FROM THE DESK OF
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
DONA PENZA TATTLE, ESQ.
ASSOCIATE WRYE BALDERDASH
Tattle takes in Wrye’s Henschel Deerstalker herringbone hat and Mahogany Calabash pipe. “Bubble I presume?”
“Prop, m'Dear Tattleson," suggesting today's character, "I’m emulating a singularly famous detective,” speaking with his pipe held between clenched teeth. His hair was immaculate, bow tie impeccable and his brown Canali wool suit's pockets bulged.
“Sherlock Holmes, I presume? And does that make me Doctor John H. Watson?” She grabs an oversized magnifying glass, yo-yoing it to and fro from one eye. "Are our plans to leap to the late eighteen hundreds? Do I have a degree from the University of London? And have we ever met Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?"
"A PI are we?"
"Pi... Ah, mathematicians say Pi are square... those counters be wrong, lemon pies are round and lemon cakes are square. That's my lemon entry."
"Lemon entry, m'Dear Tattleson," replied Wrye. He hands her a bowler hat that also serves to hold a stethoscope, “If the hat fits, Tattle...” His look turns inquisitive, one eye squints. “Penza, the game’s afoot. Let us pursue a Love of Literature Leap.”
Placing the hat on tightly curled hair, she adds the adornment of a puce feather. "Be afraid, Professor Moriarty, be very afraid."
“Oooh, I like this landing.” Tattle plops onto a soft mattress, bounces, ecru colored petticoats become visible. “And the perfect place to introduce STRANGER IN HIS BED, a historical romance by NANCY HENDERSON.
From the floor Wrye helps himself up with a silver-tipped cane. “Yes, perfect setting for no-no passion to become a yes-yes flicker and ultimately a climax bbblaaazze between the Cat 'on-a-hot-tin-roof' Sterling, a British spy, and Angus 'I'm-not-a-cow' French, a tavern owner.”
“Ex-tavern owner,” Tattle supplied, using two hands to hold the book up for him to see. “Let me grow the tree of explanation for you. British sympathizers torched his tavern. B word... B word... B word!”
“Naughty amidst the tree, are we? And, I understand, the opposition left her on Angus’ land for dead. B word implied. She wakes in his bed and without her arsenal of weapons. Unarmed and maybe the N word?”
“There is a dilemma in all this. Yippee, Yippee Yo! Much of the tree now you know.”
“Yes, of course. It is a plot element tree, m'Dear Tattleson. If he turns her in for the bounty, he could pay for the tavern’s damage. Only, he is besotted, as is she. Cat sees security and kindness in him. Something she has lacked all her life. Woo hoo... I see potential for the Nnnnnn word!”
"A tavern and you used the word sot?" Taps her chin thoughtfully. "Interrrressssting. Still, she has her secrets.” Tattle asks, “What will they do?”
“You know my methods, Tattle,” Wrye winks. “Never tell, quoth the Raven, nevermore. Next book beckons. Let us embark!”
"Mixed author reference?" Uses the magnifying glass to securitize his blue eye, ignoring the brown one. "That was Poe? We got to go. Our next Love of Literature Leap y'know."
"New author? Seuss, are we? A doggie-dog and a French-frog havin' a grog. Leap frog, leap. Mind you, never play Love of Literature Leap frog with a unicorn."
"No shat Sherlock... my advice, look before you leap." They took hands and ran from the pages.
Wrye brushes dust off his capped coat. “Why, Tattle, m’Watson-in-tow, I believe we are in New Mexico, land of the Tex-Mex taco.”
"Doctor Seuss-ian, I presume." She giggles, noticing flying debris. "Dirty, are we? Tee hee, tee hee."
"It's sedimentary, m'Dear Tattleson." Wrye's voice bespoke gravel. Dusting ended.
“That it is, Bloke of Deduction, and we are in the world of CANDACE MOREHOUSE’S GOLDEN ENCHANTMENT, a western historical romance.”
"Yee ha!" Wrye dons a masculine but identifiable Holmes pose, aptly complimented by an armadillo belt buckle. “Who is that fetching young lady?” He strokes what would have been a mustache if he had remembered to wear it.
“Andrea Alexander, who had been living with her aunt and uncle in New York has just returned due to her father’s death. So sad.” Tattle takes Wrye’s walking stick and uses it as a pointer. “And there is Jake Houston, look, now a man, but as a young boy she shadowed him. The seedlings of puppy love. Andrea and Jake sitting in a tree... sing with me... K-I-S-S... you can finish this ditty.”
“Another tree, I see. 'Tis an alphabet tree." He pulls a notepad from his pocket and makes an entry. "Ah, but presently he is engaged, albeit through coercion by his father, who is now wheelchair-bound and feels this marriage will be the only way to save their ranch, the Diamond C. Another letter added to our tree.”
“But... there is another way,” Tattle says, “Andrea’s father had a treasure map for gold dating back to the times of the Conquistadores. Addddvennnnture! Jake and Andrea try to find the buried gold while, he-he-he, also trying to avoid the sizzle between them. Good luck... Sizzle possibly evident to Lupita, his fiancée, who Andrea suspects stole her father’s map. B word. Your thoughts on the alphabet tree?”
"Why it's an LMN tree, m'Dear Tattleson." He bows out of respect. “Is it possible or impossible that Lupita is treacherous? As Holmes would say, ‘...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’ You connect the dots.”
“Touché,” she says, using his cane as a saber. “Andrea might lose both her ranch and her life all before she and Jake have any nuvo-nookie. Ouch to the square of frusssstrating!”
“It seems impossible for love to will out,” Wrye says, biting the edge of his pipe. "Though Eve could find Adam in heaven with her eyes shut."
"Ah, that's romantic. How?"
"Elementary... school science... no navel."
“Love is held captive by circumstance and circumstance hates love,” she says, tsk-tsking when he tries to flip a few chapters ahead. “To paraphrase our dear Watson, it is as clear as mud, read the book later. Leap frog, leap!”
"Look out for the guest Rhino."
The duet du gossip appears in the small town of Tanglewood Falls with its magnificent view. “Mystery, suspense, romance, it must be BLIND CONSENT BY MICHAEL W. DAVIS, CHAMPAGNE BOOKS AUTHOR OF THE YEAR 2009,” offers Wrye. "But where there's heavenly beauty, one might discover 'ell. Doc Tat, grow us our next plot tree."
“Sapling planted. After the loss of his wife, Ryan returns to search for truth in this poor, forgotten community where trust and blind consent had been unwittingly exploited. Fertilizer applied.”
“I deduce…” Wrye pauses and admits, “from reading it that Ryan has been haunted by dreams and puzzling images for twenty years. Enter ghostly sounds stage left. Exit reality stage right. He is desperately trying to untangle the reality of what happened to him and to his town. Weed Whacker Alert!”
“All true… everything is hidden… so many secrets… even the folklore of the simple people, who believe their Annie is blessed.” She re-laces her high top high heel and checks wobble.
“Annie… the woman he meets during his quest is a lovely lass with her own secrets, her own passion for Ryan and the belief that he is her destiny.” Spinning his double-billed cap, now appearing much like a hang glider on his head, he says, "Remember the adventure of The Red-headed League? Like that, this is providing much boggle for the man. But... it's all 'ell men tree, m'Dear Tattleson, love... love... love!"
"In this outwardly beautiful, peaceful town, where sinister forces anchor its foundation, Ryan and Annie become lost to each other, lost to the mystery, and maybe lost to love. He needs to find himself, but in the end…”
“Shhh,” he says, "Give away no more. Off to 221B Baker Street.”
“Are the real Sherlock and Watson expecting us?”
“Sorry, got caught up in the fiction.”
Another wonderful adventure completed. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Next month we visit DAVID BOULTBEE’S THE GENDER DIVIDE, LOVE COMES BLINDLY BY PHYLLIS CAMPBELL and our dear, dear friends, the extremely talented and awesomely attractive ANGELICA HART AND ZI’S KILLER DOLLS. Join us!