You, Too, Can Be A Casting Director—and a Giveaway!

Rosemary Harris was born in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut.  After several careers in book retailing, direct marketing, and television, she traded in her pumps for a pair of plastic garden clogs to indulge in her favorite pastime.

During her brief retirement, a small item in the New York Times about a mummified body piqued her interest. Subsequent research led to a new passion and her first book, the Anthony and Agatha-nominated Pushing Up Daisies. Other books in the series include The Big Dirt Nap , which takes place in a Connecticut casino, Dead Head, the story of a nice suburban lady who just happens to be a fugitive, and Slugfest , set at a legendary flower show where more than just the plants are dying.

Rosemary is past president of MWA/NY and  SINC New England. With the help of many generous friends in the publishing industry, she and her husband have built a library in central Tanzania. Please visit her at and Like her on facebook at .


You’ll have a chance to win a copy of Slugfest at the end of this post.

Early reports say that Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher is – gasp – good! Very good. Now maybe the endless re-hashing of who should have portrayed Lee Child’s hero will cease (Liam Neeson was a recent favorite at a Bouchercon panel, but my personal casting choice was Viggo Mortensen. To each his own.)

It’s always hard to see the physical embodiment of a favorite character, particularly if you disagree with a filmmaker’s choice. At a library talk I gave about a year ago in New Haven, Connecticut, I asked the attendees who they thought should play one of the recurring characters in my Dirty Business mystery series. The character is Babe Chinnery, a former rock and roller who owns the diner where my amateur sleuth hangs out. I was stunned. The responses ranged from Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon (predictable) to Pam Grier and Queen Latifah (less predictable.) It should be noted that I never mention the character’s race, so hey, I guess she could be anything at this point.

Maybe one day when they remake the Reacher film people will say “how can anyone other than Tom Cruise be Reacher??” The same way I still have trouble accepting anyone other than Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. And Ian Carmichael as Peter Wimsey.

But let’s pretend we’re casting directors for these classic mysteries (which I hope they NEVER remake, but inevitably someone will. They’ve already messed with Mildred Pierce.)

Who would you cast in –

Double Indemnity – Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) and Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray.)

The Postman Always Rings Twice – Cora Papadakis (Lana Turner/Jessica Lange) and Frank Chambers ( John Garfield/Jack Nicholson)

Body Heat – Maddie Walker (Kathleen Turner) and Ned Racine (William Hurt)


The most inspired casting choices will win a copy of

Rosemary’s latest mystery, Slugfest. Rosemary will draw

the winning name Tuesday evening and it will be announced

on Wednesday, October 31st. If Frankenstorm aka Sandy

interferes with our best-laid plans, the drawing and/or

announcement will take place as soon as possible thereafter.