Virginia New Year’s Traditions
Thank you so much for letting me visit today. I write mystery novels, novellas, and short stories. The three novels in the Delanie Fitzgerald series are Secret Lives and Private Eyes, The Tulip Shirt Murders, and Glitter, Glam, and Contraband. My sleuth Delanie is a sassy, redheaded private investigator who owns Falcon Investigations in Central Virginia. Her partner, computer guru (and hacker) Duncan Reynolds, is a whiz at getting computers to cough up information to help them with their investigations.
I write where I know. I have lived in Virginia all of my life (Virginia Beach and Chesterfield County – outside of Richmond) and all of my stories and novels are set in the Commonwealth. The region, with its mix of rural, suburban, and urban neighborhoods, is a great place to live and write novels. I work in downtown Richmond on a hill above the former Tredegar Ironworks with one of the best views in RVA. This region is home to the state capital, but in many ways, it’s still a close-knit community. And I’m excited to share some Virginia traditions for the New Year.
Virginia is full of culinary traditions that tie to its culture and history. Some are standard southern foods and others are used in holiday decorations and festivities.
Oysters have been a part of our menus since the Native Americans introduced them to the colonists at Jamestown. Oyster stew is often a regional tradition for New Year’s Day. Virginia is also famous for its peanuts. These are enjoyed year-round, but they are quite popular as gifts during the holiday and for tailgating parties. The taverns in Colonial Williamsburg are famous for their peanut soup recipes. Peanuts were first grown commercially in the U.S. in Waverly near Suffolk.
The pineapple, imported to the colonial era, is a holiday tradition in Virginia. It is often used in decorations and centerpieces. Through the years, the tropical fruit has become the symbol for “welcome” in Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg and the plantations on Route 5 are known for their traditional decorations. Later you could find representations of the fruit in and on textiles, china, pottery, silver, pewter, and paintings.
The traditional Virginia New Year’s Day meal usually includes some representation of black-eyed peas, greens, oyster stew, pork, and cornbread.
Virginia cities ring in the New Year with their own traditions. Time Square in New York is famous for its ball drop. Richmond, the capital, has a ball drop. Roanoke, the Star City in the mountains, has a star drop. Fredericksburg drops a lighted pear, while Winchester, has a lighted apple drop. And the Eastern Shore, home of Misty of Chincoteague and the annual pony swim, has a lighted horseshoe drop.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that you get to enjoy and share your traditions with family and friends.
Glitter, Glam, and Contraband
A Delanie Fitzgerald Mystery, Book 3
Private investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in Glitter, Glam and Contraband. In this fast-paced mystery, the Falcon Investigations team is hired to find out who is stealing from the talent at a local drag show. Delanie gets more than she bargains for and a few makeup tips in the process. Meanwhile, a mysterious sound in the ceiling of her office vexes Delanie. She uses her sleuthing skills to track down the source and uncover a creepy contraband operation.