Introducing Sarah Rubottom: Murder at the Book Group’s English Teacher

Sarah Rubottom is a retired English teacher and member of the Murder on Tour book group who takes authors to task for poor writing. And don’t get her started on typos. Berkeley-educated, she transitioned from a sixties-era hippie to a moderate conservative Agnostic who frequently spars with Helen Adams, who sits further to the right on the political spectrum. Much further. Why did Sarah make a political about face? I don’t enlighten my readers of Murder at the Book Group—sorry about that. If Sarah turns out to be Carlene Arness’ killer, the reason may never be revealed. If she stays out of the big house, there’s a chance that it will all come out in Book 2.

Sarah’s husband Den is a paraplegic, courtesy of his service in the Vietnam conflict, and loves women. All women. Sarah does not appreciate the admiring looks he openly bestows on any woman he sees. When Hazel Rose observes this interplay between the couple she wonders if Carlene Arness and Den had an affair, making Sarah a possible suspect in Carlene’s death by poisoning. Hazel isn’t sure what sexual activities Den can manage, but feels sure he can manage something. Plus Carlene was one adventurous woman. Hazel, an aspiring writer, makes a mental note to create a paraplegic Don Juan character to liven up the Baby Boomer romance she’s penning.

Back to Sarah as a suspect: she had plenty of opportunity to sprinkle cyanide in Carlene’s tea. After all, it only takes seconds. It isn’t clear how she obtained cyanide but motive can supply means. So she satisfied all the aspects of the motive-means-opportunity triad.

But did she kill Carlene?

Do you know anyone like Sarah?

If the turbulent sixties weren’t before your time how did you experience the era?

How did I come up with the name Rubottom? See my previous blog on character names here.



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