Novella Premise: Working Title – Murder by Legging

Staci, a thirty-whatever-year old mom of twins, decides that she would like to find some sort of passive income source in order to pay for some extra super fun activities for her children, such as lavish photo shoots for a variety of minor holidays and karate, and she also suspects that purchasing a Labrador retriever will elevate her family’s status in the small California suburb in which she lives. A chocolate brown one, to be exact.

One afternoon, as Staci waits on line in a coffee shop for her pumpkin-something-or-other coffee drink, she has a chance encounter with Brittani, a girl with whom she’d attended high school but to whom she has never actually spoken. Brittani, fully clad in a hoodie and leggings that look like they could possibly double as bowling alley carpet, launches into a diatribe about how she, coincidentally, has been able to pay for the very photo shoots and karate sessions that Staci longs for. She doesn’t mention a dog, but Staci is undeterred; she learns that Brittani is able to afford her lavish lifestyle of photography and martial arts for toddlers via the mystical world of multi-level marketing; more specifically, she explains that she is an independent retailer for a clothing company called PooliePoo. Well, Staci is simply entranced by Brittani’s speech and signs up as part of Brittani’s down line, full of expectation and anticipation about the wonders that await her.

After several months and many, many thousands of dollars, Staci begins to have an inkling that PooliePoo is not solely a clothing company, and she begins to uncover a hidden cult of horrors, full of deception, con-artistry and even murder – yes, I said it, murder. Murder by leggings. When Staci wins a trip to the warehouse to handpick her god-awful inventory, she accidentally stumbles upon a crime scene – the body of an unknown woman is found gagged, with leggings, and buried, in leggings, in a shallow grave, and then covered with leggings.

Staci, afraid to alert the authorities after finding, in her hotel room, what appears to be a poorly written threatening note in the style of a ransom letter, you know, with all of those cut out magazine letters in it, appeals to Brittani about what she’s seen, but instead of demonstrating horror at the prospect of a legging-centric murder, Brittani appears to be part of a massive cover up that involves the binding and gagging, literally and figuratively, of anyone who dares question the motives and antics of the company.

But who has committed the murder? And who is the Jane Doe who has been unceremoniously buried in yards and yards of grotesque fabric? When Inspector Mifkin of the Bakersfield PD is tipped off about the crime by an anonymous source, he must interview each suspect one by one until he uncovers, Scoobie-Doo style, just how deep the waters of the PooliePoo cult run. And what rough and rip-tide-y waters they turn out to be.

Is it Brittani herself, who bleeds PooliePoo damask and plaid, and who will go to any length to hide the ills of her mentors?

Is it Tami, the owner’s daughter-in-law, who hopes to run the company one day herself and overhaul the patters of the leggings so that they resemble more of a roller rink carpet as opposed to a bowling alley one?

Is it Brandi, second in command at PooliePoo who hopes to, one by one, destroy dissenting retailers, so that they might take over the entire garment industry in the United States… and perhaps even the world… and perhaps even the universe?

Is it Jessi, who maybe just didn’t like the bitch who they found murdered?

Is it Staci, who, unbeknownst to herself, has been hypnotized and used as a pawn of the cult to do their bidding, I mean, used as a pawn of the company to do their bidding?

Is it Kristi, the owner of the company, who is concerned that the money in her offshore accounts might be seized by the government somehow, and is annoyed at herself that she didn’t properly learn how to launder money even after watching Ozark twice through, and so she kills an unsuspecting woman just to get out some of her aggression?

Will Inspector Mifkin get to the bottom of the crime, or will he be bought off – or worse – while he tries to decipher just how and why so many women have been brainwashed by the very notion that it might be a good idea to wear a giant ice cream cone, or perhaps pumpkins or Christmas Trees, splayed across their rear in tight ass pants? And will Staci be able to pay for those karate lessons?

2 thoughts on “Novella Premise: Working Title – Murder by Legging

  1. savagenovels

    This looks like a fun premise with a cozy mystery feel. I love your sense of humour and your “voice.” The cult / MLM aspect is the most interesting part to me. I think it’s also very topical. Hope the writing goes well. Good luck.


  2. Mark Lew

    You forgot to mention it’s based on real events—The Bakersfield Yoga Pants Murders. I didn’t know that information had been made public… or are you part of that clandestine Deep Cover Whistleblower Society? Hmm…



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