Local Business Closes

CAMBRIDGE, MA: The proprietor of a Professional Busybody business in West Cambridge today announced its imminent closure. The sign has been removed from the end of the garden walk at Jane Darrowfield’s residence and she is accepting no new cases.

“I’m gratified to say the people who used my services were pleased, but sadly, there weren’t enough of them,” said Ms. Darrowfield, owner and sole employee.

While she was operating, Ms. Darrowfield provided a service fixing things that required discreet handling for select clients. She dealt with problems that while vexing, costly, or even dangerous, were not appropriate for the police. “Never underestimate the value of common sense and a direct approach to difficult conversations,” Ms. Darrowfield has said.

“She helped me change hairdressers with no feelings hurt and without getting kicked out of the salon,” Mil Foster said. “Frankly, I’ve never looked better. I am eternally grateful.”

“She didn’t get our cat back,” Ralph Pilchner said. “But she did repair our relationship with our next door neighbors and dear friends. We presented her with one problem, but Jane understood, without our ever saying it, what the real issue was and went about fixing it.”

Despite the deliberately low stakes nature of Ms. Darrowfield’s cases, she has worked with the Cambridge PD on major criminal investigations. “Jane’s instincts are unerring,” said Detective Tony Alvarez. “I was pleased to work with her on two big cases involving multiple murders and a kidnapping. I will greatly miss her contributions. She is a citizen-hero.”

Asked what she planned to do with her time, Ms. Darrowfield said, “I have a few cases to finish up. Then I’m going to San Francisco to live in a rental apartment near my son and his family. We have a lot of work to do. I expect to be there for several months. Happily, my fiancé, Harry Welch, will be visiting frequently, which will give me the support I’m sure I’ll need. In addition, we hope to fit in a bit of sightseeing while we’re on the west coast.”

Ms. Darrowfield’s friends are generally supportive of the closure. “The business has made for some very entertaining conversations at our weekly bridge games,” Irma Brittleson said. “but Jane has ended up in harm’s way more than once. I, for one, am happy to see her give it up.”

“Of course with this San Francisco trip, we’ll have to find a temporary fourth for bridge and the pickings are slim,” said Phyllis Goldstein, quickly adding, “Not that I begrudge her.”

“Pish,” said best friend Helen Graham. “Jane has retired unsuccessfully once before. I don’t think this one will stick, either.”

Despite Ms. Graham’s skepticism, Ms. Darrowfield is committed to closing the business. “It’s been fun,” she said, “but it’s time to move on.”

65 Thoughts

  1. I look forward to her solving more personal problems and cases in San Francisco! She’s too clever and perceptive to retire – we need her.

  2. “Oh no! That will be devastating.” “We all need Jane.” “She is our ‘go to’ person.”
    Another woman entrepreneur adjusts her expectations!

  3. Sorry to hear this…much appreciation to the “professional busybody” and her creator for all their hard work.

  4. Although there’s a closing, the adventures must continue. We all evolve and come out older but better on the other end. 🙂 Hope to be hearing some time in the future how life is treating you and what new adventures you might be on Jane.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  5. I will miss Jane and her adventures. I will think of her every time I am in West Cambridge.

  6. What sad news! I started reading the post and realized it’s a clever announcement of life moving in a different direction. Jane is a delight and her special skills are still needed, wherever she resides. She will be missed, but I look forward to other great adventures from your pen/computer.

  7. She definitely will be missed. I hope this means you have something else brewing in your creative, entertaining mind. Your stories and characters become friends we hear from once a year. Thanks for the pleasure you bring with your words.

  8. Crushed! I think Jane should seek a new venture where she can continue to share her talents with us. Perhaps she should move to Maine, hang her shingle and become an invaluable part of Busman’s Harbor business community – new start, new name?

  9. Jane sounds like someone who would be interesting to know! From the little bit that I have heard about her, I must agree with Helen that she will not be able to retire successfully. This kind of work must be in her blood, and it’s hard to give something up when it is part of her make-up. I have to tell you something else, Barbara. I have just finished reading Clammed Up and loved it and gave it five stars on Goodreads. It is my first read of any of your books, and I plan to continue with the series. I hope you keep writing!

  10. I like Jane and her adventures very much. I’m so disappointed, although I wish Jane luck.

  11. OMG! What is happening?? Can’t you at least move her to Busman’s Harbour?

  12. Barb, I am so sorry about this shut down! These books are witty and fun, just like their creator. I am wishing a happy retirement to Jane but more new things on the writing front for you!

  13. What a clever way to let us know that we cannot expect to hear about Jane anymore. I’m sure you are as disappointed as we all are. We will all just have to sit on the edge of our chairs for the next Busman’s Harbor adventure. Somehow, I think you will come up with a whole new series we will all love.

  14. Thank you, Barbara, for gently giving us an update on Jane! I am really going to miss this series. Even though it was still fairly new, I grew to enjoy the characters tremendously in the Madwoman Next Door. I appreciate a series with mature protagonists! I hope Jane will show up somewhere again but if not, I’m sure that you and the Wickeds will come up with something!

  15. This is the most clever announcement for the ending of a series I’ve ever come across. Brava! But I’m sure there are many fans who are sad to see her go. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

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