My name is Izzy. I drink too much, am clumsier than a newborn foal, and my brain-to-mouth filter often malfunctions. My daredevil husband killed himself in a parachuting accident five years ago and my best friend Jack has decided it’s time I jump back in the dating pool. He’s perfectly happy to throw me in if I don’t listen. Just when things in the dating world start to heat up, my grandma dies. Only her knitting group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes is sure it’s murder. I’m not convinced but I’m always up for a bit of excitement as long as it doesn’t lead to a night in jail. Well, more than one night anyway. Will I miss my chance at love because I’m chasing imaginary killers? Did someone really kill grandma or am I and my merry band of geriatric thieves imagining things?
The first ‘date’ starts off well. His name is Ed. He’s not drooling or anything, is talking to me, and not my boobs, and seems to be interested in my graphic design work. Maybe Jack was right after all. I need to get myself back into the dating game.
“So,” Ed begins after we’ve exchanged the usual pleasantries and some small talk. He leans forward and starts to whisper. “How do you feel about whips and chains?”
Not the appropriate moment to be sipping my wine, but how could I have expected that! I choke and spit a bit of wine into Ed’s face, which seems to excite him. He wiggles his eyebrows. “I take it that’s a yes?” He asks eagerly.
“Um no. That’s a definite no. N.O.” I lift my glass and down the remainder of my wine. The bell rings and I yell loudly “Next!”
Ed looks disappointed as he walks to the next table, but I’ve got my eyes on the prize. A cocktail waitress is headed my way. I snag two more glasses of wine before turning to my next date. Oh dear lord! The man is older than grandma. He struggles to lower himself in the chair opposite mine.
There goes that annoying bell again. Time to put my game face on. I smile and decide I’ll check this guy out for grandma. She could use a date. Although to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember her going out with a man – ever. There’s no time like the present.
The old man’s name is Wilbert and the five minutes pass pleasantly enough. As long as I pretend he’s dating grandma and not trying to pick me up. When the bell rings again, I rush from my chair to help Wilbert stand. I take his elbow and guide him to his next date – a girl young enough to be his great-granddaughter.
I sit back down and gather my courage for my next winner. I try to smile at the guy across from me, really I do. But have you ever tried to smile at a man with the biggest combover ever? Let me tell you, it’s not easy. I may be grimacing a tiny bit.
Mr. Combover leans over and leers at me. Yes, leers at me! His eyes are surgically attached to my boobs. True, I have good boobs, but maybe pay a bit of attention to the person attached to the boobs?
Finally done leering, he leans back and takes in my face. “You’re not the youngest anymore.” Really? That’s the first thing Mr. Combover is going to say?
“I could say the same about you,” I respond in the nasty voice I use when nagging clients that are slow to pay, but quick to make outrageous demands.
Mr. Combover clears his throat and leans in again. I bend backwards as far as possible in my chair, but he’s undeterred. “I’m just gonna get this out there and not waste my time.” I just stare at him. “Do you put out? ‘Cuz if not, I ain’t got time for you.”
Oh no, he didn’t. “What,” I sputter and grab for my first wine glass, which I down in one go. Never said I was a classy lady.
“Do. You. Put. Out?” Yes, he really enunciates it like I didn’t understand him the first time.
An Interview with Izzy, the protagonist of Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem
- In three sentences, tell us about your story.
It all starts when my bestie Jack basically throws me back into the dating pool. I’m fudging that up nicely when my grandma dies. Her crew of knitting buddies are convinced she was murdered and all of a sudden I’m caught up in a mystery. But that doesn’t mean that Jack or the knitting crew turned detectives leave me alone about finding a man. Oh no, they’re determined to catch a killer and find me love. Oops! That was like way more than three sentences.
- Are you the hero of your story?
I’m totally the hero of my own story. Okay maybe my detective boyfriend helped out a bit. And well I can’t not thank the Jessica Fletcher wannabes for their help. Maybe Jack helped as well. Okay, fine, I’m not the hero of my own story, but I definitely played a major part, didn’t I?
- It sounds like your story could have some conflict in it. Do you embrace or run from conflict?
Is there any way to say yes that doesn’t make me sound like a drama queen?
- Since the ladies and Jack are trying to find you a partner, it’s fair to ask – what is the quality you most desire in a man?
The direct opposite of my first husband would be a good place to start. Oh that’s sounds really catty. I loved Ryan, really I did, but it’s hard to stay in love with someone who puts getting his next thrill before taking care of his wife. So I’m going to say that thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies need not apply.
- How did you get mixed up with the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives?
Before my adventure started, the so-called detectives were part of my grandma’s knitting club. Since I was really close to my grandma, I knew all of them. After grandma died and they decided it was murder, they insinuated themselves into my life and now I can’t live without them. They’re my family. By the way, you really shouldn’t call them detectives. It only encourages them.
- Do you find your true love in your story?
If I tell you, will you still read my story? Is it enough to say there is a happy ending?
- What’s next for Izzy?
I started volunteering with this local environmental group. Except for what I learned about conservation during my recent adventures, I know next to nothing about the environment, so I usually stick to what I do know – graphic design. When I first met the group, they kinda freaked me out with how nice and enthusiastic they were. In the meantime I’ve grown to like the volunteers, although I still won’t be hugging any of them.
I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but think I’m a European. After spending my senior year of high school in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. My flying Dutch husband and I have lived in Ohio, Virginia, the Netherlands, Germany and now Istanbul. We still haven’t decided if we want to settle down somewhere – let alone where. I’m leaning towards somewhere I can learn to surf even though the hubby thinks that’s a less than sound way to decide where to live. Although I’ve been a military policewoman, a commercial lawyer, and a B&B owner, I think with writing I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. That’s assuming I ever grow up, of course. Between tennis, running, traveling, singing off tune, drinking entirely too many adult beverages, and reading books like they are going out of style, I write articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, review other indie authors’ books, write a blog about whatever comes to mind and am working on my sixth book.