As you can tell by the titles (Macdeath, The Sound of Murder, Oliver Twisted, Ivy Get Your Gun, The Phantom of Oz, and now Killalot) all of the Ivy Meadows mysteries are set during plays. Writing those theatrical subplots is lots of fun (they are very silly) and really tough (you try to mash The Sound of Music with Cabaret). This time around I wanted to set my mystery at a Renaissance Faire. The obvious theatre connection (and the only one, really) was Camelot. I decided to parody the show by setting it during the Kennedy era, since that time is often referred to as America’s Camelot. But try as I might, I could not make the idea work. I didn’t want to give up the Ren faire plot. What could I do?
I made the parody not work. Read on, and you’ll see what I mean:
“So I’d like to welcome you to the first rehearsal for our new musical…” John Robert spread his arms wide to the sky. “Kennelot!” Silence. He dropped his arms. “Kennelot! Get it?”
“Um,” I said, “Doesn’t that sound a little like kennel? As in dog kennel?”
“No, no, no. Don’t you see? It’s a combination of Kennedy and Camelot.” I was pretty sure we all got it. “Now let’s talk about your characters. Of course, I want you all to research Jackie, JFK, and Marilyn respectively. Let’s talk about them as they relate to Camelot. We’ll get back to the songs tomorrow. The only ones I really have worked out so far are “Kennelot” and “I Love You, the Hell with Silence.”
“That’s a reworking of ‘I Loved You Once in Silence’? The song Guinevere sings to Lancelot?” Hayden asked.
“Exactly. But now you’re going to sing it to Marilyn.”
“But did he really love Marilyn? I mean, me?” I really hoped John Robert was serious about feedback, because I couldn’t seem to keep my mouth shut. “Wasn’t it more about sex?”
“Honey, how old are you? Do you really not know that men confuse sex with love?”
“If you’re talking to Marilyn, no, I don’t think I ever did figure it out. If you’re talking to Iv—”
“No, no, no. Stay Marilyn.”
“It does seem rather a generalization,” said Jackie. “And it’s not just men who confuse the two. Though I do think women are more likely to confuse love and romance.”
“Which brings us right back to Camelot,” John Robert said. “Since that’s precisely what Guinevere does.”
“So I’m Guinevere?” I asked. “And JFK is Lancelot?”
“Exactly,” said John Robert. “Now…”
“Wait, I thought I was Arthur,” said JFK. “Wouldn’t that make Jackie Arthur?”
“Well…oh.” John Robert’s face fell. “That’s a problem. Yes.” His tongue played with his front teeth while he was thinking. “So…Marilyn, you’re the one who destroys Camelot.”
“I’m pretty sure it was Lee Harvey Oswald.”
“In the play, you’re the one who destroys Camelot. So you’re Lancelot.”
“And I’m Guinevere?” said JFK. “I really need to be a man.”
“You are a man, darling,” said Jackie. “That’s why you’re president.”
“Okay, maybe I need to rethink that song. I’ve also been wondering about the round table…Who do you think should be invited to the table?”
“The Cabinet?” said Hayden.
“Too boring.” John Robert shook his head. “Maybe it’s full of JFK’s women?”
“Mistresses aren’t very knight-like,” I said.
“Maybe it’s the Kennedy women,” said Jackie. “You know: me, Ethel, and Joan?”
“Ooh, we could do ‘The First Ladies Who Lunch,’” John Robert said. “Maybe even use the tune from the song in Company. Do you think Sondheim would approve?”
I doubted it.
See? I think it works. What do you think?
Killalot (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)
by Cindy Brown
About the Book
Killalot (An Ivy Meadows Mystery)
6th in Series
Henery Press (November 15, 2018)
Hardcover: 282 pages
Paperback: 282 pages
Digital ASIN: B07H3CH4RH
A jouster, a playwright, and a detective walk into a faire…but it’s no joke when one ends up dead.
Actress and part-time PI Ivy Meadows is thrilled when she learns that the famous playwright behind Hello Dolly Madison is in Arizona. Not so much when she realizes he’s a suspect in the murder of a Renaissance faire jouster.
As is her friend Riley. And about a thousand other people, all disguised in Renaissance costume during the fatal jousting match.
When Ivy is hired to investigate the killing, she goes undercover as a Cockney belly dancer at the faire and finagles her way into the playwright’s Kennedy-inspired version of Camelot—as Marilyn Monroe, no less.
Then, in the midst of her toughest case ever, Ivy has to solve another dilemma: Will she follow her lifelong dream of being an actor or settle down with the love of her life?
The murder investigation, the play, and real life come together in a twist that begs the question: Is there a happily-ever-after for anyone?
Books in the Ivy Meadows Humorous Mystery Series:
About the Author
Cindy Brown has been a theater geek (musician, actor, director, producer, and playwright) since her first professional gig at age 14. Now a full-time writer, she’s lucky enough to have garnered several awards (including 3rd place in the 2013 international Words With Jam First Page Competition, judged by Sue Grafton!) and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Though Cindy and her husband now live in Portland, Oregon, she made her home in Phoenix, Arizona, for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.
Website & Blog: www.cindybrownwriter.com
Twitter handle: @friendlybrown
November 14 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
November 14 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 15 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
November 15 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
November 16 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW
November 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
November 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
November 19 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, Renaissance Recipe
November 20 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf– SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW
November 21 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW
Have you signed up to be a Tour Host?