Meet Veronica’s Best Friend

Is spring in the air where you live? It showed up in my corner of the world this week with bright sunshine, warm temperatures, and landscapers beginning their yard cleanup. Yesterday I spotted the first flowers of the season: clusters of beautiful crocuses in purple and yellow outside my local library. The blossoms inspired me to have a “chat” with an important character in the Veronica Walsh mystery series: Carol Emerson, Veronica’s best friend.

What is your occupation, Carol? I’m the happy owner of Emerson florist, the only flower shop in Barton, NY. We’re located on Orchard Street, a block up from All Things, Veronica’s boutique. I opened the business fifteen years ago after working for a wholesale florist.

Tell us about your family. I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart, Patrick, for thirty years. We have two terrific children, Bridget and Michael. Patrick is a science teacher and baseball coach at Barton High School.

How did you and Veronica meet and how long have you been friends? We met in kindergarten x number of years ago. Her cubby was next to mine. Veronica gave me a hug when I cried the first day of school when my mother left the classroom. I reciprocated by letting her use the pink crayon at the coloring table. We’ve been best pals ever since.

Tell us something about Veronica her soap fans don’t know. She plays weekly in a six-hand canasta game.

I understand you’ve been an extra on Veronica’s soap opera. A few times! I’ve played a guest at three of Veronica’s character’s weddings. My husband and I were extras in a restaurant scene where Veronica’s character and her arch rival got into a huge fight. It was spectacular! Being on the set, getting this fantastic behind-the-scenes look, gave me an appreciation for how hard actors work to make a great show.

What do you think of Veronica’s amateur sleuthing? I think Veronica needs to be very careful. I’m used to having my friend back home in Barton. She’s already had one close call with a killer. Murderers tend not to want to be exposed.

Do you help Veronica in her sleuthing? I give her emotional support and act as a sounding board for her theories. That’s as far as I go.

How often do you see Veronica? She’s a frequent visitor to my shop. Veronica likes to engage in what she calls floral therapy. She walks around and sniffs the flowers, but she never buys anything. I’ll have to talk with her about that.

What’s your favorite flower? I can’t pick one! My favorites change by season and mood. I do love flowers with a strong fragrance, like lilacs, peonies, and gardenias.

How do I keep tulips from drooping? Leave them in their wrapping overnight and put them in cold water in a tall, slim vase. Remember to cut the stems at an angle, under water, and remove leaves that are below the water line.

Have a great week, everyone. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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