The Lac Pilon Detective Agency: Got a mystery that needs solving? Call the Drew sisters!

Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

We came up with the idea while watching an episode of Nancy Drew on the W Network. OK, I came up with the idea and tossed it out there. Maggie just nodded her head in agreement.

We could call ourselves the Drew sisters, I explained. Jill and Maggie Drew. There must be lots of mysteries in this cozy lakeside community, I told her. Bodies buried everywhere, I bet.

“Oh, yah,” Maggie replied, adding: “Shhh. I’m trying to watch the show.”

Good idea, I told her. Get some sleuthing tips before we start digging around the community.

She’s supposed to make a sign we can post by the main road — and then we’ll be in business! We already have a good spade.

Meanwhile, I decided to do some research online. I scrolled through the various cozy mysteries offered on Google Books and, lo and behold, I came across one that seems to have been written about . . . us? OK, not exactly us, but two “oldster” sleuths called Ruby Jane and Veenie who work for the Shady Hoosier Detective Agency in Pawpaw Country, Indiana. The book, Ghost Busting Mystery by one Daisy Pettles, is the first of three in a series about the intrepid private eyes.

It can’t be a coincidence, I thought, as I downloaded a free sample. Destiny brought me to this series. It was meant to be. It’s a sign from above!

It’s a pretty good read so far. But the sleuth in me quickly discovered that like so many other cozy mystery novels, this one could have done with a good proofreading by one of the many copy editors who have been sacrificed by major media outlets in the name of the bottom line.

Hey, I could start a sideline to the Lac Pilon Detective Agency: we can offer proofreading and editing services for cozy mystery writers!

Yes, I know I am still gainfully employed as a copy editor for a major newspaper. I haven’t been sacrificed yet — thanks to our union contract. So, I am more than qualified for both positions: as a proofreader/editor and a P.I. (that’s detective lingo for “private investigator,” you should know). Editors are natural sleuths: we root out the grammatical miscreants and other issues and set everything straight in many writers’ articles as a matter of course. It comes naturally to me — an all-round sleuth.

So, I’m just waiting for Maggie to make the sign — she is quite skilled in arts and crafts, and maybe we could sell some of her paper tole art and other creations, too. Heck, the business opportunities are endless: A detective/proofreading/arts & crafts agency. Three in one: Hire us to solve your mysteries, and we’ll proofread your manuscripts and sell you some beautiful art works, too!

A lightbulb moment: If our beefsteak tomato plants and cotton plants produce a lot, we can sell tomatoes and cotton to our customers, too!

And I’ve been thinking about buying some coffee plant seeds . . . mmmm . . . fresh coffee for our customers, too!

OK, we don’t want to over-diversify here. After all, there are mysteries to be solved, bodies to be recovered, miscreants to be brought to justice.

And trying to get all that we offer onto one sign could be problematic: we’d need a really big sign.

Let’s see now . . .

Lac Pilon Detective and Proofreading and Art Works Agency: Got a mystery that needs solving? A manuscript that needs editing? Empty wall space that needs decorating? Call the Drew sisters!

We’ll hold back on the tomatoes and cotton until they come see us in the office.

But, hey, the coffee’s on us!

— Jillian

P.S. This was meant to be a piece about good cozy mysteries that are lacking the final touch: a good proofreading by an experienced editor. I decided to have some fun with it, but, yes, indeed, Maggie and I have been watching the Nancy Drew series and at least one of us (clue: not Maggie) has been musing about starting the Lac Pilon Detective Agency . . . Stay tuned . . . (winks).