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Meet Heather Weidner & Her Characters

November 13, 2017

Heather WeidnerMeet the Characters in the Delanie Fitzgerald Mystery Series

Thank you so much for letting me visit today. I write mystery novels and short stories. Secret Lives and Private Eyes is my debut Delanie Fitzgerald mystery, and the second book in the series, The Tulip Shirt Murders, launches in mid-November 2017. These are both traditional mysteries with a strong, female sleuth. Delanie Fitzgerald is a private investigator who lives in Central Virginia.

I always liked Dave Letterman’s “Top 10 Lists,” so here ten things about each of my main characters that I’d like readers to know.

Delanie Fitzgerald, Private Investigator

  1. Delanie is a redhead like 1-2% of the human population. She has grit, determination, and a spunky spirit. In The Tulip Shirt Murders, she’s exposed to larping (live action role playing) and trading elbow jabs with some roller derby queens.
  2. She drives a Mustang, and she calls it “Black Beauty.”
  3. My private investigator graduated from VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University) with a degree in business.
  4. She lives in a Sears catalog home from 1939. Back then, people ordered kits from the catalog, and all the pieces arrived by rail, ready to assemble. Hers is the Yates model. Many of the boards in her bungalow still have the Sears catalog number stamped on them.
  5. One of Delanie’s guilty pleasures is her junk food habit. She also orders a lot of take-out from the nearby restaurants. Her favorite drink is iced coffee, and her go-to treat is always chocolate.
  6. When she’s not sleuthing or trailing a suspect, she likes to stay home in her comfy jammies and watch reality TV.
  1. Though she prefers the comfort of jeans and T-shirts, Delanie has a wardrobe full of outfits and shoes to create just the right look when she’s sleuthing.
  2. Delanie has two older brothers. Steve is a Chesterfield County police lieutenant, and Robbie is a bouncer at a club in downtown Richmond.
  3. She used her share of the money from her father’s estate to open Falcon Investigations. Delanie chose the name for her company in honor of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.
  4. Her two best friends are Paisley Ford, a hair stylist, and Robin Kirby, the owner of Butterfly Blue, a store that showcases her refurbished and upcycled furniture.

Duncan Reynolds, Private Investigator and Computer Hacker

  1. Duncan Reynolds is a computer guru (and hacker). He also does web design and computer work on the side when he’s not investigating with Delanie.
  2. Duncan is shy around strangers, but he’s a whiz at making computers cough up information.
  3. Duncan’s sidekick is English bulldog, Margaret.
  4. He and Delanie have been friends since college.
  5. He drives a Tweety bird yellow Camaro.
  6. Duncan has regular standing video game nights, and he doesn’t like being interrupted.
  7. Duncan is a good cook, and he is amazed that Delanie’s refrigerator is always sparsely filled.
  8. He loves comicons and other pop culture conventions.
  9. He meets Evie Hachey at RVACon, and they continue to date in The Tulip Shirt Murders.
  10. He prefers jeans and t-shirts and shuns events and occasions that call for fancier clothes.

 Margaret the English Bulldog

  1. Margaret is a brown and white English bulldog who is a “log with legs.”
  2. She’s fiercely loyal to her guy, Duncan.
  3. Margaret goes almost everywhere with Duncan.
  4. She’s also known as the “slobber queen.”
  5. She likes junk food too, and her favorites are cheeseburgers, soft tacos, and pizza bones (crusts).
  6. She loves warm blankets and soft beds.
  7. The most energy she expends is scarfing treats and following Duncan around.
  8. Margaret likes to conserve energy. She’ll nap just about anywhere. But she does get involved in a chase scene at a flea market in The Tulip Shirt Murders.
  9. She loves to ride shot-gun in Duncan’s Camaro.
  10. Margaret is queen of the office.

 Chaz Smith

  1. Charles Wellington Smith, III, (Chaz) is a local strip club owner who hires Delanie’s firm to find some dirt on the mayor in Secret Lives and Private Eyes.
  2. He is the only child of a well-to-do banker.
  3. Chaz owns the Treasure Chest, a strip club, in downtown Richmond.
  4. He fancies himself part of the hipster generation, even though he’s aged out of that demographic.
  5. Despite his sleazy behavior and bad table manners, he always pays in cash, and he’s one of Delanie’s best customers.
  6. He drives a Hummer around Richmond with advertising on it for his gentleman’s club.
  7. Chaz has a posh townhouse in the Church Hill neighborhood with a perfect view of the James River.
  8. He catsits for his elderly neighbor.
  9. His right-hand-man is Marco, who serves as head of security and a bouncer for the Treasure Chest.
  10. The Treasure Chest is located in a part of downtown where Edgar Allan Poe used to work.

Book Synopses

Secret Lives and Private Eyes – Business has been slow for Private Investigator Delanie secret lives private eyes cover - webFitzgerald, but her luck seems to change when a tell-all author hires her to find rock star Johnny Velvet. Could the singer—whose career purportedly ended in a fiery crash almost thirty years ago—still be alive?

As if sifting through dead ends in a cold case isn’t bad enough, Delanie is hired by loud-mouth strip club owner Chaz Wellington Smith, III, to uncover information about the mayor’s secret life. When the mayor is murdered, Chaz becomes the key suspect, and Delanie must clear his name. She also has to figure out why a landscaper keeps popping up in her other investigation. Can the private investigator find the connection between the two cases before another murder—possibly her own—takes place?

TheTulipShirtMurdersFinalThe Tulip Shirt Murders – Private investigator Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in The Tulip Shirt Murders. When a local music producer hires the duo to find out who is bootlegging his artists’ CDs, Delanie uncovers more than just copyright thieves. And if chasing bootleggers isn’t bad enough, local strip club owner and resident sleaze, Chaz Smith, pops back into Delanie’s life with more requests. The police have their man in a gruesome murder, but the loud-mouthed strip club owner thinks there is more to the open and shut case. Delanie and Duncan link a series of killings with no common threads. And they must put the rest of the missing pieces together before someone else is murdered.

Author Biography

Heather Weidner’s short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series and 50 Shades of Cabernet. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, Lethal Ladies Write, and James River Writers. The Tulip Shirt Murders is her second novel in her Delanie Fitzgerald series.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.

Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan College and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She blogs regularly with the Lethal Ladies and Pens, Paws, and Claws.

Contact Information

Website and Blog:





Amazon Authors:



Thanks, Heather, for stopping by and introducing readers of Birth of a Novel to your characters. They sound like a fascinating bunch. I look forward to getting to know them.




4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2017 8:18 PM

    I love your lists, Heather!

    • November 14, 2017 10:18 PM

      Agree, Sherry. They really make you want to read the book and spend time with these people. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Charles Wendt permalink
    November 14, 2017 10:18 AM

    Heather–love the new cover! Wishing you a very successful launch! Charles

    • November 14, 2017 10:19 PM

      The cover is nice. Just enough detail in the background, but the essential info easy to spot. Thanks for adding your two cents.

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