30 Things about My Sleuth – Delanie Fitzgerald of Falcon Investigations
Thank you for letting be visit your blog! Secret Lives and Private Eyes is the first in my Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series. She is a private investigator who lives in Central Virginia. And I’m often asked about what my protagonist is really like. Here’s my top-thirty list about my spunky sleuth.
- Delanie is a redhead like 1-2% of the human population (and me). She has determination, grit, and a spunky spirit.
- She drives a Mustang, and she calls it “Black Beauty.”
- My private investigator graduated from VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) with a degree in business.
- She lives in a Sears catalog home from 1939. Back then, people ordered kits from the catalog, and all of the pieces arrived by rail, ready to assemble.
- Delanie’s Sears catalog home is the Yates model. Many of the boards in her bungalow still have the Sears catalog number stamped on them. There are Sears catalog homes still standing in Central Virginia, but I took the liberty of moving one to western Chesterfield for Delanie’s home.
- Delanie’s bungalow has an upstairs. Her bedroom and living space are on the first floor. She may have a remodeling project in her future.
- Her partner is computer guru (and hacker), Duncan Reynolds.
- She shares her office space with Duncan and his English bulldog Margaret.
- Margaret follows her guy Duncan everywhere. And she thinks she’s queen of Delanie’s office. Margaret also rides in the front seat of Duncan’s canary yellow Camaro.
- One of Delanie’s guilty pleasures is her junk food habit. She also orders a lot of take-out from the nearby restaurants.
- When she’s not sleuthing or trailing a suspect, she likes to stay home in her comfy jammies and watch reality TV.
- Growing up, Delanie had a major crush on ‘80s rock star, Johnny Velvet from The Vibes.
- Her middle name is Lynn.
- Delanie has two older brothers. Steve, the eldest, is a Chesterfield County police lieutenant, and Robbie is a bouncer at a club in downtown Richmond. Robbie used to play minor league baseball until he destroyed his knee.
- She used her share of the money from her father’s estate to open Falcon Investigations.
- Delanie chose the name for her company in honor of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.
- Her client, Chaz Wellington Smith, owns a strip club in the downtown area near where Edgar Allan Poe worked in Richmond.
- Delanie had never seen an alpaca up close until she encountered Myrtle on John Bailey’s farm in Amelia County.
- Delanie’s best friend from school is hair stylist, Paisley Ford.
- Though she prefers the comfort of jeans and T-shirts, Delanie has a wardrobe full of outfits and shoes to create just the right look when she’s sleuthing.
- Her favorite drink is iced coffee, and her go-to treat is always chocolate.
- Delanie and Duncan usually investigate cheating spouses. She is thrilled when she lands an assignment from tell-all author, Tish Taylor, to track down leads on rocker Johnny Velvet, who purportedly died in a fiery car crash in the ‘80s.
- While the story is fiction, many of the locales that Delanie visits are real. Some of these include: Amelia County, Belle Island, Byrd Park, Church Hill, The Diamond (Home of the Richmond Flying Squirrels), Kanawha Canal, Library of Virginia, Main Street Station, Shockoe Slip, Tredegar Iron Works, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Readers who have been to Central Virginia will recognize some of the street and place names.
- Delanie got her first name from my niece’s friend, and her last name is in honor of F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of my favorite writers.
- Delanie’s home and office are in Chesterfield County, Virginia. I liked the location because it’s close to the city and rural parts of the state. It’s also within driving distance to the beach, mountains, and Washington, D.C.
- She loves a variety of music, but rock ‘n’ roll is her favorite. A great escape is to blast the radio with the windows down.
- While she has enough culinary skills to survive, cooking is not her forte, and she often forgets to keep the pantry and fridge stocked.
- Delanie is a “cop’s kid.” Her father was a Chesterfield County police officer, and her brother Steve now serves the county as a lieutenant.
- While sleuthing, Delanie often creates aliases or cover stories. I often name the aliases after friends.
- Many of the waiters, police, and other minor characters that Delanie encounters are named after family and friends. If you look carefully, you’ll see homage to pop culture icons and my favorite authors.
Secret Lives and Private Eyes – Heather Weidner
Secret Lives and Private Eyes is a fast-paced mystery that will appeal to readers who like a strong, female private investigator who has a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations. Business has been slow for PI, Delanie Fitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star, Johnny Velvet. Could the singer whose life was purportedly cut short in a fiery car crash still be alive? And as if sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Chaz Wellington Smith, III, a loud-mouthed strip club owner, hires Delanie to uncover information on the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz is the key suspect. Now Delanie must clear his name and figure out the connection between the two cases before another murder – probably her own – takes place.
Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in Virginia is for Mysteries and Virginia is for Mysteries Volume II. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, and James River Writers, and Lethal Ladies Write. Secret Lives and Private Eyes is her debut novel.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. Visit Heather at www.heatherweidner.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
Website and Blog: www.heatherweidner.com