah needs to clear Michelle’s name—as well as her own for selling hot merchandise. And she’ll have to do it while also organizing a cat lady’s gigantic collection of feline memorabilia, or they’ll be making room for Sarah in a jail cell . . .

Integrity is an important theme of this book. On this Wicked Wednesday, let’s talk about that theme. Is integrity a prime motivation for any of your characters? How does that play out?

Barb: I think integrity, being true to oneself and true to a moral code, is the most important characteristic of any protagonist in crime fiction. It can be a flawed code born of a flawed system, but there is always a drive for justice, however the main character defines it–the identification of perpetrators and, more than that, the protection of innocents. Sarah Winston has always been true to her sense of integrity, the requirements of her code, even as she has been challenged again and again. More than anything she is a deeply loyal friend, open-minded and forgiving. I can’t wait for this next book!

Jessie: I completely agree with everything you said, Barb! I would add that Sarah Winston has a lot in common with her creator. Sherry is a treasure of a friend and a triumph of a human being. Fortunately, she hasn’t faced as many dead bodies as Sarah!

Edith: LOL, Jessie – and so true about Sarah and Sherry! Of my protagonists, Rose Carroll thinks about integrity the most, as it’s one of the core principles of her faith. She’s definitely challenged by it at times, when she misleads a murder suspect, for example, or tells a white lie in the pursuit of justice.

Liz: I can’t echo enough what Barb and Jessie said about Sherry – and Sarah, of course. One of the best things about this series is Sarah’s drive to do the right thing and help the people she loves, and it makes everything she does so believable. The apple definitely didn’t fall far from the tree!

Julie: I agree, Barb! Integrity is an important characteristic in crime fiction. But for some, it is less a part of the character, and more a search that drives the action. I know that in my series some characters have more integrity than others. I’m going to add another shout out to Sherry, one of the best people I know. I’m so happy for you, and for all of us who get to read another Sarah adventure this year!

Sherry: You guys are going to make me cry. I’m so lucky to blog with such a wonderful group of wicked strong women. (See that? I threw down some New England lingo.) Julie, I love that you saw that theme in the book. And I agree with Barb that it should be a guiding principle in any book not matter if it’s horror, romance, or mystery.

There’s so much for us to celebrate with Let’s Fake A Deal, so feel free to chime in on the comments. Readers, do you find integrity to be a prime motivator in crime fiction? What other motivating factors intrigue you when you’re reading a mystery?

11 Thoughts

  1. Yes, I think integrity is important. And as a couple of the Wickeds mentioned, the pursuit of justice is also important. One of the best things about fiction is you know justice will be served in the end.

  2. I once read an essay titled “The Luxury of Integrity” which made a lasting impression. Sometimes in the face of unexpected circumstances, choosing integrity over expediency is the stuff our cozy heroines are made of! Sherry, I heard your interview with Patzi on Joy On Paper yesterday. You are not only a first rate writer, you have an excellent radio voice too!

  3. I agree – integrity is huge in crime fiction (unless maybe your writing/reading noir, which seems to have its own rules and maybe its own version of integrity?)/

    I know its huge for both Jim and Sally, as officers of the law of course. But also in their personal relationships. Its important for both of them they stand by what they believe to be right, even when the personal consequences are not what they would (selfishly) want them to be.

  4. I hadn’t thought about it in so many words, but integrity is a big part of the mysteries in enjoy the most.

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