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A Special Woman

Friday - 07/16/2021 — Four weeks ago I said my final goodbye to a dear friend. I met Jaclyn Weldon White almost two decades ago when we sat at adjoining tables at an author event. Between meeting fans and signing our books, we had a few precious moments to chat. Those few moments turned into years of deep connection.

Jackie was always gracious and always caring, although she had a sparkling wit and a well-honed ability to come up with a perfect rejoinder—something I’ve always lacked. As a former police officer, she’d seen the seamier side of life, and she used that knowledge to write the true-crime novels that began her writing career. She was completely unlimited, though, when it came to other creative endeavors. She grew herbs and wrote a book about them. She traveled the byways of Georgia and wrote a book about them. She loved mystery and wrote several books that revolved around mysterious happenings. She took a leaf from a sassafras tree in my front yard and created a silver pendant from it. She had cats and loved dogs, photographed them frequently, and created delightfully wry greeting cards with those photographs.

On top of all this, Jackie was a songwriter. When I read her the first chapter of A Wee Murder in My Shop, the opening book of my ScotShop trilogy, in which the main character finds her almost-fiancé in a compromising situation, she wrote “Just Kill Him, Girl.” Playing her guitar as accompaniment, she made a CD of the song and gave it to me. The first verse goes like this:

It was the perfect romance. You dreamed that you’d be wed.

You believed your love would never end.

But then you found your perfect man laying up in bed

With your sneaky, trashy, used-to-be best friend.

Just kill him, girl. Put a bullet through his brain.

Put a knife through his cheatin’ heart and he won’t cheat again.

A little arsenic in his coffee, that’ll make him pay.

Get some women on your jury, and you won’t serve a day.

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That's a beautiful tribute to Jackie. I picked up Sidetracks at the library yesterday.

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