A Hot Flash of Homicide takes place in the fictional Florida town of Flamingo Cove. The city is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, between Tampa and the Withlacoochee State Forest.
Flamingo Cove is home to the Ward family. Four generations of cops.
Wysdom Ward is our heroine. She just turned 40 and found out she’s come down with an incurable case of peri-menopause. Plus, this Flaming Cove Police Sergeant may never make detective because of a rookie mistake, her low arrest record, and the burning desire to punch her ex-husband in the face. It’s only a problem when the ex is your boss. Wysdom is tall with short, fire-engine-red hair, sharp blue eyes, and the burning desire to throat punch the next man to tell her to “calm down.” Perimenopausal Irritation is real y’all.
Wyatt “Deuce” Ward, II is the Flamingo Cove Police Department’s Chief. He’s 62 years old and married to Denise, 55, often referred to as Wysdom’s “Bonus Mom.” Wysdom’s biological mom died when she was six years old, and Deuce married Denise when Wys was eight. Denise didn’t like the phrase stepmother and wanted Wysdom to think of her as a “Bonus” mom. The term stuck. Wysdom calls Deuce “Chief Dad.”
Wyatt “Tripp” Ward, III is Deuce and Denise’s son, and Wysdom’s middle brother. He’s 30 years old and can be a bit of a robotic tool without even realizing it. His saving grace is Hope Archer, Tripp’s 30-year-old pregnant fiancee. They’ve been perpetually engaged for seven years because Hope wanted to make sure things would work out before committing.
Wynn Ward is the youngest son of Denise and Deuce and the pride and joy of the Ward family. This brown-haired, green-eyed 28-year-old just made detective in the Flamingo Cove Police Department and can have his share of “badge bunnies” – women who throw themselves at cops. He believes in making sure he’s sown his wild oats before settling down with one woman.
Dixon “Dix” Abreo is Wysdom’s Uncle. The 65-year-old is built like a fireplug at 5’9″ tall with a gray flat top and sharp blue eyes. Dixon and Deuce were police partners until Deuce married Dixon’s sister (Deuce’s first wife), and they couldn’t be partners anymore. When Deuce became Police Chief of Flamingo Cove, Dix retired and bought The Squad Room cop bar. It’s known for its five-minute express lunches for police officers, professional drinkers, and rickety bar stools. You’ll often see Dixon sporting a wacky t-shirt with sayings like Zero Ducks Given. Damn Autocorrect.
Other players in Flamingo Cove:
Lucio “Luke” Saber, a.k.a. Luke Nelson, a.k.a. God Among Men, is Wysdom’s love interest. Their first date is on her 40th birthday, where he agrees to be her birthday present, no questions asked. After too much Champagne and chocolate, they have a sleepover that Wysdom can’t remember. Her humiliation is complete the next day when she does the run of shame away from the God Among Men’s house. It might have ended there if he hadn’t become the number one suspect in the murder of a local artist. Luke is a former Marine who runs a secretive military contracting and security company.
Jake “Sol” Solomon, 42, black hair and blue eyes. Sol is the proprietor of Belissimo Italian Restaurant in Downtown Flamingo Cove. He’s also a former Marine who served with Luke and sometimes works with his best friend at the secretive military contracting company.
Dr. Faith Jackson, 38-years-old with blue eyes and a round face surrounded by blonde curls. She looks like a cherub but has a demon streak a mile wide. Faith is the regional medical examiner and loves nothing more than shoving meat thermometers into cadavers and giving high school students excruciating details of autopsies when they visit for Career Day. Wysdom and Faith bonded over their “weird” first names when Faith was new on the job.
Lou Martel, a.k.a. “Midnight Louise,” a 6’7″ tall drag queen and Midnight Louise’s Drag Show Emporium owner. Lou earned the Heismann Trophy during his SEC Championship days at the University of Florida as a Gator linebacker. He may be fabulous in his Dolly Parton persona, but by day he’s just the humble husband of Tatiana Martel, a pocket-sized hacker who once got in trouble for changing the grades in her professional ethics class.
Kate “The Snake” Sweeney. The 58-year-old is one of the three police captains in the Flamingo Cove PD who keep passing over Wysdom for promotion. Wysdom swears the room gets 20 degrees colder when Kate enters and lulls you into a false sense of security with her reptilian green eyes.
Bodie Davis, 30 years old and looks like a young Taye Diggs. He’s an officer with the Flamingo Cove PD and Wysdom Ward’s partner at the beginning of A Hot Flash of Homicide. Bodie was the quarterback on the same Gator Football team with Lou Martel. Bodie came out as omnisexual because “you can’t just limit this fabulousness to one gender.” His fashion sense is second-to-none and is often seen sporting a pair of thousand dollar shoes with red soles.
Kirk Chamberlain, Wysdom Ward’s ex-husband and current Lieutenant in A Hot Flash of Homicide. He irritates the stuffing out of his ex-wife, like calling her “Firecracker” – a nickname that refers to her lady parts. He does it one time too many, and she punches him in the face for it. Extenuating circumstances meant Wysdom didn’t get fired.
Celia Cruz, a Goddess Among Men, and Luke’s sister. She’s the second-oldest of his four older sisters. She’s 5’4″, has cinnamon brown hair that is always perfect, and liquid brown eyes that make her look more like a swimsuit model than a federal agent with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Somehow she manages to wear white suits and not get a single stain on them. And she talks like she moonlights as a phone sex operator.