Karen and Richard Sharpe lived in an upscale area of Gloucester, a seaside town in Massachusetts. To the neighbors, they seemed like the perfect couple. They had been married for 27 years and had three children. A dermatologist, Richard taught at Harvard Medical School and his medical practice and other businesses earned him millions of dollars.

But behind the happy facade, bizarre behavior haunted the Sharpe household. For years, Richard had led a secret life. He was a cross-dresser who loved wearing slinky dresses, fishnet stockings and makeup. He took female hormones and stole his wife's birth control pills to make his breasts larger.

In 1999 when Karen told him she wanted a divorce, Richard became enraged and stabbed her in the face with a fork. Fearing for her life, Karen, age 44, fled with their two youngest children and obtained a restraining order against him. It did her no good.

What happened ?

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Hi Susan,

I won't say because I'd be cheating.  I live in Danvers which, as you know, is just a few mile away.  Have you written about this incident?

My novels are about Hampton Beach, NH bartender Dan Marlowe.  The real Dan Marlowe was my father's best friend and wrote "The Name of the Game is Death" while living with us in Woburn, MA.  He named a character after me.  I've returned the honor.


Jed Power

I live in Mass too, though I lived in New Orleans for a while, which is where my crime thrillers are set. Interesting ... my son was a bartender in Hampton Beach for a while, several years ago. What's your novel? Is it set in Mass? NH?

My 1st crime novel "The Boss of Hampton Beach" will be published in July.  It is mostly set in H. B. where we have a cottage.  There are also scenes at "Singing Beach" in Manchester, MA and around the North Shore and Route 1.  My second crime novel, "Hampton Beach Homicide" is almost complete and that's where it takes place.  

I also write short stories with H. B. as a setting.  One just won Hon. Ment. in Seacoast Writer's Assoc. contest and they'll publish it soon.

I probably know where your son worked.  I'm familiar with every bar/restaurant on the beach.

Ah, don't you just love crime novels? And Hampton Beach is an interesting setting. Beautiful in summer, dreary in winter, right? Sort of like Cape Cod. Congrats on the Honorable Mention for the short story. I've never written short stories ... to me they're almost more difficult to write than novels.

You probably do know the restaurant ... and now I can't think of the name of it. Don't think it was right on the beach, more like a fine dining restaurant. Name starts w/W maybe. It was a long time ago.

She left him because he'd chosen the wrong fork.

He enrolled in an etiquette school and became adept at table manners.  He met her on the street and asked her to dinner, then suddenly stabbed her with shrimp fork (she was very petite) and she returned to their home.

Later, catching him wearing her feminine deodorant spray as cologne, she fatally stabbed him using the fish knife.

Worse, the wrong wine w/dinner! Don't you hate  that?

He took to drinking, not just wine, any sort of likker he could get his hands on. Tennessee mountain moonshine even. That's where he got the shotgun. He knew his wife would be looking for him, so he bought a wig and a nice red dress and sexy high heels and fishnet stockings and went to her door one night ....  And then ...

Now I'm wondering what the Gloucester Fisherman has on beneath that slicker.

As well you should!! 


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