Monday, April 14, 2014

Murder They Wrote

By Evelyn David

A few weeks ago the Internet – and the Southern half of Evelyn David – exploded when The Good Wife killed off Will Gardner. Interviews with the producers, as well as with Josh Charles who played Will Gardner, have made it clear that the actor wanted out of the series. The departure would have inevitably met with viewer disappointment because many loved the romantic storyline of Will and Alicia. But the decision to kill off Will is what enraged – or engaged – much of the audience. The producers claim that they didn't feel like they could simply ship Will off-stage, perhaps to prison, perhaps to that island where the producers shipped ER heartthrob George Clooney when he opted out of network television. But some viewers, the Southern half among them, think that the decision to kill Will cheated the audience who had supported the show and the relationship through thick and thin.

As the Southern half explained to me in an email: I do know I felt shocked, angry, emotionally manipulated because in the last couple of episodes it seemed the romance might not be done for good. In hindsight it seems the writers did that to ratchet up the angst of his death. I guess I’m more upset that after all these years we never got the “happy at least for now” scenes for that couple. Yes, they got “together” a few times – even a make-out scene in an elevator, but they never were “happy.” That’s the payoff for me – they never reached “happy as a couple” before it fell apart.

I happen to like happy endings in books/movies. Not realistic, but I go on the assumption that I have to deal with enough problems in real life. My fantasy life should be one where the good guys win, the one true couple ends up together. As I've said before, it's why I write and read cozy mysteries. I can't control what happens in the world, but I can control what I read/watch for enjoyment.

I accept that authors can do what they want with their characters – and conversely, readers/viewers can also choose to stop reading/watching if they're unhappy with the choice. Arthur Conan Doyle despised his creation of Sherlock Holmes and summarily killed him off in "The Final Problem." Public pressure and the lack of interest in any of his other writing, had Doyle bring his hero back to life. Frustrating for the author; but delightful for his audience.

Are there books, TV shows, or movies where you believe the writers manipulated your emotions? Did it affect whether you read/watched the writers again?

Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David

Leaving Lottawatah
Leaving Lottawatah by Evelyn David is the eleventh book in the Brianna Sullivan Mysteries series. A novella-length story, Leaving Lottawatah continues the spooky, yet funny saga of reluctant psychic Brianna Sullivan who planned to travel the country in her motor home looking for adventure, but unexpectedly ended up in a small town in Oklahoma.
Things are messy in Paradise. The happily engaged couple of Brianna Sullivan and Cooper Jackson are anything but. Angry words set Brianna and Leon, her bulldog companion, off on a road trip, but it's hard to run away from home if everyone wants to come with you. Before she can leave town, Brianna is unexpectedly joined on her travels by Sassy Jackson, her maybe ex-future mother-in-law, plus Beverly Heyman and daughter Sophia, both still grieving over a death in the family. Destination: A Psychic convention in America's most haunted hotel. But they haven't reached their destination before Brianna is confronted by two ghosts demanding help in capturing the serial killer who murdered them decades earlier. Even more worrisome, another young woman has gone missing. It's up to Brianna and her road crew to stop the serial killer from striking again. Brianna has hard questions for the spirits surrounding her, and for herself. Does she want to marry Cooper? Is it time to hit the open road again and leave Lottawatah behind? Or will the ghosts of her past continue to haunt her wherever she goes?

Trade Paperback

We're also delighted to announce that A HAUNTING IN LOTTAWATAH, the fifth book in the Brianna Sullivan series, is now available as an audiobook. Once again narrated by the fantastic Wendy Tremont King, A HAUNTING IN LOTTAWATAH proves that ghost hunting can be deadly.


  1. This is not a mystery, but I hated the emotional manipulation in "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. I heard all the hype about the author and the lead character so I picked it up and read it. t the end I almost threw the book against the wall. The consequence is that I will not read another book by Ms. Picoult. I'll stick to people who leave us with some sense of hope even if things don't work out perfectly. And I read the Scandinavians, the Irish and the Scot all of whom struggle.

  2. I was shocked at Will's death--but it happens quite often when the star wants to move on--happened in Downton Abbey too. And it does happen in real life too, unfortunately. Good post.