Critical praise for Christy!

For "Murder Hooks a Mermaid:"
"Author Christy Fifield creates the kind of characters that stay with you for a long time. Fifield’s new Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery, Murder Hooks a Mermaid has it all: a sunny, relaxed setting, captivating locals, delicious food, and—of course—murder! Delightful amateur sleuth Glory Martine is back with her wisecracking parrot and charming group of friends in this thoroughly entertaining adventure. Don’t miss it."—Julie Hyzy, National Bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mystery series
"A whodunit with a dose of the supernatural, "Murder Hooks a Mermaid" is a worthy successor to the series opener and showcases Fifield's talents for plotting, characterization and humor." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Quirky and unique, a heroine for whom you can't help but root. The story sucks you in." - The Maine Suspect
"With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read." -- Dru's Book Musings

For "Murder Buys a T-Shirt:"
A refreshing new sleuth! - Lynne Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine
"A fun book that will make the dreariest of days a little brighter! Socrates' great Book Alert" - Socrates' Cozy Cafe
"An entertaining and clever Florida whodunit" - Harriet Klausner
"Hilarious! A great murder mystery with well-written characters" - Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
For the Georgiana Neverall Series:
"Christy Evans will find legions of fans with this new series" - Sheldon McArthur, Lincoln City News Guard
"Funny and entertaining -- a solid mystery filled with likable characters." - RT Book Reviews"
Cute cozy mystery debute -- wry humor -- adorable dogs" -Publisher's Weekly
"Will have you giggling out loud! Four Stars." - Kathy Fisher, The Romance Readers Connection"The Book is good! Keep them coming, Ms. Evans!" - Mystery Scene
"Evans delivers a fast-paced mystery with admirable finesse!" - Sharon Galligar Chance, FreshFiction.com
"Christy Evans has a hit on her hands" - Harriet Klausner, Bookreview.com
"Christy Evans is aces. I'll be very suprised if Sink Trap isn't an instant hit with cozy readers!" - CozyLibrary.com

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Some Really Great People, and One Nasty Woman

A typical crowd of tourists, and mounted police
During our time in DC we were, admittedly, tourists.  My impression was that DC is a city used to being full of tourists; a city that has learned to adapt to the constant invasion of the species tourists horribilius, and the sub-species school trippius busloadius.  Believe me, there were plenty of both. 

For the most part, the school groups were reasonably well-behaved, though they exhibited all the faults of junior high and high school children in large groups: boisterous, high energy, clueless, and inclined to have at least one clown for every three or four students.  They talked loudly, they giggled, and they often didn't realize - as the very young so often don't - that they blocked the sidewalk, hogged the path, or disturbed their fellow travellers. 

Viet Nam Nurses Memorial
Some groups were better than others, though only one bunch were truly disrespectful - a group of younger boys who reacted inappropriately to a statue of Viet Nam combat nurses with a wounded soldier - and to be fair, several of the boys were chiding the misbehavers.  I suspect it was something they didn't know how to handle, so they acted out.  It's what kids do. 

They were children who hadn't yet learned they were not the center of the universe, small bodies packed with enough energy to power a small city, at an age where hormone floods make everyday life intense.  And they were on a grand adventure, a trip away from home, in a strange city.  Their behavior was to be expected.

What was unexpected, and delightful, was the Washingtonians themselves.  We were strangers, tourists who sometimes had no clue where we were supposed to be going.  With a single exception, people were friendly, helpful, and polite.  I'll tell you about the exception first, because bad behavior makes a good story.
We got good at spotting the signs
There was a woman we now refer to as the Elevator Nazi.  We encountered her once, and that was once too often. 

The underground train system in DC is excellent, but accessing it (Remember that scary escalator picture on the first DC post?) can be difficult for an older woman who occasionally has trouble with escalators.  After the first trip down the Scariest Escalator I Have Ever Seen, we discovered the stations had elevators, if you just seek them out. 

Mom, though she doesn't consider herself handicapped, does admit to being elderly at 81, and on the longer stretches she much preferred the elevators.  Coming back to our hotel one night, we got in line for the elevator back to street level.  We waited as one car filled, and the elevator made its slow round-trip to the street and back.  In front of us was a couple, middle-aged, well-dressed, top-dollar haircuts.  She wore good jewelry, and he spent the entire time in our presence with his attention riveted on his iPad.  They did not appear to have any handicap, they weren't toting heavy luggage, or small children, and they were likely younger than I am.  In short, then didn't appear to need the elevator, but they chose to take it, which was their right.
I wouldn't want to drag this up the escalator, either!
Behind us was a young woman with two small kids, one in a stroller.  When the elevator doors opened, the woman in front reached to hold the door open.  Mom and the woman with the stroller both stepped forward.  The younger woman waved Mom ahead of her, and Mom stepped in and to the back corner of the car.  As the rest of us waited for the young woman and her kids to get on, the older woman started yelling at my mom for crowding ahead!  She said she was holding the door "for the children," and kept it up while everyone else got on, even though the poor gal with the stroller looked like she wanted to melt into the floor.  Then another man got on, and his backpack was apparently in the plane of the door.  Miss Elevator Nazi proceeded to chew him out, repeating several times that he needed to move back, he was blocking the door, even while he was trying to do just that.

When we reached the street level, the woman and her silent companion rushed off, while the rest of us made our way out of the car, smiling apologetically at each other.  When the three of us (Mom, my sister, and me) were finally alone, Mom turned to us and said, "Well, I didn't know there were elevator police, but apparently there are."  We cracked up, and had several laughs over the rest of our stay, at her expense.

The other side of this, though, were the people who volunteered directions, offered Mom a seat when we got on the train, and helped us out whenever we asked.  Not living in big cities, we had forgotten about the traffic congestion that comes with quitting time, and the first night we found ourselves trying to catch a train at rush hour.  People were hurrying, and we were out of place.  No one was actively rude or inconsiderate, they were just in their normal routine and they wanted to get home.

Metro at rush hour.  Busy place!
Mom, feeling tired and a little unsteady, didn't want to push into the car with the crowd, and held back.  As a result, two or three trains departed with us still standing on the platform.  Worried about how long we might be stuck, I looked around and noticed a group of nice-looking, well-dressed (the DC uniform of good suits and ties) younger men a couple feet away.  Bolder than I usually am, I stepped over and asked one of them if they could do me a favor.  I explained that Mom had waited for several trains, and asked if they would help me see that she got on the next one.

Not only did they agree, the four of them formed a semi-circle behind Mom, and protected her from the crowd as she stepped onto the train.  It was a little thing, and it delayed them only a few seconds, but it made all the difference for us.

Another day, feeling like we finally had the trains figured out, we waited for an incoming train on the platform at another station.  A tall man approached and told us we needed to move down the platform because the next arrival was a "short train."   He explained that meant there were fewer cars and thus the end of the train would be ahead of where we were waiting.  As we moved to the point he indicated, he also explained how to read the arrival board to know the next time we were waiting for a "short train."

Mom in the Congressional cafe
It wasn't just the men, either.  At one point Mom and I were waiting in the Congressional cafeteria while Jeri retrieved a jacket she'd left in an office across the street.  Coming out of the office, she realized she didn't know where the above-ground entrance to the Capitol was, and it wasn't easy to find.  Frustrated, she called and told us to finish lunch, she'd just go to the trolley stop and wait for us.  Overhearing her problem, a woman approached and offered directions to the public entrance.  A few minutes later Jeri joined us and claimed her share of our lunch.
Jeri finally got her lunch!

Incidents like these happened every day, sometimes several times in a day. 
They lead me to believe that the people of Washington are among the friendliest, most gracious hosts I have ever met, proud to share their beautiful city with a flood of visitors every day. 
Washington is full of really great people.  That one nasty woman?  I figure she just doesn't belong.  Even if her address is Washington, she doesn't have the real Washingtonian spirit in her heart.

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