Minty fresh fix-o-mysteries

Caught a few segments of NPR's Crime in the City series interviewing mystery authors and the cities they know and love. Authors have laid claim to a huge range of locations, occupations, and avocations to reel in niche mystery readers: caterers, car-poolers, PTA moms, crossword puzzle addicts, genealogists, sled dog mushers, cat lovers, English teachers...

I've yet to see the beautiful dental hygienist (and amateur sleuth) with her latex gloves, sharp tools, and sharper wit, Floss Dailey, solve perilous periodontic puzzles. With a ghost writer and some technical advisors, I think we could milk this for twenty titles at least:

  • Root Canal in which Floss discovers the naughty inspiration for her husband's tooth whitening overdose.
  • Can You Feel This? Still numb from the divorce, Floss meets a cute neurologist and dreams of comfortable shoes.
  • Baby Teeth Floss's duplex neighbors have teething triplets.
  • Bite Down Please A "Shark Week" on cable t.v. inspires Floss to decorate the ceiling of her exam room with National Geographic shark pictures.
  • Keep Wiggling Floss's boss, The Great Gummy Bear, a rotund dental softy, finds his personal cause, founding No Baby Tooth Left Behind, to provide cute plastic containers for low income kids whose teeth fall out at school.
  • Canines & Molars Floss's ex, "The Glare," nicknamed for his serious overdose on tooth whitener and blazing inability to pay child support on time, gets a pit bull.
  • Brush Three Times Floss wins a hygienist's convention door prize, a vacation to Las Vegas to see Tony Orlando and Dawn.
  • Grit Your Teeth Floss accompanies her boss, The Great Gummy Bear to a dentists' convention in Atlanta.
  • Swish & Spit Floss becomes friends with a gay novacaine sales rep.
  • Overbite Floss starts selling her original line of hygienist scrubs on her website--in TRex, Arctic Wolf, Crocodile, Chained Pit Bull, Amazon Piranha, Shark, and Ankle-biter Toddler print fabrics, but finds she has no time left for her children.
  • No Cavities Floss's precocious preschool daughter becomes the star of a rainbow sparkle gel toothpaste ad campaign.
  • Panoramic X-Rays Floss cleans Tony Hillerman's teeth while taking a well-earned vacation across the American Southwest.
  • Waiting Room Fish Floss finds dentures buried in the aquarium gravel.
  • No Candy "The Glare" begs Floss to get back together so a sweet someone will pick up his suits from the dry cleaners.
  • A Little Sensitive Floss's best friend from high school, a sculptress working in conceptual orthodontic wire, is arrested in a gallery murder case.
  • Deep Pits Floss meets a mysterious informant when she calls the PayPal tech support 1-800 help number.
  • Gingivitis Floss's ex remarries, but not to Mary Ann.
  • Receding Gumshoes Floss cleans the teeth of a former police detective now suffering from Alzheimers.
  • Plaque Fights Back Receiving an award from the National Dental Fashion League starts Floss on a race to prevent copycat designs from flooding the scrub market.
  • Partial Plates Cleaning the teeth of a geologist leads to a seismic weekend in California with an underscoring tectonic romance. Carole King has signed to write the "I Feel the Earth Move Under My Teeth."
  • The Fluoride Treatment Floss has to deal with an unethical, scandal-mongering tv station when she solves her latest mystery.
  • Impacted Wisdom Floss communicates by a system of nods and blinks to help an elderly stroke victim solve a dental mystery.
  • Caps & Crowns Floss's sullen adolescent son graduates from high school.
  • Drilling for Gold Floss learns her ancestors filled cavities in the California Gold Rush and Texas Wildcat oil fields.
  • See You In Six Months Soon to be a major motion picture with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
  • I'll Love You for Efferdent A made-for-tv movie about high-school sweethearts who meet sixty years later in their dentist's waiting room.
© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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