New in Town

When my protagonist, Molly Madison, makes her cross country move to Pier Point, CA, the only friend she has in town is her golden retriever, Harlow. Molly’s more at ease with pups than people and, before long, they welcome another dog into the mix. Then, to her surprise, she befriends an eight-year-old math prodigy whose dog desperately needs training–and her first local human friendship begins.

Having moved to a new town last year, I understand some of what Molly is going through–though, unlike her, I didn’t flee my previous hometown to avoid rumors about involvement in a crime. (Thank goodness!) We did however, lose our home to a wildfire in 2017 and, after going through a years-long rebuilding process, moved in at our old address only to decide we were ready for a change.

Though moving during a pandemic has dramatically slowed the process of meeting new people, unlike Molly, I didn’t move cross country and still get to see my friends. (Just not as often.) Honestly, anyone with close friends is fortunate and I sometimes wonder, without a few zigs and zags in my life, would I have met many of the wonderful people I count today as friends? I don’t know, but I hope so.

Though there’s a lot I don’t know, I do know this: when you meet the people you “click” with, hang on to them. Through thick and thin. The various bonds of love and support I’ve been fortunate enough to cultivate have sustained me–through times both easy and tough. I’m damn lucky.

And by the end of A DEADLY BONE TO PICK, Molly is too.