Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Playing for Pizza by John Grisham

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Playing for Pizza by John Grisham: Reviewed by Ambrea Rick Dockery isn’t the luckiest guy in the world.   After being transferred between teams numerous times a...

Mystery Fanfare: Summer Mysteries: Lazy, Hazy, Criminal Days of Sum...

Mystery Fanfare: Summer Mysteries: Lazy, Hazy, Criminal Days of Sum...: Summertime , and the living is easy. Or is it? So many mysteries taking place during Summer are filled with murder and mayhem -- on the B...

Sandi Update 6/28/17

Back home after making a run to the house and then going to see Sandi at the hospital. Today is a milestone that we could have done without as she has been hospitalized for a month as of today. She had a bit of a rocky afternoon yesterday leading up to the MRI. They did that and for awhile she was a bit better, but apparently she was again rather confused overnight. That extended into this morning and continued while we were there. A conversation with her today was a bit of a roller coaster as she kind do went in and out. It is very shard to explain in words, but those involved with her care repeatedly assured me what Sandi is doing is normal and not anything to get upset over.

The brain wave test apparently indicated everything was okay. The MRI was thought to be "good" as, though it showed the extensive damage from 2010 and 2011 when she had a number of strokes, it did not show new damage. That confirms the idea she did not have a stroke. If she had a seizure last week it did not do anything that was strong enough to do damage. That is also very good news.

The plan is to move her to rehab as soon as possible where she will be from ten days to two weeks. Medicare has to approve this so physical therapy and occupational therapists will come work with her today to write reports and submit them to Medicare. Everyone involved believes there is no question that Medicare will approve her moving to rehab. Apparently there is an inpatient rehab unit at Medical City Dallas Hospital that opened in the last year so they would move her there. They really want to get her there tomorrow, but I think it is more likely she would not move until Friday.

I am not thrilled about her having to change rooms again as she is still upset over the last move when she had to change rooms due to Medicare rules. She is still upset over that and feels like things were lost. that move comes up multiple times each visit. So, moving her again could trigger a new round of that complaint though she seems to understand that such a move will be necessary.

Once she successfully completed rehab, they would then move her back to the main hospital and do another round of chemo. This means, if everything goes right, she is most likely looking at another three weeks in the hospital. If I can orchestrate things here well enough, when she comes home she would go to the house and not back here to the apartment. I'd still have to pay out the lease till August 21st , but being on the ground floor would help her a lot.

Guest Post: Jeanne and Treadmill Books: Sunny and Shadow Mysteries by Claire Donally

These are busy times for Jeanne of the Bookblog of the Bristol Library so it has been a couple of weeks since she was last here with one of these guest posts. But, the good news is the fact she is back today with her latest Treadmill Books Review. For those who wish to read in order there are five books in the series that began with The Big Kitty published in May 2012.

Treadmill Books:  Sunny and Shadow Mysteries by Claire Donally

Sunny Coolidge left a job in the big city to return home to Kittery Harbor, Maine to take care of her widower father after he has a heart attack.  Jobs are few and far between, so she ends up working for a local travel agency with a testy boss.  It doesn’t make for job satisfaction, so when an elderly lady named Ada asks Sunny to help her find a lottery ticket that she claims is worth a fortune, Sunny agrees to try to help.  But when she arrives at Ada’s house, she finds the old woman dead at the bottom of the stairs.  Was it an accident—or did someone else believe the tale of the ticket?

So begins The Big Kitty, the first book in the Sunny and Shadow Mysteries by Claire Donally.  Sunny soon picks up her titular sidekick, Shadow, a big stray tomcat who harbors some deep suspicions about humans. Sunny’s dad harbors some of the same misgivings about cats. Throw in a couple of love interests (a cop for Sunny and a neighbor for her dad), the aforementioned irritating boss, and you have the set up for the series.

Most of it is pretty standard cozy. Heroine returns home, check; nasty character who exists to make life miserable for heroine, check; attractive cop/fireman/lawyer with boyfriend potential, check; local atmosphere, check.  What gives the series its spark is that part of the action is narrated from Shadow’s point of view.  Shadow’s perspective is necessarily limited, but he’s a keen observer of action.  Donally avoids many of the cat as character traps and does succeed in making Shadow a strong character even if he doesn’t sniff out the murderer. His descriptions of events are fun to read, if occasionally confusing, and always make me consider how my own cats might view situations.

I find the series to be a bit uneven; certain books work quite well while others are forgettable. Donally does let her characters do a bit of evolving which I appreciate.  Even Sunny’s boss has mellowed a bit.  However, this isn’t a series you have to read in order.

The latest entry, Catch As Cat Can, is one of the better books in the series.  There’s a strong plot, good sense of place with some information about the local fishing industry and some nice twists and turns along the way.  As with all good treadmill books, it held my interest and kept me walking.  Shadow’s thoughts were particularly amusing this time around, even as Donally made sure he kept his “felinity.”

In short, a solid series, if not an outstanding one.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Fillet of Murder by Linda Reilly

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Fillet of Murder by Linda Reilly: Reviewed by Jeanne Talia Marby seems to have come full circle.   As a teenager, she worked for the Lamberts in their fish ...

Sandi Update 6/27/17

Back home from the hospital where we found her much improved from yesterday. Sandi was awake and watching television when we walked into her room. She knew who we were and what was going on in the world. She could again have a conversation with us and did for a couple of hours. She has no memory of the last several days and that is just as well. It haunts me.

Her doctor and the treatment team came in while we were visiting her and they are all very pleased. her doctor tried again to explain what had happened. Basically, because her blood pressure was so high and her kidney function was so off in certain areas, the back of her brain and the surrounding area at the back of the head became inflamed and that caused her mental confusion and fatigue. Now that her BP is back to normal, sometime this afternoon they will do the MRI to make sure the diagnosis of what happened to her is correct.

Her blood pressure is back to normal and has been since sometime overnight. Her kidney function has improved massively. Her pancreas numbers are coming down a little bit more rapidly than the last few days. She still is having some on and off stomach pain and nausea. Because of her pancreas and the stomach issues, she remains NPO which means clear liquids only, but she is now aware that she would like some food.

So, all in all, while she is not out of the woods, she clearly is massively better. I am a bit relieved though I am well aware that things could easily swing back the other way again.

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pa...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: One-Pan Wonders: Fuss-Free Meals for Your Sheet Pa...: Reviewed by Kristin Am I the only person who feels like dinner is always the same old boring food, week in and week out?   I am ...

Review: Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1 by Terry W. Ervin II

Relic Tech Class 4 Transport Security Specialist Krakista Keesay has a significant problem. Actually, he has several problems and they are all very significant. Employed by the Negral Corp and assigned to the transport ship Kalavar, Keesay has been seriously injured as Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1 by Terry W. Ervin II begins. He has no memory of how he sustained those injuries. He has no memory of ever being onboard the Kalavar. 

He is accused of numerous crimes, including treason, and is accused of being responsible for the deaths of over 100 military and corporate personnel. He has no memory of any such actions either. Due to his injuries as well as the fact he is heavily restrained, fleeing is not an option. With no memories, he is unable to refute the charges against him. He also does not care for the option strongly suggested by his appointed legal counsel to plead guilty because the evidence against him is insurmountable. 

He is aware that things are not right though he has no real clue as to what is wrong. His only option is a very dangerous plan using alien technology. An ancient alien race known as the Umblegarri assisted mankind years ago with becoming part of the intergalactic community. This was before the Silicate War. One of their capabilities is an A Tech-- or advanced technology – machine known as Cranaltar IV. A brain scanning instrument that has the ability to retrieve and store the memories of the subject in the machine. These memories can then be displayed through various means. It also has a tendency to scramble the brains of human test subjects.

Keesay, by invoking his right to be scanned may prove his innocence, but he could also be permanently damaged if he survives the encounter. He might prove his innocence, but he also could easily have no mind left afterwards. It is a risk he is willing to take. Assuming he makes it alive to the small moon of Io to undergo the scanning. Between his health and the forces against him that need him dead to keep the secrets in his head hidden nothing is assured. 

Published in 2013 the first book of a new series by author Terry W. Ervin II, Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1 is a combination political/ espionage and science fiction alien invasion war book. While plenty of reviews note the western style aspects of the read, those same reviews seem to miss the political/espionage elements also strongly present in the book. Blending science and history along with plenty of creatures one never wants to meet, Terry Ervin has created a far flung space opera style science fiction read set far in the future with plenty of mystery and thriller elements along with the previously mentioned elements. While it is clearly science fiction, like many of the author’s other works, the tale has elements of nearly every other genre heavily present throughout the work. At over 400 pages, the book certainly isn’t a fast read, but there is plenty of action, intrigue, and various attacking creatures as well as plenty of other things to keep the reader turning pages. You won’t be bored.

Like the very good Flank Hawk series that I also strongly recommend, Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1 is a very good read and well worth your time. 

Relic Tech: Crax War Chronicles Volume 1
Terry W. Ervin II
Gryphonwood Press
November 2013
ISBN# 978-1940095-10-3
Paperback (also available in e-book and audio formats)
452 Pages

Material provided by the author long ago in exchange for my objective review. The second book in the series, Relic Hunted is in my TBR pile.

Kevin R.  Tipple © 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sandi Update 6/26/17

Back home from spending time at the hospital with Sandi. The last several days she has been sleeping a lot and very confused and out of it when she was awake for very brief periods. Sunday was very scary as it seemed like something irreversible had happened and would be devastating for her. I deliberately did not say anything publicly as I feared the worst and wanted to know for sure before I said anything. Based on the doctor who is a bit more optimistic than he has been the last few days, I think I can safely say something now with the understanding things could easily change.

Tests have been run and more tests are planned for today.

At this point, they have ruled out a stroke and do not believe this is a cancer related issue or an infection. There is a possibility she had a seizure of some type late last week and she is on anti seizure meds as a proactive measure. The main working theory is that her kidneys and her high blood pressure are causing the mental confusion. I don't really understand how this works so I can only repeat what I was told. In some cancer patients, when the blood pressure is elevated and resisting control and the kidneys are not functioning as well as they should, this syndrome sets up in the patient. Takes about a week to ten days to run its course as they medicate for blood pressure and kidney function.

That is being done and she was somewhat more present this morning. She does know what year it is, where she is at, that sort of thing. But, right now she is very confused as to various family things and is extremely repetitive in her questions and statements. She gets agitated very easily and at times for apparently no reason. As bad and out of touch as she is, today was a slight improvement over the weekend.

A brain wave scan as well as an MRI are planned as soon as possible. If those tests back up what the doctor currently believes, she hopefully will be better by the end of the week.

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 6/26/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 6/26/17

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for June 26, 2017

 Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for June 26, 2017


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 6/26-7/2: Bookish events in Texas for the week of June 26-July 2, 2017:  Special Events: 2017 National Federation of State Poetry Societies Convent...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Bad Country by C. B. McKenzie

Back in March 2015 I reviewed Bad Country by C. B. McKenzie. I thought it was a very good read. Today on this final Monday of June, Aubrey  Hamilton is here with her review of the book. Make sure you check out her other reviews on these pages.

Bad Country by C. B. McKenzie (Minotaur, 2014) is the story of a former rodeo cowboy who fell into a second career of private investigator in the stark Arizona desert around Tucson. Someone is killing the Indians who live in the area and Rodeo Grace Garnet returns from a brief vacation to find a body of one of them near the entrance of his remote home.  He’s offered a day’s work to investigate the death of another one and, since he’s always in desperate need of money, takes it even though the person retaining him is strangely uninterested in the outcome of his research. The body count rises considerably before he can identify and stop the killer.

I found this book intriguing in its original characters and matter-of-fact presentation of gritty details. No drama here, just the facts. His lack of money for instance:  he visits the local store which serves as a pawn shop and notes to himself that several of his possessions are on display, implying he’s had to pawn them for cash. I especially liked Rodeo’s kindness. He keeps water and food in a cave that he knows is used by undocumented immigrants crossing the U.S. border from the south, saying he can’t stand the thought of people dying in his back yard. His devotion to the old dog he won in a poker game is wonderful, spending money he doesn’t have on medicine and vitamins for him.

However, the author’s aversion to quotation marks made it a challenging read, as I could not always tell when dialog stopped and narrative began. The reason for omitting standard punctuation is not clear. The story would have been just as compelling with it.

I love books set in the Southwest United States. Steven Havill’s Posada County books are a particular favorite. Why I, a child of the lush green Ohio Valley and a long-established transplant to rolling Virginia hills, should be so enthralled by printed descriptions of sand and unbearable heat is a mystery. I am looking forward to more from this author.

This book won the Tony Hillerman Prize and the Spur Award for Best Western Contemporary Novel. It was shortlisted for a New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, for the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel, and for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel.  Kirkus starred review.

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1St Edition edition (November 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250053544 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250053541

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017


FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: CHIRICAHUA BLUES:   This third installment of Frank Leslie's "Bloody Arizona" quartet of Yakima Henry tales is once again an action-pack...

Bitter Tea and Mystery Review: The Janus Stone: Elly Griffiths

Bitter Tea and Mystery: The Janus Stone: Elly Griffiths: This is the second book in the series featuring forensics archaeologist Ruth Galloway. Ruth lives in Norfolk in an isolated cottage on the s...

Not Deflating At All!!

Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine: It's a Scientific Fact!: Study: Cowboys top Patriots as team with the NFL's best fans, Chiefs rank dead last

Bookbrowsing Blog: THE AUTHOR SCAMMERS by LaLa Corriere

Bookbrowsing Blog: THE AUTHOR SCAMMERS by LaLa Corriere

KRL This Week Update for 6/24/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Yews with Caution" by Kate
Collins along with a fun guest post by Kate about yews

Also up reviews & giveaways of several mysteries for your summer reading
fun-"A Just Clause": A Booktown Mystery by Lorna Barrett, "Trumpet of
Death": Martha’s Vineyard Mystery by Cynthia Riggs, "Antiques Frame": A
Trash ’n’ Treasures Mystery by Barbara Allan, & "Dead and Berried":
Cranberry Cove series by Peg Peg Cochran

And up, perfect for your 4th of July reading, a review & giveaway of "Blood
Red, White and Blue" by Kathleen Delaney

Also up a review & giveaway (of a signed copy) of "The Spy Across the
Table" by Barry Lancet

And a review & giveaway of "Ivy Get Your Gun," another fun theatre related
mystery by Cindy Brown, along with an interesting interview with Cindy

And the latest mystery Coming Attractions from Sunny Frazier

And over on KRL Reviews & News a review & giveaway of "Too Lucky to Live"
by Annie Hogsett

Happy reading,


Lesa's Latest Contest: Give Me a "C" Giveaway

This week, I'm giving away ARCs of Ann Cleeves' Cold Earth and Julia Chapman's Date with Death. Details on my blog at Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine 

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 13 Outdoor and Environmental Magazines that Pay Wr...

Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: 13 Outdoor and Environmental Magazines that Pay Wr...: If you love the great outdoors and are passionate about conservation, you can get paid for writing about it! Hiking and climbing enthusias...

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogsett

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Too Lucky to Live by Annie Hogsett: Reviewed by Brenda G.           Using numbers he and Rune, an impoverished young boy, choose, Tom Bennington III, a well-edu...

Joan Reeves: If Only I'd Known: Writing Lesson by Caroline Clemmons

Joan Reeves: If Only I'd Known: Writing Lesson by Caroline Clem...: Caroline Clemmons , one of my friends from the Smart Girls Read Romance group blog, is an Amazon bestselling and award winning author of 3...

Two Ends of the Pen: #Review: THUNDER WELLS by Terry W Ervin II

Two Ends of the Pen: #Review: THUNDER WELLS by Terry W Ervin II:   5 of 5 stars I've been a fan of Mr. Ervin ever since I read his first book, "Flank Hawk." Mr. Ervin is a ta...

Sandi Update 6/23/17

After dropping off a load at the house Scott and I went to the hospital to see Sandi. We found her sleeping and she woke up a few minutes after we arrived. She was extremely out of it. We stayed for a little while and then left so that she could sleep in peace.

FFB Review: DARK PASSAGE (1946) by David Goodis -- Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Barry is back with a new review today as he reviews Dark Passage by David Goodis. This is not the first book by David Goodis he has reviewed here as he notes in the review below. After you read what Barry has to say make sure you head over to Patti Abbott’s blog for the full list of FFB review suggestions.

DARK PASSAGE (1946) by David Goodis

Reviewed by Barry Ergang

Imprisoned for life for the murder of his wife—a crime he didn’t commit, believing instead that she died accidentally, despite the rhyme and meter at the beginning of this sentence—and that’s not a spoiler because you find it out in the second sentence on the first page—Vincent Parry manages an escape from San Quentin, his ultimate aim being to escape from the United States, having begun “remembering pictures he had seen in travel folders long ago. Places that looked out upon water. Lovely beaches. One was Patavilca, Peru.”

(I’ve no idea what Peruvian folders Parry or his creator may have seen, but when I looked up Patavilca to see if it actually exists, I discovered that it’s an inland rather than coastal town. However, if you look at the Wikipedia site, you’ll see that the town is spelled Pativilca and is shown as being coastal. I’m sure geography buffs and experienced travelers will help clarify this point, despite its ultimate insignificance to the thrust of the storyline.)

Unexpectedly and unwittingly the Blanche DuBois of noir fiction, Vincent Parry becomes dependent “on the kindness of strangers.” The first one, the driver of a Studebaker, seems inordinately curious about his passenger and eventually proves problematic. The second, Irene Janney, has reasons of her own for helping a man she knows to be an escaped convict. The third is an anonymous cab driver whose motives are far more ambiguously altruistic, as are those of the doctor to whom the driver takes him.

Beyond mentioning that when Parry’s best friend, George Felsinger, is murdered and Parry becomes the prime suspect, I don’t want to say anything more about the plot lest I ruin a classic novel for those who have neither read it nor seen the equally classic film from 1947 starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. 

I’ve read and enjoyed Goodis’s Black Friday, Shoot the Piano Player, Nightfall, Cassidy’s Girl, and Night Squad over a number of years, and I’ve seen the film version of Dark Passage God knows how many times, having been a hardcore Bogart fan since I was 12 or 13. I was curious about how the movie compared with its source, and can finally report that it is extremely faithful to the novel. 

For fans of noir fiction, it’s a definite case of “Read the Book, See the Movie.” 

© 2017 Barry Ergang

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: ESCAPE TO INDIGO BAY -- SIX AUTHORS, SIX SWEET ROM...

A Writer's Life....Caroline Clemmons: ESCAPE TO INDIGO BAY -- SIX AUTHORS, SIX SWEET ROM...: $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Escape to Indigo Bay… Six authors. Six Sweet Romances. One small South Carolina beach to...

Crime Review Update

We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (, together with a top industry interview. This time
it’s author Susan Wilkins in the Countdown hot seat:

We’re on Twitter at:

Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK

Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer

Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

THE LONG DROP by Denise Mina, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

William Watt, a Glasgow businessman widely suspected of murdering his wife,
daughter and sister-in-law, has arranged a meeting with a known criminal,
Peter Manuel, who claims to have information that will establish Watt’s

THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD by Belinda Bauer, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Eve Singer, crime correspondent for iWitness News, needs murder: it pays
the bills. For the killer who stabbed Layla Martin to death behind a glass
door, murder is his art. Eve would say they are worlds apart. The killer

THE RESTLESS DEAD by Simon Beckett, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Forensic anthropologist Dr David Hunter is called to give advice on a body
washed up on the Essex marshes. The police seem to want an easy resolution
to the case of a missing man, but Hunter isn’t convinced by the evidence
and wants to delve deeper.

BRIGHT SHINY THINGS by Barbara Nadel, reviewed by John Cleal

Former soldier-turned-PI Lee Arnold enlists his Muslim assistant,
Bangladeshi psychiatry graduate Mumtaz Hakim, in a daring deception to
bring a self-confessed ISIS terrorist to the West.

THE PLEDGE by Friedrich Dürrenmatt, reviewed by Chris Roberts

A detective becomes fixated with a serial killer of young girls, and
sacrifices his career and mental health in an attempt to bring the man to

FIRESIDE GOTHIC by Andrew Taylor, reviewed by John Cleal

A trio of supernatural, eerie and haunting Gothic novellas.

THE BURIAL HOUR by Jeffery Deaver, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs travel to Italy on the trail of a serial
kidnapper who likes to torture his victims in pursuit of some unusual goals.

SWEETPEA by CJ Skuse, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Rhiannon is an editorial assistant on a provincial newspaper, and despises
her invisibility – except when her lofty morals drive her to kill.
STRANGE TIDE by Christopher Fowler, reviewed by Jim Beaman

Bryant and May of the Peculiar Crimes Unit investigate when the body of a
woman is found chained to a post in the River Thames.

PURITAN by David Hingley, reviewed by John Cleal

Mercia Blakewood hopes her search for Charles II’s missing paintings, which
has taken her to America, has gained enough leverage to reclaim her family
home. But when a new friend is murdered, she will not leave until the
killer is found.

THE BINDING SONG by Elodie Harper, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Newly-appointed lead psychologist Janet Palmer is faced with a spate of
suicides amongst the prisoners and a worrying climate of secrecy amongst
the staff at Halvergate Prison.

HERETICS by Leonardo Padura, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Retired Cuban detective Mario Conde helps to trace the chain of possession
of a Rembrandt portrait that was stolen and disappeared for 70 years.

THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT by Graham Moore, reviewed by John Cleal

Brilliant novice lawyer Paul Cravath must help his first client withstand a
$1 billion dollar patent suit – with the very future of electric light
itself at stake.

THE ROAD TO ITHACA by Ben Pastor, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Wehrmacht officer Martin Von Bora lands in Crete immediately after the 1941
German invasion and is handed the investigation into a possible war crime.

ROOTED IN DISHONOUR by Christina James, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

When an 18-year old girl disappears days after she meets her husband-to-be,
DI Tim Yates is convinced this is his first encounter with an honour

THE NIGHT VISITOR by Lucy Atkins, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Professor Olivia Sweetman, a noted historian, has used a Victorian diary to
write the biography of one of the earliest women to become a doctor. But in
the background is the ominous presence of the woman who gave her the diary,
who could destroy her hard-earned reputation.

GOOD GIRLS DON’T TELL by Liselotte Roll, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

A tortured body of a man is found in an allotment shed. Inspector Magnus
Kalo and his team are mystified, especially due to the lack of information
about the victim. Eventually they find a connection to a past event in

LITTLE BONES by Sam Blake, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Zoë Grant is an aspiring artist on the verge of a breakthrough with a local
gallery. Garda Detective Cathy Connolly is called to investigate a break-in
at Zoë’s home and discovers an old wedding dress, ripped open, with baby’s
bones hidden in the hem.

A NECESSARY EVIL by Abir Mukherjee, reviewed by Chris Roberts

India 1920: Captain Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee of the Calcutta police
force visit the native state of Sambalpore to investigate the assassination
of a Maharajah’s son.

URBAN OUTLAWS: SHOCKWAVE by Peter Jay Black, reviewed by Linda Wilson

The Urban Outlaws have been infected with a deadly virus and now their
arch-enemy Hector Del Sarto is threatening to infect the whole of London –
and the rest of the country – as well. He also has the antidote, and the
Outlaws need it, fast.

Best wishes


The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Guest Post: HOW JOURNALISM GUIDELINES CAN HELP FIC...

The Short Mystery Fiction Society Blog: Guest Post: HOW JOURNALISM GUIDELINES CAN HELP FIC...: HOW JOURNALISM GUIDELINES CAN HELP FICTION WRITERS If you ever took a journalism class, you know the basics of writing nonfiction f...

Setback--Sandi Update 6/22/17

Just came home from spending most of the morning with Sandi and meeting with the doctor. She has had a significant setback from yesterday as the bad numbers have soared in several areas. This is especially true of her pancreas. The abdominal pain started again late yesterday and they are addressing that.

Today they are again working on trying to get the bad numbers down while also giving her another blood transfusion. They already are planning to do more blood transfusions tomorrow and most likely through the weekend. Coming home early next week is pretty much out the window at this point.

In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange for 6/21/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange for 6/21/17

FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: SHADOW MAN by Andrew McBride

FROM DUNDEE'S DESK: Noteworthy Reads: SHADOW MAN by Andrew McBride: SHADOW MAN is the second novel in Andrew McBride's Calvin Taylor series, though you needn't have read the previous title to thoro...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Islam, The Risen, Iris Grace, Wanderer...

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Nevermore: Islam, The Risen, Iris Grace, Wanderer...: Reported by Ambrea Nevermore discussed The Islamic Enlightenment:   The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times ...

Sandi Update for 6/21/17

Spent part of the morning today at the hospital and have seen her doctor. Though she is very out of it from the meds, things seem to be on the right track. She remains on a liquid diet as they want her pancreas numbers. Those finally seem to be trending in the right direction. She was moved to a new room yesterday, as required by Medicare, and will remain there through the weekend.

The current plan is that Sandi  might be coming home the early part of next week. Once home, she will have about a week here. After that week off, they will readmit her and start the next round of chemo over five days.

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Why Worry?

WELCOME TO HELL ~ by Glenn Walker: Why Worry?: Why Worry? ~ The other Harold Lloyd film (other than The Kid Brother ) I got to see while on the 2016 TCM Classic Cruise was Why Worry?...

Monday, June 19, 2017

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 06/19/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 06/19/17

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: No Cats Allowed by Miranda James

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: No Cats Allowed by Miranda James: Reviewed by Jeanne Librarian Charlie Harris has enjoyed working as an archivist at Athena College, usually accompanied by hi...

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 6/19/17 |

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers |

Sandi Update 6/19/17

Took one load over today and then went to the hospital. She is doing a little better. They took the cath out and she had a shower with a lot of help. She is having more blood today so she was falling asleep when we arrived. We hung out a little while with her and then headed out. Came here and boxed some more of my many books. After unloading and boxing another bookcase, we are calling it quits for today. There is lots to do here and at the house, but I have to get smarter about pacing myself as well as Scott who is doing all the heavy lifting.


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 6/19-25: Bookish events in Texas for the week of June 19-25, 2017:  Special Events: 11th Annual African American Book Festival , Austin, June 24...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: Alive! A Valentino Mystery by Loren D. Estleman

Alive! A Valentino Mystery (Forge Books, 2013) is Loren D. Estleman’s third full-length book about UCLA film archivist Valentino, I’m not sure his first name is ever mentioned. A collection of short stories is available in ebook. Valentino spends his days tracking down rare film footage and artifacts from the golden days of Hollywood on behalf of the university while fending off collectors with deeper pockets. 

A friend from the past calls, claiming to have found the long-lost Bela Lugosi screen test for the part of the Frankenstein monster in the 1931 movie, a part that went to Boris Karloff and made him famous. Valentino doesn’t believe him and doesn’t follow up. Within 24 hours the friend is dead and the police are questioning Valentino. The police think they’ve found the killer but Valentino knows they haven’t and delves into the case for the sake of self-preservation. Along the way the acting careers of Lugosi and Karloff are described and the not-quite-sane acquisitiveness of collectors is fully illustrated.

Valentino is no stranger to collector obsession; he has purchased a defunct movie theatre with the intent of returning it to its full 1920s glory and is selling some of his own movie memorabilia to pay for the restoration. His efforts to establish the exact shade of blue paint used in the original theatre demonstrate just how far over the edge he has gone.

In this adventure Valentino finds a sidekick in his intern, who educates Valentino on the world of steampunk. The intern and his friends come to Valentino’s rescue at the Hollywood wax museum in a frantic resolution scene. Film lore, steampunk, historic building renovation, all wrapped into a carefully plotted mystery; there’s something for everyone in this entertaining book.

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1 edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765333317 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765333315

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sandi Update 6/18/17

After yesterday's scare when her heart rate and BP soared during the second transfusion causing them to put Sandi on a heart monitor and inject multiple drugs into her, today has been a bit calmer. No blood transfusion today helped that situation. She is still NPO which means a clear liquid diet. She also says that her hair, which was evacuating her head a bit the last couple of days thanks to the aborted chemo, is now all gone as the nurses took care of that today.

Scott and I stayed home as the heat yesterday did a bit of a number on me. Been out in it way too much these past couple of weeks and it has played havoc with my own health issues. I hate the summer. So we stayed home today only to have the AC unit upstairs pretty much go out on us this afternoon. Blowing a little cold air, but nothing like it should. So, after trying to box some things upstairs in our bedroom, I retreated to the lower level and have spent much of the day the floor in front of the box fan watching television. Not very productive, especially with so much to do here, but the body was not going to be cooperative on so many levels.

Bookblog of the Bristol Library: Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Gi...

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KRL This Week Update for 6/17/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "The Right Side" by Spencer Quinn along with an interesting guest post by Spencer about how he came to write this book

And a review & giveaway of "Watching the Detectives" by Julie Mulhern

Also a review & giveaway of "Treble at the Jam Fest" by Leslie Budewitz, along with an interesting interview with Leslie

And a mystery short story by Gail Farrelly with an interesting twist

We also have a review of the latest Hallmark Movies & Mysteries​ channel movie, "Site Unseen" based on the books by Dana Cameron​

And a review of the Sweetland Witch mystery series by Zoe Arden, a giveaway of the first book in the series, & an interview with Zoe

Over on KRL Lite we a review & giveaway of "A Perfect Manhattan Murder" by Tracy Kiely

And on KRL's new blog, KRL Reviews & News, a review & giveaway of "Marriage is Pure Murder" by Staci McLaughlin
Happy reading,

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life
Check out my own blog at

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lesa's Latest Giveaway - Darker mysteries

This week, I'm giving away copies of Larry D. Sweazy's Where I Can See You, and Adrian McKinty's Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly. Details on my blog, Entries from the U.S. only, please.

Lesa Holstine  


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Bookblog of the Bristol Library: She's No Princess by Laura Lee Guhrke

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Sandi Update 6/17/17

Been to the house with a load and then went and saw Sandi for a bit. Nothing new to report as she remains very unhappy and nothing has improved. Again today they are pumping units of blood into her and keeping her on a clear liquid diet.

So, she is not any worse right now, but she certainly is not any better.

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In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange for 6/14/17

In Reference To Murder Blog: Mystery Melange for 6/14/17

Friday, June 16, 2017

NO FFB Review This Week 6/16/17

Between trying to box and move stuff to the house and with Sandi in the hospital and her not doing well at all, I don't have anything for you for FFB again this week. I'm sorry. Patti Abbott is back collecting the links so go find good stuff to read at her blog.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sandi Update 6/15/17

No good news to report. She was give lots more blood today. Despite transfusions all week, her blood numbers continue to get worse and worse. They don't know why. She started having occasional dizzy spells this afternoon and evening. They don't know why for that either.

In short, our anniversary today was not a good day for her.

The Rap Sheet-- Bullet Points: Back in the Game Edition

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sandi Update for 06/14/17

I have held off saying anything as I was hoping the news was better. Things looked good on Saturday and have slid downhill since then.

Monday afternoon they rushed Sandi into blood dialysis and did it as her numbers continued to worsen. After that happened they had to do a blood transfusion, followed by more yesterday, and yet more blood transfusions today. She is also off and on running a fever of up to 102. Since her normal is 97.2 a fever of 102 for her is really high.

She is back NPO which means her diet is clear fluids only. They have her on more powerful antibiotics and are running numerous blood tests as they try to determine what is happening to her.  She is not feeling well and is very unhappy that she will not be home for our 32nd wedding anniversary tomorrow.

So, the news is not good. Will update as I know things and hopefully the news will be good.

Monday, June 12, 2017

In Reference To Murder Blog: Media Murder for Monday 6/12/17

In Reference To Murder Blog:  Media Murder for Monday 6/12/17

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Crime Review Update

We feature new 20 reviews in each issue of Crime Review (, together with a top industry interview. This time
it’s author Brad Parks in the Countdown hot seat:

We’re on Twitter at:

Crime Review: @CrimeReviewUK

Linda Wilson: @CrimeReviewer

Sharon Wheeler: @lartonmedia

This week’s reviews are:

THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has retired to the small village of Three
Pines. He goes back to work when a nine-year-old boy disappears, and
discovers something in the woods that represents a threat to world safety.

MISSISSIPPI BLOOD by Greg Iles, reviewed by John Cleal

Dr Tom Cage is on trial for the murder of his former black nurse and lover,
but refuses help from his lawyer son Penn. Meanwhile the whole Cage family
is under threat from the Double Eagles, a savage KKK splinter group.

LOVE LIKE BLOOD by Mark Billingham, reviewed by Linda Wilson

The usually straitlaced DI Nicola Tanner teams up with archetypal maverick
DI Tom Thorne to investigate a series of killings.

THE LEGACY by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, reviewed by Ewa Sherman

Out of his depth detective Huldar and the child psychologist Freyja must
work together to get any information from seven-year-old Margrét, the only
witness to her mother’s horrific murder.

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL by William Shaw, reviewed by John Cleal

A prostitute with an influential client list is murdered. DS Cathal Breen
finds himself blocked as the case assumes international importance.
Meanwhile, his pregnant girlfriend, former WDC Helen Tozer, brings her
intuition to the investigation – wanted or not!

DEADLY GAME by Matt Johnson, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Special Forces soldier-turned-police officer Robert Finlay is seconded to a
unit investigating the trafficking of young women from Eastern Europe into
sex slavery in the UK.

THE WOLF CHILDREN by Cay Rademacher, reviewed by Arnold Taylor

It’s 1947 and the long, freezing winter is over. The discovery of the body
of a young boy, lying across an unexploded bomb in the ruins of Hamburg
shipyard, sparks off an investigation which turns up further young victims.

TATTLETALE by Sara J Naughton, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Mags Mackenzie hasn’t spoken to her brother Abe for years, but she flies to
his bedside after he falls down four flights of stairs. It looks like
suicide, but something doesn’t ring true. 
STASI WOLF by David Young, reviewed by Chris Roberts

Oberleutnant Karin Muller is drafted south to assist in the recovery of two
infant twins who have been abducted, a search that eventually becomes very

RECONCILIATION FOR THE DEAD by Paul Hardisty, reviewed by John Cleal

Former SADF paratrooper Claymore Straker returns to South Africa to testify
before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and seek absolution for his
unwitting part in a horrifying act of inhumanity.

THE WHITE ROAD by Sarah Lotz, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Simon Newman has a bad reputation to live down. When he made a clandestine
trip into a Welsh cave with another man, only Simon came out alive. Now he
intends to make an attempt on Everest, the world’s highest mountain.

Chris Roberts

The Baby Ganesh Detective Agency is called into action once again when an
actor vanishes, disrupting the filming of a big-budget Bollywood

THE STOLEN CHILD by Sanjida Kay, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Evie is the stolen child, the little girl artist Zoe Morley and her husband
Ollie adopted. The little girl whose father wants her back.

THE SALT MARSH by Clare Carson, reviewed by John Cleal

Sam Coyle’s father lived and died in the shadows of undercover policing
among the criminals, spies and radicals of Cold War London. He left nothing
to his daughter but tradecraft, paranoia and enemies.

THE HIT by Nadia Dalbuono, reviewed by Sylvia Maughan

A television executive and his family are involved in a car accident. But
things are not necessarily what they seem.

DARKNESS by Karen Robards, reviewed by Kati Barr-Taylor

Gina watches in horror as a plane explodes and debris crashes into the icy
water around her. But her nightmare has only just begun.

HER DARKEST NIGHTMARE by Brenda Novak, reviewed by John Barnbrook

As a teenager, Evelyn Talbot was abducted, tortured and left for dead by
her psychopathic boyfriend. Now, as an adult she has established a mental
health facility in Alaska, specifically to research psychopaths. When the
murders start suspicions and fear grow in the isolated community.

THE KEEPER by Alastair Gunn, reviewed by Jim Beaman

DCI Antonia Hawkins believes that the victims of a serial killer have all
been kidnapped and then hunted down in a twisted game.

AMNESIA by Michael Ridpath, reviewed by John Barnbrook

Clémence is asked by her aged great aunt to look after an old friend, an
octogenarian, who has lost his memory in a fall and is living in an
isolated cottage in the Scottish Highlands. Helping him find his lost
memories opens many unwelcome doors.

THE AMATEURS by Sara Shepard, reviewed by Linda Wilson

Case Not Closed is a website devoted to solving cold cases. When Aerin
Kelly posts there about her sister’s disappearance and murder, several
members decide to help.

Best wishes


Sandi Update for Monday 06/12/17

After taking a load of stuff to the house, we headed over to the hospital where the news was not as good as it had been. Her numbers on her kidneys, liver, and pancreas have all climbed in the wrong direction. That means she definitely will be having another blood dialysis treatment. Most likely tomorrow.

Otherwise,  she is doing okay and remains unhappy with some members of her kingdom. Thankfully, unlike days of old, those who have screwed up at the hospital the last 24 hours will not be losing their heads.

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 6/12/17

Monday Markets and Jobs for Writers for 6/12/17


TEXAS BOOK LOVER: Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 6/12-18: Bookish events in Texas for the week of June 12-18, 2017:  Special Events: Teen Slam Camp , Dallas, June 12-16 Kate Forsyth Cactus &amp...

Aubrey Hamilton Reviews: The Gentlemen’s Hour by Don Winslow

The Gentlemen’s Hour by Don Winslow (Simon & Schuster, 2011) is the second book about Boone Daniels. Boone is a former police detective turned private investigator and part of a close group of early morning surfers who begin each day at their favorite part of the San Diego beach before they go to their workplaces. Changes have come to the San Diego surfing scene, as all up and down the beach newcomers are arriving to take advantage of San Diego’s beautiful geography and a vocal group of residents is determined to drive the intruders away, destroying the sense of idyllic community that Boone loves.

A surfing legend is killed in a confrontation with some of these resident ruffians, and the perennially broke Boone is pulled into helping with the accused killer’s defense. His friends are aghast and turn against him, while he begins to question the statements of the witnesses who say they saw the incident. The defendant is singularly unlikeable and uncooperative, leaving Boone nothing to go on but his instinct that the attack did not go down as described.

Fast-moving, well-written, logical wrap-up to the plot threads which have some nicely intricate twists. Underneath the straight-forward detective story is a plaintive lament about the inexorability of change that will resonate with almost everyone.

Anyone unfamiliar with surfing will find an unofficial introduction to the sport woven in among the investigation of crime.  Lots of surfing buzzwords. I tended to skim over some of it but it was not unduly intrusive to the main story and water sports fans will love it.

This story reminds me of the Rockford Files, including the not particularly suitable love interest.  Kirkus starred review, Booklist starred review.

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439183392 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439183397

Aubrey Hamilton © 2017
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal IT projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


When I was a kid growing up, my Dad had his office out in room in the garage. It was sacred and very much off limits to us kids until we were in our late teens. Even then, like the living room, one did not go there without the parent. After Dad passed over five years ago, I tried to get Mom to let me start working on the piles of things out in his office and elsewhere in the garage, but she absolutely refused to let me touch it.

With us moving to the house over the next few weeks there are many things to do over there including working on the office. Over these past weeks I have been slowly clearing out Dad's technical manuals dating back to the fifties, his treasure trove of teaching materials dating back that far, and lots of other stuff to make way for my stuff. Yes, though it is impossible to be out there any length of time during the summer months except for very early in the morning as it is not air-conditioned, it is going to be my office.

Today Scott and I made three trips to the house and back as we carted over a lot of stuff including some of my books. I have maybe half of my books over there now. So, if you ever sent me a book for review and it has not been reviewed yet, it has company at the house just as it did here.

RTE Update for 6/10/17

The June 10 2017 issue of RTE is out and includes fifteen new reviews
as well as a new interview:

Peter Blauner in the 'Sixty seconds with . . .' interview hot seat:


LOCKDOWN Laurie R. King Reviewed by Barbara Fister

MAGPIE MURDERS Anthony Horowitz Reviewed by Rebecca Nesvet

YOU BELONG TO ME Colin Harrison Reviewed by Yvonne Klein

TESTIMONY Scott Turow Reviewed by Barbara Fister

ODD NUMBERS Anne Holt Reviewed by Susan Hoover

ULTIMATUM Anders de la Motte Reviewed by Anne Corey

EXIT STRATEGY Steve Hamilton Reviewed by PJ Coldren

SONG OF THE LION Anne Hillerman Reviewed by Sharon Mensing

TOLD YOU Celeste Ng Reviewed by Sharon Mensing

AND THE PERSISTENCE OF LOVE James Runcie Reviewed by Anne Corey

NEED YOU DEAD Peter James Reviewed by Jim Napier

SHERLOCK HOLMES Leonard Goldberg Reviewed by Rebecca Nesvet

DANGEROUS TO KNOW Renee Patrick Reviewed by Susan Hoover

ALICE AND THE ASSASSIN R.J. Koreto Reviewed by Lourdes Venard

DEATH ON NANTUCKET Francine Mathews Reviewed by PJ Coldren

We post more than 900 new reviews a year -- all of them are archived on
the site -- as well as a new interview with a top author every issue.

Yvonne Klein

KRL This Week Update for 6/10/17

Up in KRL this morning a review & giveaway of "Murder is the Main Course" by Shawn Reilly Simmons

Also up a review & giveaway of "Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall" by Hannah Dennison, along with an interesting guest post by Hannah

And a review & giveaway of "The Clock Strikes Nun" by Alice Loweecey,

And a review & giveaway of "Murder is for Keeps" by Elizabeth J. Duncan & an interesting interview with Elizabeth

We also have a review & giveaway of "Bloodline" by Vicki Vass along with an interview with Vicki

And in KRL a Father's Day short story by mystery author Margaret Mendel with just a bit of a mysterious twist

And on KRL Lite a review & giveaway of "Courtyard Corpse" by Sherry Lodge

 Happy reading,

KRL is now selling advertising & we have special discounts for
mystery authors & bookstores! Ask me about it!
Mystery section in Kings River Life
Check out my own blog at

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sandi Update--Saturday 6/10/17

Went this afternoon and saw Sandi and she is doing better. Her other main cancer doctor was there and says that all the tests come back good on the liver, kidneys, as well as the pancreas. If anything was going on, the blood dialysis deal seems to have worked and addressed things a bit. He wants to talk to Sandi’s main cancer doctor to see what he wants to do about restarting chemo. He also wants to discuss with him of they are going to do another blood dialysis treatment or not. My sense was he felt it was okay to go back and start chemo again ASAP, but wants to discuss things with her main guy. 

What they refer to as scalp lesions and are tumors have shrunk. The one on her tonsil has shrunk, as has the one in the right side of her neck in the lymph node. They think the sinus one is unchanged, but have not done anything imagery wise to confirm that. The others they can see and feel so they can tell what happened. The sinus one they can’t see and her symptoms have not changed so they figure it is still the same. Of course, with no imagery, they have no idea the status of the dozens and dozens of other tumors scattered throughout her body according to the recent PET Scan are doing now either.
She was sitting up when we got there and asserting herself as she told staff what she wanted and how she wanted things done. Sandi is not a meek patient and never has been going back decades. She wants to do her thing and do it all her way. Even the doctor was laughing about it and said that was proof she was doing better. As a result, he is expanding her diet a little more and seeing how that goes.

Physical therapy wants her up and walking the halls and she is not having it until they pull the catheter. They have no plans to do that yet, so she isn’t walking because she has had very bad experiences trying to do physical activity when it is in. Knowing that I don’t blame her, but those in charge of her want to do what she is told and she is not in the mood for that one bit.

For the first time in about a week, she is back crocheting stuff—cat toys in this case for the City Of Plano Animal Shelter—though you can’t see them in the picture. She wants out, but clearly is not ready for that. I have no idea right now when they would let her out as another blood dialysis treatment would not happen until Monday at the earliest if they do that. I specifically asked and the doctor today was not sure if they have to start the chemo over from square one—that means five days when they start—if they can just pick up where they left off which would mean about three days. Clearly, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on television, but since the blood dialysis deal was done to strip chemo out of her body and that includes at least some of the good or correct chemo, it seems to me they would have to start all over. But, I don’t know and they don’t have that figured out yet.

So, that is where we are at as of today. I think we have turned a corner on this latest crisis. Yes, the docs, nurses, and drugs did a lot of work, but I think the many thoughts, prayers, and well wishes from all of you played a major role in saving her. I honestly thought a few days ago we were going to lose her. Thankfully, that did not happen. And we thank you, many of you we have never met, for keeping her in your hearts and minds and willing her through this. Thank you.