Saturday, November 16, 2013

Little Luxuries by Krista Davis

Lucy Burdette: Most of you will have met my good friend Krista Davis in previous posts--she writes the delightful domestic diva mysteries, and she's also the brain behind a culinary mystery website, Mystery Lovers Kitchen, and she helps run Killer Characters. Don't even ask me where she found the time to write a brand new series, but it's coming in December and it sounds like so much fun! So I invited her here to talk about her inspiration. Welcome Krista!

Krista Davis: So pleased to be here! 

Have you seen the TV show Million Dollar Shoppers? Personal shoppers buy clothes for women who have more money than the national debt. Recently, one woman simply had to have a Birkin purse. More specifically, a purple crocodile Birkin purse.

Where have I been that I haven’t heard of these handbags? They’re nice looking rather proper ladies-who-lunch sort of bags made by Hermès. Very structured and elegant. Grace Kelly would have carried them. Definitely not for the slouchy shoulder bag or ginormous tote gang. Turns out there’s a waiting list for these babies. You can’t even look at them at Hermès online. Here’s the kicker. You can expect to pay $20,000 or more. Definitely more for purple crocodile, like around $82,000.

That started me thinking about luxuries. Would I even want an $82,000 purse? Are they like cars? Does the value go down as soon as you walk them out of the store?

In my new mystery series, the protagonist, Holly Miller, lives and works at the Sugar Maple Inn. There are drawbacks to living at your job, of course. Bed and breakfasts, inns, and hotels are the ultimate 24/7 businesses. If you live there, you’re on call all the time.

Years ago, I was an assistant manager at the largest convention hotel in Washington, DC. Fabulous hotel, and it was a wonderful job – the kind where you can’t believe they pay you to go to work every day. The general manager and regional manager lived on the premises, which meant they both showed up for crises, even in the middle of the night.

There were some nice perks to living there, though. Daily housekeeping of their apartments. On site dry cleaning. Bellmen to walk their dogs. If they felt like fresh strawberries and French pastries in the winter at nine o’clock at night they just popped into one of the kitchens and helped themselves.
The Sugar Maple Inn isn’t quite that large but living there comes with some lovely perks. In the second book, I’ve added an aged English butler who delivers croissants and piping hot tea to Holly’s quarters in the morning while she’s still sleeping. Isn’t that heavenly? It’s like being a princess!

The fridge in the private kitchen is always well stocked with leftovers from breakfast, lunch, and teatime, so Holly rarely needs to cook. And her apartment is cleaned daily, even the litter box. Of course, she can’t afford a purple crocodile Birkin. But I don’t think she would even want one.

So what one luxury (only one, it may be imaginary but we don’t want to be greedy) would you truly love to have?

a) A purple crocodile Birkin
b) Croissants and hot coffee or tea delivered just before you wake.
c) Daily housekeeping.
d) A personal chef.
e) A personal driver.
f) Someone to do laundry and iron.
g) A personal assistant (no housework included)

And breaking news: To celebrate the launch of their mom's new series, Buttercup, Queenie, and Baron and their cat siblings, Mochie and Twinkletoes, are looking for dogs and cats to join their street crew. They're giving away Murder, She Barked bandanas to dogs and cats all month long! One lucky dog or cat who leaves a comment here today (it’s okay if their people leave comments for them) will win a bandana.

 Photos of winners (hopefully wearing their new Murder, She Barked bandanas) will be posted on Krista's website and on a Pinterest board so winning dogs and cats can share with their friends.

Krista Davis’s new series for animal lovers debuts on December 3rd, with MURDER, SHE BARKED. Like her characters, Krista has a soft spot for cats, dogs, and cupcakes. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with three dogs, two cats, and no Birkins. The Diva Frosts a Cupcake is the seventh book in her Domestic Diva Mystery series. Three of those books have been nominated for Agatha awards and three have made the New York Times Bestseller list.  You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

 and PS from Lucy: Tonka has already joined the street team:)--he thinks it's a blast!


Joan Emerson said...

Definitely the personal driver . . . driving is definitely not on my list of things I like to do.

The new series sounds like marvelous fun . . . I'm looking forward to reading it.

Jack Getze said...

I want a personal chef, preferably from Guadalajara.

Kaye Barley said...

Krista, Good Morning!!!!

Harley wants to join The Street Team!

And my luxury wish would be a personal chef. Ahhhhhh . . . heaven.

Your new series sounds delightful and I can't wait to start reading it - Congratulations!

Janet Morrissey said...

Daily housekeeping would be wonderful!

The house dog, Aidan, says he can't help but shed every minute of the day.

And the cats, Smoke and Cinder, while huge, are still kittens and get in to everything (not to mention the litter box).

Anonymous said...

Count me in, too, for all on your want list - except the purple Birkin! I'm strictly a Chanel lady!
Thelma Straw in Manhattan

Anonymous said...

Count me in, too, for all on your want list - except the purple Birkin! I'm strictly a Chanel lady!
Thelma Straw in Manhattan

Dianne B said...

For me, a luxury would be a personal chef. I hate to cook!

Sue C said...

I hate driving a personal driver would be nice but I would also like the personal chef

Marsha Bachmeier said...

I think I'd prefer the personal chef as well. I don't cook, unless you call throwing a frozen pizza in the oven cooking. Maybe if I had my own chef I'd eat healthier too! The way I see it, it's a win win! ;-) Can't wait to get started on the book.

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

I'm not a Birkin bag kind of person. Even if I could afford it, it's just a crazy amount of money. Daily housekeeping would be great, though!

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

If I had a lot of money, I'd use it to go to the theater and hear live music often. Now THAT would be luxury!

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Had no idea some of the Red readers don't cook at all! We'll be right over with some casseroles...

Susan, I like your idea of live plays and music!

I would not go for the purse under any circumstance. Expensive bags mystify me--and what if I lost it? I'd be mortified!

Karen in Ohio said...

Even if I had the money I would never spend it on a handbag. Good heavens, that much money could feed an entire village in Africa for two years. And crocodiles aren't as thick on the ground as they used to be.

Sometimes I think a housecleaner would be great, but then I think of my mother, nearly 84, still "wiping up" her kitchen and bathroom floors every day. She wouldn't still be able to do it if she hadn't been doing it all along. And I hope to have that much agility and stamina at least that long.

Early morning delivery of breakfast would be lovely, but change the croissant to pain au chocolat. Heaven.

At one point I toyed with the idea of opening a bed & breakfast, but never got any further than that. Having a butler on staff would have made the decision easier, I think!

Susan Elia MacNeal said...

Whenever I've had anything nice, one cat or the other throws up on it. So expensive bags are out.... And Roberta, yes, I'd probably lose it, too! Can you imagine? The horror!

Kaye Barley said...

82,000 dollars for a purple purse.



LordAMercy, honeys. The things I could do with $82,000.

The things Habitat for Humanity (insert the name of your favorite charitable organization) could do with $82,000.

I'm sorry, but that's obscene.

Susan said...

Mmm ... Once a Week Personal Chef...Would Be Lovely...I Eat (VTFoodie)Well/Healthy..Honestly though...I want another Doggie..I miss mine.Thinking ;) The New Coach Color Black Violet Wristlet #wishlist , Excited For "Murder She Barked" Krista...And Holiday Gifts of Your New Series..We are Cozy in VT ;)

Krista said...

I love hearing what everyone would wish for. LOL, Kaye! I feel the same way. Susan, it's so hard to lose a dog or cat. Maybe it's time for a new dog?


Deb said...

Oh, my, pass on the bag, although I do have a purple one. I think I got it at DSW for $40.

I don't mind driving in my daily life, but oh, the personal drivers are great on book tours. I love them!

And I'd take everything else on the list. Personal chef--then I could just cook for fun! Personal assistant? All that time I spend doing forty million other things would be spent writing!

Actually, I have a fabulous housekeeper who comes every two weeks, so if I just had someone to sweep the floors (German shepherds and cats, folks) and run the vacuum every day or two...

Best of all? The cup of hot tea delivered to me in bed in the morning, and I'd go for the Pain au Chocolat, too.

Oh, and Dax wants to join the Bark gang! She'd LOVE to pose with a bandana!

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

OH, what fun. DEFINITELY a driver. Absolutely.
And maybe when we're not driving, he/she could clean the house a bit. Just a thought.

I have not one bit of yearning for the purple purse. ANd I've always thought Birkin bags were inefficient (I know this is a ridiculous conversation) because they're hard to open. I need a bag I can stick my hand in and pull out what I need, not one with complicated closures.

Well, whew, at least I'll never have to fight that battle! xoo

Lynn said...

I agree on the personnel chef. Not a great cook. And maybe a driver cuz of the four inches of snow we got overnight and still snowing here in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Our dog Solo and cat Odin would love to join the Street Team.

Hallie Ephron said...

Welcome, Krista! Congrats on the new series!

I was in La Jolla a few weekends ago at a resale (aka used clothing) store FULL of knockoff designer bags (including Birkins) which they were selling for several hundreds of dollars, a bargain we were assured. My #1 requirement for a purse is that it is SMALL and LIGHTWEIGHT -- these quasi designer bags weighed a ton. I don't want to "carry" a bag so much as hang one on me.

My choice luxury? Definitely a driver. Think how much more work I could get done!

I must be tired because when I first read it, I thought Krista was giving away Murder She Barked bananas. (Love the dogs.)

Linda Rima said...

Can't to read the new series! I'd want all except the purple Birkin bag & personal driver. I'm from Texas & still love to drive (except Houston traffic). With a well written job. Description the others could be covered easily " with other duties as assigned." Now to figure out salary & how to pay for it. ;)

Daryl Wood Gerber a.k.a. Avery Aames said...

Can't wait for the new series.

As for a personal chef, I'll take one as long as they do dishes, too! And shopping. And…

Daryl / Avery

E. B. Davis said...

Can't wait to read it, Krista. Congratulations, and good luck with the series. (No pets here--so I can't add to your street team.)

Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. said...

A personal chef! Preferably one who has a supplementary specialty in whipping up healthy and well-balanced home-made meals for the four-footed apple of my eye.

Libby Dodd said...

The butler delivery is tempting, but I think I'll go more practical and have the housekeeping!
My three kitties are still hoping to get a bandana to share and wear.
I'll happily wear it, too.

Ellen Kozak said...

I love to drive myself around so the personal driver would NOT be my thing. But a personal assistant? Someone ELSE to sit on hold forever? Someone ELSE to wait for the cable guy, the plumber (and call them and set up the appointment), someone else to wrap the box, drop it at UPS, maybe walk the dog (does that fit into the personal assistant category?)

And better yet, someone to sort the mail and pull out all the junk mail, taking it directly to the recycling bin. Ah, that would be luxury.

PS: HOW does one post a dog photo?

paulabuck said...

I'm a lousy cook but a worse cleaner. I'd take the daily housekeeping.
(Oh, who am I kidding? I'd take weekly, monthly, or yearly housekeeping if anyone was offering!)

Terry Shames said...

Love to cook, don't mind driving.

The purse? I've never met a purse I liked. Fifteen minutes after I buy the purse, I realize it's not quite right. So I suspect $82,000 worth of purse would just be an $82,000 annoyance.

So give me a personal servant who would take care of my clothes, pick out what I'm going to wear, help me dress, do my hair and then help out with this and that during the day. Is Anna Bates out there somewhere?

Mar (aka mar annabelle jacob) said...

WOW hard choice

Due to illnesses, I can't drive, cleaning my house puts me in bed for 2 days and cooking takes forever with having to take "sit down breaks"

so I'm gonna have to list 3 (I never did follow instructions well according to all my teachers ;) )

c) Daily housekeeping.
d) A personal chef.
e) A personal driver.

Happy Saturday Everyone


Liz Straw said...

$82,000. for a purse!?! Can I just have the cash?

I always said I wanted Hannah Gruen to run my house - but, then again I want someone who does everything H.G. does without all the interpesonal interaction. Only talk to me when I want to be sociable.

My pup Louie would look great in a Murder She Barked bandana. My cat George said she might pull it around the house.

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Liz and Terry, ha, ha, you want to be characters in Downton Abbey. Sounds good, except I'd hate the fishbowl part of it!

Lynn in Texas said...

Hi, Krista!

Your new series sounds intriguing.

I'm with Liz Straw, the housekeeper would be my choice but could only have interaction on my terms. (and moods!)

We're currently visiting family & Luke the boxer just had surgery, so one of your bandanas sure would dress up his "cone head".

Cynthia Hyde said...

Daily housekeeping because Suzy Homemaker I definitely am not.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh, Ellen, YES personal assistant. Truly need one. xoxo,. Thanks, Krista, for letting us dream.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

A personal assistant sounds heavenly. Thanks for planting that idea, Krista. This was such a fun post.

Krista said...

This is such fun to read. Love all your responses. I, too, could use all of the above, except for the Birkin purse, which would undoubtedly have an ink stain on it in five minutes.

Hallie, that's hysterical. You must have thought I'd lost my mind (not the first to think that, I'm sure).

Do you home cook for your dog, Sammy Davis Jr. Jr?

Poor Luke! I hope he can take off the cone soon!


Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Yes, an ink stain! Can you imagine? One Birkin bag plus one open Sharpie... :-)

Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. said...

When I can, that's for certain. My Uno has been my cheerleader through university, so I didn't have time to make him proper home-made dog food. Instead his food mostly consisted of the potatoes, rice, or pasta I had, along with his own a rotisserie chicken (one lasted several days). But over holidays and trips home he's treated like a little king!

Deb Romano said...

No pets but I do have a bunch of stuffed animals. Three are dogs and one of them is very fashion-conscious. She would like a bandana, she says.

As for me, I would like a daily housekeeper. Or a handyman. I know it wasn't on the list, Krista, but it is on my own personal Wish List! He could also do the daily cleaning. SOMEONE has to do it:-)

Lucy Burdette aka Roberta Isleib said...

Winners of the bandanas are Liz Straw and Lynn in Texas. Please send an email with your address to Krista:

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Personal driver!!!!! Yay!!!
And my grand pup Gracie Bella would love to join the street team.