If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.


WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Monday, November 26, 2012

MINCEMEAT IS FOR MURDER



                                                                                

            Mincemeat pie is my specialty. It’s what I always bring for the Thanksgiving dinner at Ma Edna’s. Now mincemeat is a pie some love, some hate and most can take it or leave it. To tell the truth, after making it for so many years, I’m rather sick of it myself though I always cut a small piece for me to make sure it’s okay. Ya gotta do that. Every year my mother-in-law says “I can always count on Alice to bring my favorite pie,” followed by that whinnying horse laugh of hers. Once I tried to rebel tellin’ her I was bringin’ cherry pies instead. Her small dark eyes buried in pouches like a hound dog’s, actually bulged out as her mouth dropped open. You’d have thought I’d committed blasphemy, and was goin’ straight to that H place. She actually gasped tryin’ to get her breath, if you could believe that, and she wailed “But ya have to bring it, Alice. Thanksgivin’ won’t be Thanksgivin’ without your mincemeat pie.” Then she paused. Ma Edna is sneaky that way. “Of course, if you was willin’ to share your secret ingredient or ingredients that make it taste better than any other mincemeat pie I’ve ever eaten; I might be willin’ to make it myself.” As if I’d give away how I make my mincemeat pie, ‘specially to her. So this year I’m makin’ my mincemeat pie as usual.
            Ma Edna is born again. She don’t believe in playin’ cards, dancin’ or drinkin’. I like all those things. It’s why I always add a liberal amount of brandy to my mincemeat pie. Of course, I don’t never tell that, or how me and Tom met in a bar all those years ago where we not only drank, but also danced. We dance well together. We still like to go out Saturday nights to the Dew Drop Inn when there’s a good band playin’. We been married most twenty-five years now. Ma Edna blames me for her son’s drinkin’ and what she calls his wayward ways. She claims he never drank ‘til he met me, but truth is I think she’s the one that set him on that path. You know, a rebellion against all that preachin’. Of course, I do think he carries it too far, but I’m not goin’ to turn into a nag like his ma, especially since I like a little drink now and then, too.
            She blames me for us not havin’ kids, too. The truth is, it’s ‘cause Tom can’t. He was checked, but I never told anyone ‘bout it. He felt some bad when he found out. Took to drinkin’ more than ever.
            Tom’s not a fussy eater. He’ll eat just about anythin’ I put before him, but he don’t like my mincemeat pie. He says he’d rather have his brandy straight and not mixed up with that raisin junk stuff.
            Every Thanksgivin’ at Ma Edna and Pa’s house, seems like there’s some brouhaha goin’ on. Ma Edna’s sure to pick on one of the daughter-in-laws. Seems like none of us was good enough for her three sons. It’s not like they’re any prizes. Tom’s probably the best of the lot, and that’s not sayin’ much, believe me.
            Tom’s pa never says much when Ma Edna starts in on whichever daughter-in-law is in her sights be it Margie, Ruth or me. Tom says he’s pussy whipped, but I think he’s just a coward, a weaklin’. She’s one mean woman! None of the boys stand up to her, either. Last year it was me she aimed her mean words and comments at. I put up with it long as I could tryin’ to ignore things like “Can’t see why Tom picked a woman who can’t have kids. Thank the Good Lord I’ve got Margie and Ruth to give me and Pa grandkids.”
            I bit my tongue and didn’t say nothin’ about how she don’t have much to do with her grandkids anyway. Not that they’re much to brag on. They were wild ones when they were young, always actin’ up. The kind you don’t want to see comin’ for a visit. And now that they’re in their teens? Well, I sure hear enough about what’s going on with them. Small towns are like that. Can’t keep many secrets here. I don’t blame Margie and Ruth none. Takin’ after their fathers, I’d say. They’re lazy and drink way more than Tom does. They just manage to keep it more of a secret, at least one that don’t seem to get back to Ma Edna.
            But it was when she criticized my mincemeat pie, after she’d eaten a huge piece, sayin’ it wasn’t quite as good this year, and  I must’ve forgotten somethin’ like my secret ingredient, that I blew up. The old witch! I’d call her somethin’ else, but in spite of drinkin’, dancin’ and playin’ a little poker, I don’t hold with cussin’ much. I feel it sort of cheapens a woman. Still I told her how I felt before I stormed out with Tom followin’. He tried to tell me she don’t mean no harm; it’s just her way. Yeah, right! She does mean harm. She’d like to get rid of all her sons’ wives and get her little boys back.
            We spent Christmas with my family. We ain’t the perfect family, but there’s no meanness there. Even Tom has to admit he’d rather spend holidays with my family, but Thanksgivin’ has to be spent with his family. It’s always been that way, and I guess it always will be that way as long as Ma Edna’s around. At least this year it’ll be one of the other girls she’ll turn her spite on, I’m guessin’. Not that I like to see them suffer. They’re nice enough if a little wishy washy. No spine in either of them two gals. They take all the venom that woman spews out without ever sayin’ anythin’ back. They’re born again, too.
            So like I was sayin’, I’m makin’ the mincemeat pie again only this year I’m makin’ two instead of just one. I’m makin’ a special one for Ma Edna for her to eat the next day; one with a little somethin’ added; somethin’ to take the meanness out of her.


                        ******************************************************


            It’s a nice funeral if I do say so myself. Lots of pretty flowers. I ‘specially like the spray of roses on the casket. Red roses for love. Lots more people showed up than I would’ve expected. Tom’s pretty broken up. I feel bad about that. I certainly didn’t want him hurt. Reverend Martin had nice words to say at the end of the callin' hours last night. I’ve always liked him. He’s a good man for a preacher. He’ll probably have some more good words to say during the service later, too.
            When the results of the autopsy come back, they’ll find out it was arsenic. I made sure only one tiny area, enough for one slice, had the arsenic. Knowin’ Ma Edna, I knew she’d eat the whole special pie I’d made just for her. When the rest of the pie is checked, if there’s any left, they won’t find arsenic in it. I didn’t have to worry about Pa since he don’t like mincemeat pie anymore than Tom does.  I made sure I ate a small piece of the pie so as no one would suspect me, and no one would know how she got the arsenic.
            I can’t believe somehow her special pie got switched with the one I made for the Thanksgivin’ dinner. I sure never thought about that happenin’. I just heard Ma Edna say somethin’ almost nice about me. She said, “Alice made a mean mincemeat pie, and now she’s takin’ her secret ingredient to the grave with her so we won’t have nothin’ like it again.”

So what's your favorite pie? I'll bet it's not mincemeat.



15 comments:

Marilyn Levinson said...

Great story, Gloria!

Rhonda Lane said...

Great story! You're right: mincemeat isn't one of my favorites. It's nowhere on the list. Someone should change that name. "Mincemeat." Ugh. Thanks for the story, though. Great voice!

E. B. Davis said...

Yes, I loved the voice, Gloria. Very distinctive. It made this story.

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Marilyn, Rhonda and E.B.

I like mincemeat okay, but not enough to eat more than a tiny sliver and that hasn't been in years. You're right, Rhonda, it is misnamed. There is no meat in it.

Kaye George said...

Well dang, you'll have to try somethin' else next year. Does she like eggnog?

Carla Damron said...

Murderous holidays are the BEST! Great story.
CARLA

Anita Page said...

Gloria, this was fun. What did Tolstoy say about unhappy families each being unhappy in its own way?

E. B. Davis said...

But originally mincemeat contained meat--hence the name.

Gloria Alden said...

Thanks, Kaye. I'll keep that in mind.

Thank you, Carla.

I didn't know that E.B. It makes sense that was the case because of the name.

Kara Cerise said...

Wonderful story, Gloria! I haven't tried mincemeat pie but now I'm curious...

Kath Marsh said...

LOVE your story. Mincemeat used to be my favorite, but now I'm just a trace hesitant. Since I'm the only one in my family who likes it, and all. :)

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Kara. Since I don't bother making pies anymore and others in my family don't make it, it will probably be a long time before I eat another piece.

Kath, since you're the only one in your family who likes it, maybe you should be a little hesitant. Have any issues with any of them?

Paula Gail Benson said...

Gloria, what a great story. I haven't had mincemeat pie in a long time. Now I'll have to have a taste of one in your honor this holiday!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Loved this story, Gloria! Great voice!

I'm not a mincemeat pie fan myself. When I used to do a lot of baking for the holidays, I'd make one because some of the older generation liked it. I'd eat a little sliver myself. Now, that generations' mostly gone, no one else likes it, and I don't do all the baking I did for the holidays. So, no mincemeat pie. Probably just as well, given your story. :-)

Gloria Alden said...

Thank you, Linda. It's probably best not to make it. My mother used to like mincemeat pie so we always had it for holidays. I used to make a delicious fruitcake with mincemeat in it, but then again, I was one of only a few who liked fruitcake, too.