I love a good mystery. Real or fictional, doesn't matter. A real life, unsolved murder is the only kind that drives me a little crazy. Too many cops in my family. If anyone knows who really shot JFK, e-mail me. I'd like to know before I die.
There are some mysteries shouldn't be solved. Such as how within seven days after purchase my son manages to make his new sneakers smell as if he's been working at the local landfill or the sewage plant. Don't tell me it's sweat, either. Sweat does not smell like that.
Then there are mysteries too elegant to solve, such as the man who visits Edgar Allan Poe's grave every January 19th to leave a tribute of roses, a tradition that has been going on for more than fifty years. I love this mystery. I will hate the person who exposes the man's identity, and why he does it. Let us wonder.
Some mysteries being solved have shocked me, such as recently discovering that Born Free author Joy Adamson was not killed by a lion, but murdered by Paul Wakwaro Ekai, a disgruntled employee. This won't mean anything to you youngsters, but Born Free was a huge hit with my generation. Oddly, Joy's ex-husband was also murdered a few years later.
There are other mysteries where I just want to know everything is okay, as when an author drops out of sight, or why the romance I'm reading sounds like a guy wrote it. For those of you who are in the same boat, try Barb Deane's Whatever happened to... list, or the outing male writers who write romance under female pseudonyms page.
"The worst-kept secret in publishing" was one I never actually cared about as a reader, but you can solve it by reading David J. Schow's essay AKA Trevanian. I thought the one-name thing was a little odd, but I didn't know there was anything behind it. I've been one-name blunted by Prince and Bono and Jewel and Cher. Whatever his real name is, Trevanian's The Main and Shibumi are excellent reads.
The latest mystery in my life to be solved was finding out what my favorite editor looks like. In my imagination, she was something like Gwyneth Paltrow. Blonde, tall, slender, elegant, ivory silk suits, stiletto heels, no purse, the cool gleam of publishing savvy in her ice-blue eyes. Great eyebrows that never had to be plucked. You know, the woman we all want to run down in the street and back over a few times. Yes, there's probably a need for therapy somewhere in there.
I told this to my editor, and when she was done laughing, she sent me a photo. Alas, she is not as I imagined. She's a petite brunette with the cool gleam of publishing savvy in her deep dark eyes, and a great smile. Now every time I talk to her, I'm going to see Julia Roberts instead of Gwyneth in my head. Which will make me think of George Clooney, Julia's co-star in the Ocean movies . . . who needs Gwyneth Paltrow, anyway?