Thank you, Shirley McCann, for inviting me on a Blog Hop. Shirley just released Anonymously Yours, a mystery about a Missouri waitress who tries to return a wallet and discovers a body. Shirley’s giving away a $50 Amazon gift card if you review her book!

I’ve been preoccupied with my own Going Going Gone contest: Kobo’s awarding $5000 and a Kobo Aura H2O if you download my three, free Hope Sze Gone Fishing stories and solve three riddles, as I blogged about here. My next posts will be a behind the scenes sneak peak at how I got the deal.

Cover_GoneFishing_CainAndAbel_20140812-72

In the meantime, this is Hope. She deviates from the usual blog hop formula. Of course. My deviant detective doctor decided to visit a fictional self-help meeting.

The Society of Reluctant Detectives Meeting, November 9th, 2011

Moderator: Could you introduce yourself?

Hope: I’m a resident doctor at one of Montreal’s community hospitals. I’d rather just be a doctor, but I’m kind of getting a rep as a detective after solving three murders.

Woman: I know you! You’re Dr. Hope Sze, the detective doctor. You were the Montreal Journal’s 2011 Thanksgiving Woman of the Year.

Hope: Um. Yeah.

Man: We’re supposed to be anonymous, Chloe.

Hope: That’s all right.

Woman: You poor thing. You look exhausted. Three murders, eh? I heard about the one with the escape artist who dressed up like Elvis Presley, chained and nailed himself in a coffin and almost drowned, just because he wanted to act like Harry Houdini. You saved his life. [Terminally Ill]

Hope: Yes, ma’am.

Woman: And then he hired you to figure out who had sabotaged his act, but you got mixed up in another case…

Hope: I’d rather not talk about it. We’re still wrapping up that inquiry, with more details forthcoming. [Student Body, launching September 20th, 2014 at Books & Bodies]

Moderator: What brought you to the Society, then, Hope?

Hope: I kept telling people I didn’t want to be a detective. The first time, I just happened to find…someone deceased.

Woman: Dr. Radshaw! Face down the men’s change room. On your first day at St. Joseph’s hospital. [Code Blues]

Hope (wincing): Right. I have to admit, I was the one who took the lead on that case, even though the police told me to step aside. I thought it was a one-time deal, but then a grieving mother told me her daughter had been killed in a hit and run eight years ago, and I just had to help her. [Notorious D.O.C.]

Man: Yes. Dr. Laura Lee. A tragic case.

Hope: Right. Plus, you already mentioned Elvis the Escape King, who insisted on hiring me to figure out who tried to kill him. But even when I was just trying to take my dad fishing for his birthday, I ended up on another investigation [Gone Fishing/Going Going Gone $5000 Contest].

Moderator: I know what you’re saying. We’ve all gone through it. Reluctant Detective Syndrome, or RDS.

Hope: Really?

Moderator: Naturally. Even professionals suffer from this, although in their case it’s more a question of burnout. For amateur detectives, it can be socially isolating to solve criminal cases. At first, we receive attention and accolades…

Man: I was the Montreal Journal’s Man of the Year in 1973 after I caught the Smoked Meat Mangler.

Hope: Oh. Wow.

Man: Not the Thanksgiving Man of the Year. The Man of the Year.

Hope: Congratulations.

Man: For all of 1973.

Hope (slightly sarcastic): No way.

Moderator: After the first few cases, however, friends begin to make excuses, frightened that every time you go out to dinner, the woman sitting next to you may choke on poisoned pasta.

Woman: That was just the one time, but they started calling me the Mystery Magnet.

Man: It’s not about you, Chloe.

Woman: It’s always about me.

Hope: So what’s the cure?

Moderator: Excuse me?

Hope: Well, I’m a doctor. You’re describing the symptoms of Reluctant Detective Syndrome, and believe me, I understand. But what’s the treatment for RDS? Is there a cure?

Moderator (speechless): That’s the purpose of our group. We come together. We support one other.

Hope: Okay. Well, thank you very much.

Moderator: You’re leaving?

Hope: I’ve been here an hour, listening to the case of the Smoked Meat Mangler from 1973. I’ve got to go.

Woman: I bet I know where. Is it Tucker or Ryan tonight?

Hope (blushing): Excuse me?

Woman: Oh, don’t play coy, Hope. We all know about your love triangle. We’ve even taken bets on it.

Man: John Tucker is a sensible choice, given that he’s a fellow physician.

Woman: I hope you pick Ryan. I love dark-eyed men, especially if they’re Asian.

Hope: Ew. I mean, thank you. Good-bye!

Moderator: We meet every Monday, Hope. We’ll be waiting for you.

Download Hope’s next adventure on September 16th, Trouble & Strife, and enter to win $5000 and a Kobo H2O Aura!

Tune in September 16th to these talented writers’ blogs. I just asked them if they’d participate, so I have no idea if they can or not, but read their books anyway. 1) They write marvellously, and 2) They’re stand up people.

Michael La Ronn. Eaten. A broccoli terrorist with nothing to lose.

Rob Brunet. Stinking Rich. His debut mystery caper, called “deviously funny.”

Tim Reynolds. The Broken Shield. Action-packed adventure between light & dark.

Michael F. Stewart. Assured Destruction, called “Sybil meets Lisbeth Salander,”

Lisa de Nikolits. The Witchdoctor’s Bones. Sixteen strangers on a tour bus in South Africa=murder.

Krista D. Ball. Hey, I just saw that she’s getting married, so she won’t participate, but she’s hilarious. I’m now reading
Hustlers, Harlots, and Heroes.
I’m running off to CHEO, so I’ll fix this later. Thanks!