Mystery Author: Strong Women, Great Stories

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I write three series: The Loser Mysteries, The Dead Detective Mysteries & the Simon & Elizabeth (Tudor) Mysteries as well as stand-alones that offer readers "Strong Women, Great Stories."
These days I also answer to Maggie Pill, who writes a cozy sleuth series. Maggie is a lot like Peg, just younger, cooler, and funnier.

The Cruelest Word of All

Yes, those are sharks!
I won't keep you in suspense. It's they--the little pronoun separates you from others.

They means "those not like us." They marry their children off at nine. They don't value human life. They believe they'll go immediately to heaven if they take non-believers with them when they die.

Let's turn that around. We go to clubs every night, where we take drugs, drink prodigious amounts of alcohol, and hook up with strangers. We think all women should strive to look like Gigi Hadid, no matter what their body type. We believe the more guns we have in our homes, the safer we are. We anticipate a heaven where we'll walk around on streets of gold, singing hymns and playing the harp.

That's not what you believe? But that's the impression those in other cultures have of you, based on songs, cartoons, sermons, media, and speeches. If it isn't you, maybe you aren't a typical American.

Or maybe there's no such thing as they.

I've griped here before about statements made concerning people of the past: They never bathed, or they thought the Evil Eye could kill a person. Not everyone believed that, not even most of everyone. If everyone truly believed in the Hell those preachers described, would there be any sin whatsoever? Like sermons of today about love and tolerance, those homilies on the "angry" God who'd dangle you like a spider over the pit of Hell must have gone in one ear and out the other, and our forefathers, like most of us, continued doing on Monday morning just as they'd done last Friday afternoon.

There isn't any they today, either. The next time someone tells you "they" want to kill us, ask yourself this question: Can you get your whole family to agree on where and when to hold the next reunion? If you can't get a group of people who are closely related to agree on that, why would you think an entire nation is united on anything?

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