A former resident of New Orleans, Sophie Dunbar wrote her Eclaire mystery series set in that wonderfully exotic city and featuring Claire Claiborne, owner of Eclaire beauty salon. Her personal favorite in this series, Redneck Riviera, almost didn't get into print, rejected by her first publisher because the characters vacationed away from the Big Easy. Undaunted, Dunbar persisted, switching publishers, and Redneck Riviera made its appearance in spring 1998, albeit out of sequence.
And just to prove that persistence and the ability to solve mysteries runs in the family, Sophie's long-lost son located her after over thirty years apart. As a young boy growing up in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Chris Gardner determined that one day he would begin an investigation to locate his birth mother. But the only clue he had was the name of the adoption agency in New Orleans, where he was born. After extensive research, Chris teamed up with a woman detective who specialized in Louisiana adoptions. Finally, around Valentines Day of 1998, Chris and Sophie made contact. Sophie, who had often wondered about the baby boy she'd given up as a teenage unwed mother, was overjoyed. They met face-to-face at the 1998 Malice Domestic Mystery Conference in Washington, DC, an appropriate setting for the mystery-loving duo.
Unfortunately, Sophie died in 2001. She will be greatly missed.
|Behind Eclaire's Doors||Redneck Riviera||A Bad Hair Day||Shiveree||Fashion Victims|