The talkative parrot who shows up near the end of A Plain Vanilla Murder has developed his own personal following, it seems. Maybe you remember him from the book.
His name is Mr. Spock. China Bayles describes him as “a stunning green parrot with an orange beak and splashes of red and blue under his wings.” She doesn’t say so, but Spock appears to be an Eclectus parrot, a native of New Guinea.
A current resident at Mrs. Birkett’s house, Mr. Spock previously lived with a Star Trek fan, and has a quite remarkable vocabulary of Trekkie-inspired phrases, obviously gleaned from long hours of binge-watching. There’s Live long and prosper, of course. Logic is good, naturally (as well as a parrot-patter of rhyming words: logical, astrological, psychological, pathological). Set phasers to stun. And (inevitably) Make it so.
The problem: Mrs. Birkett finds Mr. Spock too noisy for her quiet little house, so Spock is looking for his forever home. Several of his fans have written to tell me they would love to adopt him, a couple of people suggested zoos that might be interested in acquiring a chatty parrot, and a pet-shop owner volunteered to give him a starring role in an online feature. Mr. Spock is grateful for all the attention (he had no idea he would was going to appear in a book). But he wants all his friends to know that Caitlin (China’s niece and adopted daughter) has claimed him. As you know, Caitie is dedicated to her own personal flock of chickens. It was easy for her to fall in love with a parrot.
So it was fun for me when I was writing yesterday (between frequent visits to the television to watch Congressional testimony in the case of the suppressed whistleblower complaint) to have another close encounter with Mr. Spock, this time at China’s house. It turns out that–in addition to the familiar Trekkie phrases–this parrot is also adept in Klingon curses. Who knew?
The project I’m currently working on is the second novella in the Pecan Springs Enterprise series, featuring Jessica Nelson, the newspaper’s intrepid crime reporter (scheduled for early 2020 publication). If you’re interested in the further adventures of Mr. Spock, you can catch up with him there. But since there’s been so much interest in his future, I thought you’d like to know that he has a new home, and a happy one.
Boldly go. Warp speed. Engage!