Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Chat With Olive Peroni, the Cold Cream Detective

Olive Peroni was created by Barbara Silkstone in The Cold Cream Murders

Hello, guys and gals! Sorry for not posting an interview last week, but life sometimes gets on the way. My guest today is a bit of a smartass, but that's a good quality in a detective. Her name is Olive Peroni, a family therapist from New York City who recently moved down to Florida and discovered her grandmother had left her the Peroni family secret recipe for miracle cold cream. 

Welcome to my blog, Olive! Now, tell me, how did you start in this business? What's your most recent investigation, and do you plan to continue doing this in the future?

I morphed into a crime solver within a few days of moving to Starfish Cove, a quiet seaside community located on the west coast of Florida. Hours after meeting Lizzy Kelly my world topsy-turvyed into one astonishment after another. The combination of our energies nudged me to take my foot off the brakes and swerve into the bumper car lane of life.

Speaking of cars, in my first investigation Lizzy and I discovered the thumping noise in her car trunk was not mechanical—it turned out to be a body—one familiar to Lizzy. I fell back on my schooling as a psychologist to unveil the killer, but not before a second person bit the dust in a most unusual manner.

My most recent investigation was the demise of Lizzy’s father. Grams found him dangling by his feet from the chandelier in his penthouse apartment. Grams was determined to solve the case—it was stressful. At ninety-four, she shouldn’t be hot-footing it around like she does.

Book 4 in the series is underway. I’ve had to lock Grams in her room to keep her from helping me. I can hear her now—picking the lock with a bobby pin.

Don't underestimate her, Olive! Old people are full of surprises. And I bet you have your weaknesess too, right?

I can’t stand to get my face wet. Don’t laugh! Imagine tracking down killers while living in a beachside community where people deliberately get their faces wet on purpose—go out on boats—dive in the water. It’s awful!

And what’s your daytime occupation? Does it help your investigations?

When I discovered Nonna left me her secret Italian recipe for miracle cold cream, I went into partnership with Lizzy. It was one of those crazy things that happens before you give it much thought.

We brew and sell miracle creams that help sooth the complexions of ladies who spend too much time in the sun. So far, it’s Lizzy’s eccentric friends and family who have needed investigating.

I'd love to hear more about this Lizzy, and the other people helping you in your investigations.

My new business partner, Lizzy Kelly is my helper. She’s a popular figure in Starfish Cove. Lizzy is like capturing a sunbeam in a bottle. She’s taught me that it’s okay to giggle even while tripping over a body. Lizzy’s pushing thirty, dresses like one of Charlie’s Angels in retro clothes and impossibly high wedgie heels. It was months before I realized she was a good five inches shorter than me.

She adores her rescue pet, WonderDog. The mixed breed hound looks like a child’s crayon drawing of The Big Bad Wolf, with Brillo-pad hair, white whiskers and a hero’s heart. He has saved our lives more than once. WonderDog’s best buddy is my white foundling kitten, Puff.

Grams Dingler, Lizzy’s grandmother, provides unwanted help. She almost always wears colorful
retro outfits with matching orthopedic shoes. Big as minute, she wears a fedora with a note stuck in the hatband that reads—REPORTER. She works for the Silverfish Gazette. The local gossip and coupon newspaper’s slogan is—“Catch the news before it crawls away.”

Would you ever do something against the law to help your investigation?

That’s a rhetorical question—right?

You'd be surpised with the answers I get to that question! Who do you see yourself closest to: Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple or Sam Spade?

I’m a dry land Sam Spade with a smattering of Nancy Drew.

Do you know anything about the psychology of the criminal mind?

Hello… I’m a psychologist.

Duh! And what about the authorities? How do you deal with them while doing your investigation?

Pretend like I’m paying attention. Nod when required. Then do it my own way.

That's how I do it too. I love it when I show them I was right all the time. What gives you the most satisfaction about investigating a case?

When I discover my instincts were right. Also it pleases me to find justice for the victim.

What was the most difficult period in your investigations?

In my second case —Smokey Eyes—I accidently fell clinging to the side of a sailboat. I got my face wet with icky marina water!

That must have been a nightmare for you! Thank you for stopping by, and please see a shrink about that wet face thing. But, in all honesty, I'll make sure to check your cases, they sound like a lot of fun!

See you all next week, with a new interview!


Barbara Silkstone's most current series is COLD CREAM MURDERS ~ GLOSSY LIPS, SMOKEY EYES, and coming soon: SOAP ON A ROPE. This series will have at least 6 books when complete. The adventures take place in the imaginary burg of Starfish Cove, Florida ~ a place near and dear to Silkstone's hometown of Redington Beach on the Gulf of Mexico just north of St. Petersburg, Florida. 

Twitter: @barbsilkstone

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