Barbara Jaye Wilson's
MURDER AND THE MAD HATTER
Brenda Midnight returns for another wacky offbeat adventure
Brenda Midnight. I wasn't born with that name. I named myself after my shop, Midnight Millinery, which I named after the OPEN TIL MIDNIGHT sign in the window left by the former tenant, a deli fronting for a numbers running joint.
I'm an artist. I work alone.
Belup's Creek, a small town in the midwest. It's sometimes called Belly-Up Creek, after the final position of any fish foolish enough to take a swim.
Too hard to pinpoint. It's in a constant state of flux.
I'm a milliner. I make sculptural, gravity-defying hats.
When my best friend was murdered, the cops at the local precinct blamed drugs and prostitution. No way, I told them, but they refused to listen. To make them eat their words, I solved the case.
My across-the-hall neighbor, Elizabeth Franklin Perry. Now, she's mostly a dog-sitter, but she used to be a famous painter, someone I actually studied in art history. She gave up painting for political reasons.
I'm lucky enough to love my work, so I don't need a hobby.
I don't like to talk about it, but one of the reasons I got into millinery in the first place was to make cool hats to hide my problem hair.
The actual count is three, but one of them I rarely fess up to.
"It's hardly my style to go around dumping bodies at the morgue in the middle of the night. I'm a milliner."
My friend Fuzzy has a millinery website. I especially like her Bad Customer Alert Area.
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