Q&A with Peg Turnbull and Rose Donovan

by Laurien Berenson

Peg and Rose are seniors, sisters-in-law, and friends (sort of…). Get to know the duo from Peg and Rose Solve a Murder, and make sure to keep an eye out for Melanie Travis’ beloved aunts in the upcoming Peg and Rose Stir Up Trouble!

Q: Describe yourself in five words.

Peg: Tall, confident, dog-obsessed, strong, opinionated.

Rose: Capable, fair-minded, amiable, charitable, sympathetic.

Q: Of what are you most afraid?

Peg pauses. She is tempted to say, “Nothing.” Then she simply smiles enigmatically.

Rose: Rats! Especially the big ones my husband and I saw in the slums of Honduras.

Q: What’s your biggest regret?

Rose: That I never had children.

Peg sighs when she hears that, then says firmly: I don’t believe in looking back, therefore I  have no regrets.

Q: What’s your biggest dream?

Rose: World peace.

Peg can’t top that. She doesn’t even try.

Q: What do you want readers to know about your book?

Peg: The books in this series are about relationships as much as they are about murder. They explore the struggles that Rose and I go through, learning how to work together as a team after years of antagonism kept us apart. And they’re about two unashamedly ‘older’ women who are determined to lead fulfilling lives despite the societal notion that they have aged beyond the point of usefulness.

Rose: What she said.

Q: Pick one song that describes you best.

Peg: “Good Day Sunshine” by The Beatles

Rose: “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?

Peg: For goodness sake, grow up!

Rose: Don’t be in such a hurry to get to where you think you should be.

Q: Last song you listened to?

Peg: “In the Mood” by Glenn Miller

Rose: “The Wedding March.” The shelter’s housekeeper, Maura, keeps humming it. I think she’s secretly in love with our new handyman.

Q: Name your celebrity crush.

Rose: George Clooney

Peg: Patrick Stewart

Q: Who do you love most?

Rose: My husband, Peter.

Peg: My Standard Poodle, Hope.

Q: What is your most-used emoji?

Peg: Surely you jest.

Rose: A smiley face, of course.

Q: Name an event that changed your life.

Peg: The death of my husband, Max, a decade ago.

Rose: Leaving the Convent of Divine Mercy after spending more than 30 years as a nun.

Q: Place you most want to travel?

Rose: I’ve had very little opportunity to travel. I would love to see Paris.

Peg: I’ve been to so many places in my life that now I’m most content when I’m at home.

Q: On a scale of one to ten, how good are you when it comes to keeping secrets?

Peg: Ten.

Rose: Nine, because I tell Peter everything.

Q: If you had to give yourself a nickname, what would you choose?

Peg (firmly): I already have a nickname. It’s Peg. My real name is Margaret.

Rose looks at Peg: That doesn’t count. I think your nickname should be Bruiser.

Peg smiles in spite of herself: That sounds like a dog’s name. I like it. Your nickname should be Petunia, because you’re small and soft.

Rose grimaces.

Q: If someone were to play you in a movie, who would you want it to be?

Rose: Emma Thompson.

Peg: Helen Mirren would do a lovely job.

Q: Fill in the blank: “There’s nothing I love more than _____.”

Peg: Poodles.

Rose: Helping other people.

Q: What’s your life’s motto?

Peg: Keep going.

Rose: Stop and smell the roses.

Q: Share your favorite quote.

Rose: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

Peg: “To thine own self be true.” –from Hamlet, by Shakespeare

Q: Name three things that inspire you.

Peg: Good dogs, smart people, fine wine.

Rose: Kindness, generosity, and truth.

Q: Name someone that inspires you.

Rose: Jesus Christ.

Peg: Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Q: You can only read one genre for the rest of your life. Which do you choose?

Peg and Rose together: Mystery novels!

Q: What is the bravest thing you ever did?

Peg: Facing down a gun-wielding murderer.

Rose: Acting on the knowledge that my path forward lay outside the convent walls.

Q: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Peg: Yes.

Rose: No.

Peg: You’re wrong.

Murder, She Wrote meets The Golden Girls in the award-winning author’s brand-new series! Two cantankerous septuagenarians, opposites in every way, put aside their differences to stop a killer… if they don’t throttle each other first!

Rose Donovan looks for the good in everyone. With her sister-in-law, Peg, that sometimes requires a lot of searching. Even a sixty-something former nun like Rose has her limits, and gruff Peg Turnbull sure knows how to push them. But after forty years of bickering, they’re attempting to start over, partnering up to join the local bridge club.

Peg and Rose barely have a chance to celebrate their first win before one of the club’s most accomplished players is killed in his home. As the newest members, the sisters-in-law come under scrutiny and decide to start some digging of their own. Bridge is typically seen as a wholesome pastime, yet this group of senior citizens harbors a wealth of vices, including gambling, cheating, and adultery . . .

By comparison, Peg and Rose’s fractious relationship is starting to feel almost functional. But as their suspect list narrows, they’re unaware that their logic has a dangerous flaw. And they’ll have to hope that their teamwork holds steady when they’re confronted by a killer who’s through with playing games . . .