Move over Agatha Christie, there’s a new pen in town ...

Friends, family, and fans will gather at Trish and Mike McDaniel’s home on March 4 to give Saralyn Richard’s debut mystery novel, “Murder in the One Percent,” a spectacular send-off, Galveston style. Party guests are invited to wear indigo and pearls to match the book’s cover. Food, drink, music and photos by Jamie Hennigan Photography, and a book talk from the author are highlights, but a few surprise activities related to the book’s plot added to the fun.

Richard is the author of “Naughty Nana,” the children’s picture book narrated by Galveston divapup and Old English sheepdog, Nana. Now she has turned to writing adult fiction with “Murder in the One Percent.” Richard’s book pulls back the curtain on the ultrawealthy, ultrapowerful members of the top 1 percent. The book has received outstanding early reviews, including those from Kirkus, USA Today and The Big Thrill magazine.

Someone comes to the party with murder in his heart and poison in his pocket and so begins “Murder in the One Percent.”

When old friends gather for a weekend retreat at a country mansion, no one anticipates how all their lives will be changed — or that one of them will turn up dead. Remote and serene, the Campbells’ horse farm is the perfect setting for a lavish party. The guests, all members of the country’s elite wealthiest 1 percent, several of them politically connected as well, indulge in all the delights befitting their station — gourmet food, the finest wines, Cuban cigars — but greed, lust and jealousy sneak themselves into the party.

Playboy and former Secretary of the Treasury, Preston Phillips, brings his new trophy wife to the party, unaware that his first love, the woman he jilted at the altar years ago, will be there, enchanting him once more with her timeless beauty. A snowstorm, an accident and an illicit rendezvous later, the dynamics crackle with tension. When detective Oliver Parrott is charged with solving the untimely killing of one of America’s leading financial wizards, he realizes this will be the case to make — or break — his career. Published by Black Opal Books, “Murder in the One Percent” is available at Galveston Bookshop, at amazon.com and at blackopalbooks.com.

Coming up next for Richard are mysteries, “Murder at Lincoln High,” and another Oliver Parrott mystery.

First Lutheran Church will kick off 2018 with an expanded “Get Better Together” fitness program. Open to the public, this new community outreach program will offer participants the opportunity to participate in an eight-week walk/fun group in preparation for a 5K event. The group will meet weekly on Tuesday evenings, at 6.30 p.m. in front of First Lutheran Church, 24th and Winnie streets, in historic downtown Galveston. Coordinated by certified running coach and First Lutheran member Erin Grigsby, “the focus of this new initiative is the opportunity to not only come together, get ourselves outside and moving, as well as to improve self esteem and form new friendships, but to have the goal of being able to walk/run and complete a 5K (3.2 mile race),” Grigsby explained.

Following each Tuesday evening’s workout, participants can cool down with light snacks and bottled water provided by First Lutheran. The cost for the eight-week session is $20 per person. The fee includes a personalized training plan — created for each participant. And for everyone who attends at least six of the eight sessions, participants will receive an athletic T-shirt to show off their accomplishments. For more information and questions about this expanded eight-week “Get Better Together” program, contact Grigsby at 208-659-3763 or email: anchorlegcoaching@gmail.com.

Happy birthdays to Annette Hunt, Julie Cantini, Ellie Hanley, Missy Cameron, MNB Prez Victor Pierson, Divacuz Peggy Fisher Watson, Marjorie Kovacevich, Lisa Emmitte-Nelson, Baron Unbehagen, Kathryn Bolton and Lee Roane.

Frances Powell is a columnist for The Daily News. Send deets ’n’ pix of your parteez ’n’ proceedings to divascenes@aol.com or call 409-744-6540.

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