Penelope Summers, Master Gardener and Sleuth

First of all, I have to con­fess that I’m a fig­ment of John Gordon’s imag­i­na­tion. But I’ve got­ten over that. You prob­a­bly can, too.

My busi­ness card reads “Pene­lope Sum­mers, Own­er, Sum­mers Breeze Gar­den­ing, Annapo­lis Mary­land, Mas­ter Gar­den­er, Sleuth, Sto­ry­teller.

I’m actu­al­ly all of those. I grew up in Annapo­lis, Mary­land, the daugh­ter of Cur­tis and Evan. That’s short for Evan­ge­line, though I can­not imag­ine my Grand­moth­er nam­ing any­one Evan­ge­line. Dad taught his­to­ry to mid­ship­men (the term includes those you might imag­ine would be called ‘mid­ship­women,’ but, trust me on this, there are no mid­ship­women.). He pro­fessed at the Naval Acad­e­my for about twen­ty-five years before he retired and moved to a pri­vate island com­mu­ni­ty north of Nap­town. We don’t talk much. Mom ran away with a hip­pie when I was ten to live in a com­mune some­where, and to this day, nei­ther Dad or I, or my broth­er Spencer, who’s a physi­cian in Bal­ti­more, know her where­abouts. Under­stand, I’m per­mit­ted to call Annapo­lis Nap­town since I grad­u­at­ed from the U.S. Naval Acad­e­my back in 2000.

U.S. Naval Acad­e­my noon for­ma­tion

USNA noon formation-cropped

Grow­ing up with­out a moth­er has undoubt­ed­ly con­tributed to my per­son­al­i­ty. But I’m unable to see myself as oth­ers see me except to know that I don’t suf­fer fools glad­ly or any oth­er way. My dad helped arrange my appoint­ment to the Naval Acad­e­my. (Thanks Dad!) After six years in uni­form as a pub­lic affairs offi­cer, most­ly on the air­craft car­ri­er Enter­prise dur­ing Iraqi Free­dom, and after my fiancé dumped me for a high school friend of mine who wasn’t on a Navy ship half a world from him, I left the Navy. I hung my lieutenant’s uni­form in the back of my clos­et and went to work for a PR firm here in Nap­town. That was almost four years ago. Since tak­ing Mas­ter Gar­den­er train­ing last year, I’ve decid­ed that pub­lic rela­tions doesn’t help the world go round and prob­a­bly hin­ders it.

That’s what led to my start­ing a part-time busi­ness: Sum­mers Breeze Gar­den­ing. I’m devel­op­ing my skills as a gar­den­er and gar­den design­er. And think­ing about get­ting a land­scape archi­tect degree at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land. Prob­a­bly in their two-year mas­ters pro­gram.

The last thing I should tell you is that I had the mis­for­tune on my first gar­den­ing job to find a friend dead in a gar­den pond. I had the dick­ens of a time fig­ur­ing out who­dun­nit. The local police depart­ment, I has­ten to add, still haven’t fig­ured it out. And I hope they nev­er do. You can read my ver­sion of what hap­pened in KATELYN’S KILLER. Actu­al­ly, what I’d sug­gest is that you leave your name and email address in the Com­ment Box below so we can con­tact you when the book is avail­able. Thanks!

N.B. In case you missed my dis­claimer at the top of the page, I’m actu­al­ly a fig­ment of John Gordon’s imag­i­na­tion.


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