KAREN C. WHALEN – Paralegal / Columnist / Mystery Author
Karen C. Whalen is the author of two mystery series for The Wild Rose Press: the Dinner Club Mysteries featuring Jane Marsh, an empty nester who hosts a gourmet dinner club, and the Tow Truck Mysteries starring Delaney Morran, a super feminine shoe-a-holic who drives a tow truck. Both are cozy mysteries about strong friendships and family ties set in Colorado. The first book in the Dinner Club series tied for First Place in the Suspense Novel category of the 2017 IDA Contest sponsored by Oklahoma Romance Writers of America. Whalen worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado, and was a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. Whalen loves hosting dinner parties, entertaining friends, riding bicycles, hiking in the mountains, walking on the beach, and reading cozy murder mysteries.
Eyes on the Road
Tow truck drivers, underappreciated heroes of the highway
Even though tow truck drivers help stranded drivers, fix flats, and move hazardous stalls from the side of the road, they are often underappreciated and overly criticized for being rude, predatory, or shady. I understand drivers in need of help are stressed and angry about their situation, and, of course, tow truck drivers may be testy as well from dealing with irate customers, but let’s give the tow man or tow woman a break because they are putting their lives on the line for you. Really? Yes, really!
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the tow truck driver’s average fatality rate is more than 15 times the rate of workers in other U.S. private industries combined. The leading cause of death is motor vehicle incidents, which are frequently accidents on the side of the road. Whew! Those are some serious statistics.
In my previous life, I worked as a paralegal at a law firm that represented tow truck companies. These car haulers are a crazy breed with interesting stories to tell. That all of the tow truck drivers I met were men made me think…a woman in the industry would need to be tough to compete in this dangerous profession. What if the woman was young and inexperienced? Had never changed a tire before? Never even drove a truck before? That’s where I came up with the idea for the Tow Truck Mysteries.
And, better yet, what if she drove her truck in high heels to set herself apart?
Ridiculous? Yes, but fun, too!
A profession that provides an essential service in cheerless situations can use a little humor. And humor can be a great mechanism for dealing with stress. So, I invite you to look at the Tow Truck Murder Mysteries starring Delaney Morran, the super feminine shoe-a-holic who drives a tow truck. Three books have been released, Toes on the Dash, Hands on the Wheel, and Eyes on the Road. The fourth, Friends Come to Call, with a Christmas setting, will come out this fall.
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And don’t forget when you see a tow truck operator at work: slow down and pull over.
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The last time my Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic broke down near Goodyear, Arizona (106 degrees), the tow truck driver was a woman. She couldn’t have been more than five foot and one hundred pounds. But, boy, did she know how to wrestle the bike around and had it loaded in just a few minutes. A big thanks to all the tow truck drivers out.
Okay, Karen, I subscribed to your newsletter. I was a cop for a lot of years and knew a lot of tow truck drivers, but never a female one. (Boys and their toys and women and their shoes, I always say–There ought to be a law covering both.) I could tell you some stories and not all of them positive, but I will say whenever I was out an an accident scene waiting on a tow-truck, I always felt a sense of gratitude when I looked down the street or highway and saw those oscillating yellow lights coming. And I always stayed on scene until the wrecks were safely on their way. Good luck with your series and I love the cover of Eyes on the Road.
Thanks for hosting me, George!