Patricia Gligor interviews Olivia Berger
Patricia: Olivia, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Olivia: Well, Patricia, I’m seventy-nine years old. I own the old Victorian in Westwood that was built by my great-grandfather back in 1863. I’m confined to a wheelchair and have been since my accident. I’ve lived in the house all my life and I’ve seen a lot from my second floor windows. I’ve watched the neighborhood and the people change. I rent out the first floor apartment and I’ve had some interesting tenants through the years.
Patricia: I hate to bring up what must be a painful subject but would you please tell us about your accident?
Olivia: Actually, I think about it a lot. I try not to dwell on the negative aspects because I’m basically an optimistic person. I guess you could say I’m an optimistic realist. What happened, happened. You see, when I was seventeen, I was madly in love with a handsome young man named Jeremy. My father, who was a wonderful man but a strict, stubborn German, didn’t approve of Jeremy so I had to sneak out my bedroom window to meet him. We used to meet under the old Osage orange tree behind the house. Anyway, the night of the accident I planned to tell Jeremy that I was pregnant with his child. It was so cold that night and raining. As I made my way down the fire escape, I slipped on the icy rungs and fell. By the grace of God, my baby survived but the doctors said I would never walk again.
Patricia: I’m so sorry, Olivia. Were you ever able to contact Jeremy?
Olivia: J I’m afraid I can’t answer that question, Patricia, because to do so would give away too much of the plot in the Malone mystery series novels.
Patricia: I appreciate that. So, you mentioned that you’ve had some interesting tenants. I understand that Ann and David Kern and their two children, Danielle and Davey, currently live downstairs. Can you tell me a little bit about them?
Olivia: I adore Ann and the children. It’s so good to hear the sound of children laughing in the house. And, David, well, David is a good man but he has a problem with alcohol. I don’t mean to eavesdrop but sometimes I hear them arguing through the heat vent and it saddens me. I truly hope he straightens himself out.
Patricia: I do too. Tell me a little bit about your son. I understand he lives with you.
Olivia: Oh, yes. I thank God for Lawrence every day. He does all of the things around here that I’m not able to do and he never complains. He’s a wonderful son. But I feel so bad for him because he was born with albinism. His skin and eyes are so sensitive to light that he’s never really had a normal life. My fervent prayer is that he finds a woman to love who will love him because when I’m gone, although he’ll inherit everything including the house, he’ll be all alone.
Patricia: I’ll pray for that too, Olivia. I have one last thing I’d like to ask you. You told me that you’ve seen a lot of changes in your neighborhood over the years. What do you think about the recent reports of the Westwood Strangler?
Olivia: Oh, my! It’s truly terrifying! Everyone’s afraid to go out alone and afraid to stay home alone too. I sure hope the police find out who it is soon. I’m so fortunate to have Lawrence and a loaded thirty-eight caliber revolver. J
Patricia: Good for you! I’m a gun person myself. I’d like to thank you for spending this time with us today. It has been a pleasure.
Olivia: No, dear. The pleasure was all mine. When you reach my age, you don’t have all that many people you can talk to.
Patricia Gligor is a Cincinnati native. She enjoys reading mystery/suspense novels, touring and photographing old houses and traveling, especially to the ocean. Mixed Messages, the first novel in her Malone Mystery Series, was published in April 2012 by Post Mortem Press. Unfinished Business is the second novel in the series.
The Westwood Strangler is dead. Or so everyone believes.
Ann Kern is busy preparing for her favorite holiday. She’s especially looking forward to her sister’s annual Christmas visit. But, several things threaten to ruin her festive mood.
The National Weather Service issues a severe winter storm warning for the Cincinnati area, predicting blizzard conditions, and Ann worries that her sister and her new boyfriend won’t be able to make the drive from South Carolina.
Then, a woman is found strangled in Ann’s neighborhood and everyone, including the police, assumes it’s the work of a copycat killer. However, when two more women are murdered in their homes, the police announce their conviction that the Westwood Strangler is responsible.
When Ann hears the news, the sense of safety and security she’s worked so hard to recapture since her attack on Halloween night, shatters. If the intruder who died in her apartment wasn’t the Westwood Strangler, who is? And, who will be the next victim?
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At the end of the blog tour, I will be giving away one copy of Unfinished Business, the second novel in my Malone mystery series. Leave a comment and you’re automatically entered to win. Please include your email address with your comment so that, if your name is selected, I may contact you to get your mailing address. The winner will be announced on my blog: http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com/ on December 11. Best of luck!