When Andie Miller goes to see her ex-husband, North Archer, to return ten years of uncashed alimony checks, he asks for one final favor: A distant cousin has died and left him guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already; will she take the job? Bribed with money and a need for closure, Andie says yes, packs her bags, and heads for Southern Ohio.
But when she meets the two children she realizes things are much worse than she feared. The children aren’t any run-of-the-mill delinquents, the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers, and
something strange is happening at night. Plus, Andie’s fiance thinks it’s a plan by North to get Andie back, and since Andie’s been dreaming about North since she arrived at the house, she’s not sure he isn’t right.
Then her ex-brother-in-law arrives with a duplicitous journalist and a self-doubting parapsychologist, closely followed by an annoyed medium, Andie’s tarot card–reading mother, her avenging ex-mother-in-law, and her jealous fiancé. Just when Andie’s sure things couldn’t get more complicated, North arrives to make her wonder if maybe this time things could be different….
Jenny, aside from the fact that you own dogs... why dogs? Don’t you ever have the overwhelming need to include a ferret or a bull frog or a llama in one of your books as a supporting character (I’m not counting the flamingos in “Agnes and the Hitman” as they were more walk-ons than supporting characters)?
How can you call Cerise a walk-on? Hell, she had lines.
I think animals (some of my heroines have had cats) are a good method of characterization; the way people treat animals says a lot about them, I think. Also, I like animals.
What other author do you love who uses animals as memorable secondary characters? Which of their animal characters did you love the most and why?
Pat Gaffney used dogs beautifully in her Mad Dash. And there was that hellacious bird in Lani Diane Rich's Maybe Baby. I like both of those because the dogs and bird were so integral to the plot, their personalities had an impact on the characters and therefore had an effect on the story, they weren't just there for da cute.