Kathy Herman’s second Secrets of Roux River Bayou mystery, Dangerous Mercy, is available now from David C Cook.
Adele Woodmore has sold her estate and moved to Les Barbes, in order to be close to Zoe, Pierce, and little Grace. She befriends two men from a local halfway house after she hires them to do odd jobs, hoping to help them get back on their feet.But when three wealthy CEOs are drowned in the bathtub and their safes robbed, everyone in town is on edge. Adele’s friends insist she should just stay away from the men at the halfway house. She doesn’t. Eventually, her housekeeper quits, telling Adele that her association with those men is dangerous mercy, and that she can’t be a part of it.
Adele is smart enough to do her homework. She hires a PI to find out whether there’s anything in either man’s background she should worry about. Neither has a record. And nothing in the report gives her pause except the inordinate number of tragedies both men have endured.So what is there to worry about?
Enjoy meeting my oldest spotlighted character, Adele ~ thanks Kathy!
Brief physical description
Adele Woodmore is eighty-six. White-haired. Peachy cheeks. Faded blue eyes. Classy looking (typical Southern belle). Usually wears dresses.
Adele appears on the cover of Dangerous Mercy (attached). Though she isn’t as petite in stature as Jessica Tandy, her personality reminds me of her. I could see Jessica Tandy playing Adele if the story were turned into a movie.
Strengths and weaknesses
Adele’s a no-nonsense person who gets directly to the point and wears her honesty on her sleeve. She forthright, but not rude. She’s good at reading people and tends to give everyone the benefit of the doubt unless they give her reason not to. She makes up her own mind about a person’s character and resists the temptation to engage in gossip. She’s sold out to Christ, and anyone who knows her for any length of time has no doubt that she takes her faith seriously and puts God first. Adele is a very strong individual. Sure of herself. Generous. If she has any weakness it’s getting ahead of God in her desire to reach out to those less fortunate.
Quirk (if any)
Adele calls everyone, “hon.” And when she’s moved by something, she puts her hand on her heart and exclaims, “Oh my,” or “Goodness …” She’s also been known to giggle like a school girl.
Your inspiration for the character
I needed a protagonist who was gutsy enough to really love her neighbor as herself. Usually older believers seem more willing to take chances since the bulk of their life is behind them and they want every moment they have left to truly matter.
Background to the story
Adele Woodmore, a wealthy 86-year-old woman sold her huge estate in Alexandria, Louisiana and moved to the quaint tourist town of Les Barbes, Louisiana to be closer to her godchild, Grace Brossard (2). Zoe Broussard, Grace’s mother, once worked as part of Adele’s household staff and stole a valuable ring from Adele, then fooled police and Adele into thinking she was innocent. Zoe later sold the ring and moved to Les Barbes, using the money to start up Zoe B’s Cajun Eatery. Ten years later (book one, False Pretenses), Zoe went back and confessed everything to Adele and offered to pay her a thousand dollars a month for thirty months to square the debt. When it came time to sign the repayment papers, Adele informed Zoe and her husband, Pierce, that she had decided to forgive the thirty thousand dollars—and had also paid off the mortgage on their building. Adele’s reason for doing it was simple: it was grace. Zoe and Pierce were overwhelmed at such a generous act, and Adele eventually confided in them about her own past. How she had lost a child when she was eight months pregnant, had never been able to conceive again, and had never forgiven God. In the aftermath of grief, Adele was bitter and mean, taking her spite out on her hired help. Adele’s husband had to pay their employees ridiculous salaries, just to stay and put up with Adele’s mistreatment. After Adele’s husband died, in her desperation, she accepted Christ and her perspective began to change. She went back to all the people she’d hurt and asked forgiveness. Some forgave her. Others didn’t. But she promised God that she would extend grace to all those who crossed her path. God had forgiven her so much. She didn’t see how she could do less. Adele’s act of grace turned out to be the catalyst for a deep and lasting friendship, and the Broussards named their firstborn daughter Grace—as a reminder of Adele’s (and God’s) kindness to them.
Soon after that (book two, Dangerous Mercy) Adele moves to Les Barbes to be closer to the Broussards, who have become like family. Father Vince from Haven House, a halfway house for homeless men, asks Adele if she would consider hiring Murray Hamlin and Noah Washington to do odd jobs around her place. Adele is only too glad to reach out. It’s a joy any time she can show the love of God to someone new. She hires the two men on numerous occasions and soon invites them to her kitchen table for refreshments and conversation, treating them more like friends than hired help. One of them becomes a person of interest in the killing of a resident of Haven House. All Adele’s close friends, including Zoe and Pierce and Isabel Morand, who works for her, caution her about befriending these strangers, since she really knows nothing at all about them. Isabel finally quits, telling Adele that her association with these men is dangerous mercy. Adele quietly does a background check on the two men and finds nothing that should concern her. So what is there to worry about?
Thanks for sharing about Adele, Kathy
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