Long ago I conceived of a book that co-starred a pug, which is how “The Binkster” became a central part of CANDY APPLE RED, the first book in my Jane Kelly Mystery Series. The dog was a pure figment of my imagination, but as I wrote the mystery her character became so real to me that I decided to go out and find her in the real world. This caused serious worry to my husband. He felt the need to explain to me that well, I could sure try to find The Binkster, but my chances were slim and none. He also wasn’t certain he wanted this new addition to our family as we’d never had a dog throughout our married life.
He wasn’t wrong. I’d never been a particular dog lover. Dogs, cats, birds, fish . . . they all fell into the same category: pets. So, to say that my new obsession was half-baked would be putting it kindly. I was working off my own fabrication. This dog, this pug, would be terrific. A companion, a friend, a compatriot both to me and my protagonist, reluctant private investigator Jane Kelly.
I found The Binkster from a dog breeder who had six puppies, three males, three females. A friend of mine who knew dogs and was possibly as worried as my husband about my new endeavor, told me to pick the least outgoing dog. I’m sure she had a vision of me bringing home one that would be more than I could handle. I listened to her and, at the breeder’s, I asked to see the three females. The breeder put them all on the floor with me. One yipped and jumped right into my lap and wanted all my attention. One hung by, a little less eager, but wiggling all around, waiting for her chance to be in the spotlight. The third one quietly toddled away from me and batted at the fringe on a chair. That was The Binkster.
That was some of the best advice I was ever given as The Binkster proved to be everything I envisioned and more. My husband became her constant companion, even more than I did. He and she took several trips a day to the park and grew to know all the other dogs whose owners lived in the neighborhood. The Binkster went on road trips with us and even amused a trooper who pulled me over on the freeway for speeding. (He still gave me a ticket.) My daughter, who’d never grown up with dogs, fell in love with her and adopted her own pug in the first year of her marriage, Dexter. My sister now has two pugs.
But time takes its toll. I lost The Binkster in 2016 and am currently pug-less. The gap is huge, but every time I visit my daughter I get to be fuzzed with fur by Dexter, and every time my sister and I get together for a writing jag at her beach house I share the couch with her two pugs.
Will I get another pug? Can I ever find one as great as The Binkster? Man, I don’t know. Binks will always be a hard act to follow. . . . But I’m getting ready to write PINK CADILLAC soon, another Jane Kelly Mystery, and The Binkster will come alive again in a story where she completes Jane’s life and once more helps save the day.
“Nancy Bush always delivers edge-of-your-seat suspense!” —Lisa Jackson, New York Times bestselling author
Hatred Leads To Obsession . . .
It’s taken time for the plan to unfold, years spent waiting, watching, hating. . . . And after the first victim, the killing gets easier and easier . . .
Obsession Leads To Jealousy . . .
The Crissmans, owners of Crissman & Wolfe department store, were once one of Portland’s most powerful families. There’s still enough fortune left to sow mistrust between Lucy, her bohemian sister Layla, their brother Lyle, and his grasping wife Kate. When a charity event at the Crissman Lodge ends in a fatal poisoning, Lucy becomes a prime suspect. But the truth is even more twisted, and Lucy can’t be sure which of her family is being targeted . . . or who to fear.
And Jealousy Leads To Murder . . .
Renowned defense attorney Dallas Denton has been hired to clear Lucy’s name, unaware of the secret that ties them together or of the deep cracks in the Crissman legacy. Someone is ready to eliminate every obstacle to get what they most covet, and prove that envy runs deeper than blood . . .