Nothing much happens
in Fort Davis, Texas or in the surrounding Jeff Davis County. People drift in,
stay awhile, and leave. Ralph MacAfee hadn’t thought of the Cynds—Melvin and
Judith—until he was reminded of them by Jerry Miles over at the local
bookstore. It was only then that Ralph realized he hadn’t seen them in as long
as a couple of years.
Miles tells Ralph
about how Melvin had been looking for an obscene book by J. Frank Dobie and Miles
had come across it. When he went to try to reach Melvin, he could not get ahold
of him. He had been trying several times over a couple of months and never has
been able to get ahold of him. He has also been talking to the local real
estate guy and the property has not been sold.
Ralph MacAfee is
spooked by all of this and decides to go out to the Cynd place up on a mesa
outside of town. The drive out to the mesa about ten miles outside of town is
easy enough, but the drive up the last little bit onto the mesa is quite an
adventure. Being the county coroner means Ralph has a truck with four-wheel
drive to get up and over the abrupt edge of the mesa. What he finds up there
changes everything they in They No Here: A Short Story by
Known for having a
touch of the supernatural in his long running Bill Travis Mystery Series
that began long ago with The Last Call as well as in numerous
short stories, George Wier does in again in this short story. Couple that fact
with his usual ability to create a sense of place in a few quick sentences as
well as conjure up a strong mystery makes it very clear that George Wier is
again weaving his storytelling magic in They No Here: A Short Story. The
result is a fun read that entertains from start to finish.
It was a long day today as the blood work indicated that Sandi needed IV fluids coupled with magnesium to deal with some potential issues. So, that has been done and we are now finally home.
Her immune system as well as her blood counts indicate she is far too weak to have chemo now. That has been delayed to the end of next week at the absolute earliest and far more likely the follow week at some point. We go back next Wednesday for another doctor visit and blood work to assess where she is at by then. She is better, but she still has quite a ways to go to recover from the bacterial blood infection. Part of that is finishing the antibiotic cycle early next week.
By the time this post appears, we should be at Texas Oncology at Medical City Dallas Hospital. Sandi has an appointment for blood work and a visit with the doctor. Assuming no unpleasant surprises with her blood, we should also learn today when they plan to do the next round of in-hospital chemo.
We think that will happen right after Labor Day. But, with the influx of medically critical patients from the Gulf Coast, it is possible her chemo will have to be delayed. They were already having trouble getting patients into the hospital before Hurricane Harvey did what it did on the Texas coast.
exhausted the subject of cats, Jeanne now makes things harder by talking about a series with food…..
Books: West Food Critic series by Lucy
Hayley Snow has been unceremoniously dumped by her
boyfriend Chad, a smooth operator who charmed her into giving up everything to
follow him from New Jersey to Key West.Out
of a job, not to mention a place to live, she decides to apply for a job as
food critic for Key Zest, a local
publication.Unfortunately for her, the
owner of Key Zest is Kristen-- the
Chad’s new lover and no fan of Hayley.When Kristen expires after eating some bad Key Lime pie supplied by
Hayley, the police pounce upon her as the chief suspect.
This is a series I picked up again recently.The first books put me off because Hayley is
such a doormat.She is still desperately
in love with a guy who has treated like a piece of garbage.She knows this, but still goes crawling back
to him in hopes that he’ll take her back. In book three (I skipped two), she
now hates the guy but he still figures in her thoughts and actions.I found her whiney and immature.
I wanted to like the books because of the setting
but I couldn’t because of the characters.I didn’t like Hayley and more importantly I didn’t respect her, and that
loomed so large I couldn’t appreciate the rest. The best thing was her cat’s
name, Evinrude--and at one point she loses track of him in a dangerous
situation and if he ever turned back up in that book, I missed it.(He does show up in later books, so
apparently all was well.)
Flash forward some years and I found myself on a
plane to Key West.I decided to give
Hayley another shot, hoping that at least I’d find out about some KW
attractions. Fatal Reservations is the sixth book in the series and I
was pleasantly surprised by it.Chad is
finally out of the picture and Hayley is an established columnist, living on a
houseboat with an elderly roommate. The plot revolves around the murder of Bart
Frontgate, the flaming fork juggler at the nightly Sunset Celebration.A fellow performer, Lorenzo the Tarot card
reader, is the prime suspect, but of course Hayley disagrees and sets out to
clear his name.
Stripped of most of the old boyfriend baggage,
Hayley was a much more appealing character even if she does still have a few
relationship issues. Miss Gloria, her roommate, is a delight, a lively senior
citizen who has decided to volunteer to give tours of the local cemetery. A
good bit of the action took place there, and since I do enjoy a good graveyard,
I found that particularly interesting.I
learned about the behind the scenes parts of the Sunset Celebration, a real Key West staple, and was able to amaze my
family with bits of information which I really hope were true.
I was so cheered by the transformation that I’m
going to read some of the ones I’d missed.Sadly, the series was canceled after book seven.
So, to treadmill or not to treadmill?The
earlier books, no; but the later books have enough local color to hold my
interest and the characters are more enjoyable. I was sorry to see that the
publisher has ended the series just when I thought it was getting good.
The eight short
stories in the Eight Adventures of Sherlock Holmes appeared before in various
anthologies over the years from 1987 as recently as 2009. Collected in one book
and published by Gordian Knott, an imprint of Crossroad Press, these tales
quickly pull the reader in to the world originally created by Arthur Conan
Doyle. Mr. Bill Crider’s work so closely resembles the original author it is very
easy to forget who wrote these eight tales. Many folks try to imitate the
original and miss. M. Crider does so with ease in tales that easily could be
part of the Sherlock canon.
“The Adventure of the
Young British Solider” opens the book with a tale where Watson, many years
later, writes about a previously untold story that happened during 1884. A
highly personal that begins on a very cold night in early December. Watson is
thinking of what happened to him in Afghanistan after those memories are triggered
by a certain poem. A certain fellow soldier, an orderly, saved Watson’s life
that day. His name was Edward Murray and Watson totally lost touch with him
after the incident. Only days later his wife will appear on their doorstep
seeking their help.
It is the spring of 1887
and upon their return to London Holmes has become bored and depressed. Such a
mood is very dangerous for an addict and Watson is very worried as “The Case of
the Vanished Vampire” begins. Sherlock Holmes thinks the whole idea of vampires
is utter and complete nonsense, but his visitors, Bram Stoker and Dr. Abraham
Van Helsing, seek to convince him otherwise. They claim to have killed one here
in London. They are not sure they killed it correctly in the pressure of the
moment. According to them, it escaped and is probably out there in London
converting others to its gory cause. They want to find the creature this night,
before it feeds again, and they want the help of Watson and Holmes.
The supernatural is
also a major part of the next story titled “The Adventure of the St. Marylebone
Ghoul.” According to the newspaper, a creature of some sort is at the St. Marylebone
cemetery causing unspeakable horrors. They are discussing the situation when
the night caretaker at the cemetery, Benjamin Swaraj, arrives seeking their
Holmes is not a fan
of Christmas and the carolers in the streets outside 22B Baker Street are not
going to change his mind. He’s bored and Watson is well aware what that can
mean. Fortunately, a client appears this night two nights before Christmas in
the form of a Mr. Oscar Wilde. Mr. Wilde needs Holmes help as he believes
someone is trying to kill him and he thinks he knows the suspects.
Years later, as
Watson nears the end of his life, he thinks about the many events involving
Sherlock that he recorded over the years for posterity. He also considers the
events that before now he did not have the strength to detail. One such case is
“The Adventure of the Venomous Lizard.” On a cold and sometimes treacherous
winter night, Holmes has spotted a man he perceives to be desperate headed
their way. Upon his arrival, they hear his name and his reason for his
While Holmes did not
like to clean, he especially liked to cook breakfast, which was his favorite
meal. Over a morning repast, he slowly pulls out of Watson what is bothering
him in “The Case of the Vampire’s Mark.” Once Watson confesses all and they
have dealt with that, they are ready for their visitor Abraham Stoker when he
arrives. He brings news of a child that bears the neck bite marks of vampire
and requests their help.
Sharing the name of
Holmes with the man going by the moniker H. H. Holmes, known for hideous crimes,
was bad enough, but having been in close proximity to him with no knowledge of
what he was doing bothers Sherlock a lot more. Buffalo Bills’ Wild West Show was
in Chicago at the time they were there and they were able to spend time with
Colonel Cody himself. That was a good thing as he needed their help. What
happened is detailed in the tale, “The Adventure in the White City.”
It is Dec. 22nd
as “The Adventure of the Christmas Ghosts” begins. Franklin Scrooge, great
nephew of Ebenezer Scrooge, is in quite a state when he arrives at 221B Baker
Street. A ghost, a family legacy, and more are at stake and Franklin Scrooge
needs their help.
A bonus story, “Death
Did Not Become Him” by Patricia Lee Macomber and David Niall Wilson brings the
book to a close. In this one, Watson goes to 221B Baker Street late one night
desperately seeking his help. Watson has had his own visitors earlier this
night and was greatly disturbed by them in this Lovecraft style tale. While
Sherlockian in style, this short story is jarring when compared to the tales of
Mr Crider featured in the book. It strikes a totally different style and tone
and does not compare at all well to the previous stories.
Eight Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Bill Crider is a very good read.
Mysteries, often more than one, are present in each short story where a
rational explanation of events is always the outcome. Each tale quickly pulls
the reader into the world of Conan Arthur Doyle as Mr. Crider spins a web
indiscernible from the original creator. Eight Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Bill Crider is a very good read and highly recommended.
Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay (Bantam, 2007) is a
classic example of a contemporary domestic thriller. No spies, no master
criminals, no exotic locales, no political intrigue, just ordinary people
leading ordinary lives, until one day…..
Cynthia Bigge was 14 years old and delighted to be
asked out by the school bad boy. He was so good-looking, who cared about his
reputation? Well, her parents for one, so she had to fabricate a story to
explain her absence. Her father checked up on her, found she was not where she
said she would be, and searched for her at the teen make-out site. He removed
her slightly intoxicated self from her date’s car, where he had been plying her
with alcohol, embarrassing her to the core in front of her peers, and took her
home. The teen-parent argument that followed was epic. She then slammed the
door to her bedroom and fell into an inebriated sleep. When she awoke the next
morning, she was alone in the eerily silent house. Her mother, father, and
brother were gone. The car was gone. No note or sign to explain their absence. They
were never found and no clue to their disappearance was discovered. An aunt
raised Cynthia and sent her to college.
Twenty-five years later, Cynthia is married with a
daughter and she still wants to know what happened to her family. One of the
cold case television series agrees to broadcast a re-enactment to perhaps
uncover new information. After the broadcast, as usual all sorts of people come
forward, not all of them seeking to be helpful. Strange phone calls frighten
them. Someone breaks into their house and leaves a hat Cynthia thinks is her
father’s. Her husband decides they need help and hires a private investigator,
and long-held secrets begin to unravel. The resolution actually has several
clues planted along the way, but I didn’t pick up on them because it is so
This is my favorite book by Barclay, although Fear the Worst and The Accident run a close second. He is adept at describing everyday
people leading routine lives when one slight change sends those humdrum lives
into a tailspin. What is particularly interesting to me is that this book
re-uses a plot from a Perry Mason mystery with many of the same details. This
book is hard to put down once begun, so set aside lots of uninterrupted time
before reading the first page.
Bantam; First Edition edition (September 25, 2007)
A little over 48 hours since Sandi came home things continue to roll on. The home health care nurse came and checked her vitals and a few other things today. She was pleased at how much better Sandi was today then the last time she saw her a couple of weeks ago. The nurse left the PICC line dressing alone as the PICC line was put in Thursday morning so it was best left alone. Wednesday morning we see the folks at Texas Oncology so they can handle changing the dressing there. All in all she seems to be doing okay.
Tonight Sandi told me that sometime while she was in the hospital iOffer took down her site so it is no longer possible to buy any of her stuff there. She is not intending to put it back up or sign up with any other site. Except for a few occasions, she hardly ever sold anything by having the sites. This happened despite spending tons of time setting things up as well as a lot of time promoting the items. Most of what remained for sale will now be given to friends who can and will use the stuff or it will be donated.
Up in KRL this morning reviews & giveaways of 5 more
mysteries from Penguin authors for your end of summer reading-"Addressed
to Kill": A Postmistress Mystery by Jean Flowers, "Sowed to Death":
A Farmer’s Daughter Mystery by Peg Cochran, "Muffin to Fear": A Merry
Muffin Mystery by Victoria Hamilton, "A Tangled Yarn": A Yarn Retreat
Mystery by Betty Hechtman, & "Chime and Punishment": A Clock Shop
Mystery by Julianne Holmes http://kingsriverlife.com/08/26/july-august-penguin-mysteries-for-your-end-of-summer-reading/
We have made it through 24 hours and so far everything seems okay. Sandi just got the last antibiotic for today and is now in bed. Home health care nurse should be here mid morning tomorrow to check on her and change the PICC line dressing.
For those worried about us in relation to the hurricane--- we should be safe. We live in NE Dallas and therefore are a very long way from the coast. Assuming Hurricane Harvey meanders around in deep South Texas, as currently predicted, the general forecast for here is some breezes and occasional showers and storms due to the outer bands coming way north. The forecast for here is about three inches of rain over the weekend. Even if it does a lot more, we are not in a flood zone. I am also very aware of those areas that flood as they always do and have since I was a kid. So, if we absolutely had to go out this weekend in a storm because we had to get to the hospital, I know how to go and be safe.
We are very worried about friends and family in South Texas and are thinking of all tonight in harm's way.
This week, I'm giving away two mysteries that will allow you to slip off to
Europe, Susan C. Shea's Love & Death in Burgundy and G.M. Malliet's Devil's
Breath. Details on my blog, http://www.lesasbookcritiques.blogspot.com.
Entries from the U.S. only, please.
means Friday’s Forgotten Books hosted by Patti Abbott. Having reviewed the
latest short story in the Kate Burkholder series, Only The Lucky yesterday, it seemed like a very good time run again
my review from February 2010 of the first book in the series, Sworn To Silence. This is one of those
series that you really should read in order and that means you should start
here. For more reading suggestions today make sure you head over to Todd Mason's blog where he will have the links later today.
Police Chief Kate Burkholder is sure it
can’t be happening again and for a very good reason. Winter has gripped the
small town of Painters Mill, Ohio and a serial killer is at work. Sixteen years
ago he struck four times and Kate Buckholder is pretty sure he can’t be back
now. The dead woman at the household of the Stutz place seems to belie that
idea. Not only was she brutally murdered in the same savage way as before there
are other signs linking the killings from sixteen years ago to the killings
Raised as Amish until she became rebellious and was, for all intents and
purposes, disowned by her family, Kate Burkholder has seen quite a lot over the
years. But, nothing prepared her for the sight of the dead woman with roman
numerals carved into the skin of her stomach. Just as the killer did sixteen
Clichés and stereotypes exist for a reason. They do have a kernel of truth in
them and resonate for readers both in terms of real life and in the world of
fiction. They abound in this book in the form of Kate Buckholder and the
outsider John Tomasetti of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and
Investigation. Both are flawed characters, hiding secrets from their past which
could very easily destroy them, and both hold themselves apart from others. It
isn’t surprising when the two make a connection on various levels and unite in
a case that becomes increasingly violent and political.
This is one of those books that are hard to review. As a writer and editor,
there were places in the book where it was stunningly easy to predict exactly
what was going to happen. The same was true as a reader because I read so many
books. For this reader, the who-dunit was no surprise once the triggering event
became very obvious. It was also obvious where there were occasional continuity
issues and plot point problems.
At the same time, despite the predictability and the clichés, Texas author
Linda Castillo has created a highly suspenseful and atmospheric book. Much of
the criticism that has noted the plot point problems and continuity issues will
not impact the casual reader who allows the story to take over and doesn’t
analyze the work. The book works because it is highly atmospheric, the main
character isn’t run of the mill and the setting using the Amish in the area is
a bit different. The author manages to hook the reader quickly and pull one
deep into her world where it all does make sense and everything works.
Not only is the book, which is very violent and very graphic in several spots,
worth your time and effort, it serves as the foundation of what could be an
entertaining series. Pray For Silence is the second book
in the series and is currently scheduled to be released this June.
Sandi update---PICC line is in. BUT.....the antibiotics that were delivered last night are the wrong dosage and frequency as the doc changed things this morning. She also needs platelets. So, until all of that is handled, she is not coming home today. Looking at dinner time if not later.
For Alma Fisher, the
party should be fun. She is going with a friend, Irene, and will meet up with
her boyfriend, Aden Keim. Two years older than her as he is now 20, she knows
Aden is a hard worker, and that she is in love. She is thrilled that he plans on
being baptized into the church next year further proving his devotion. She has
her sights on marrying him.
For the Chief of Police
Kate Burkholder the evening in Painters Mill, Ohio has been a quiet one. It is
a Friday evening in the spring and things are unusually quiet. She does not
know about the party the local teens are having. It is not just the Amish teens
that will attend; teens from the town and miles around will be there. It is
only when local Amish farmer Aaron Yonder comes to the station and requests
to see her that she learns what could be happening on this quiet evening. She
has known Aaron since they were kids and she knows that he does not come to see
He knows what is
planned in the coming hours out at old Davenport place. He has heard whispers
and talk about the planned activities at midnight and has seen both cars and
Amish buggies headed out there. He believes that the place is haunted and that
“it is an ungodly gathering.” The fact that it is Friday the 13th
does not help matters. Nor does a murder.
While not at the
level of the books, Only The Lucky: A Kate Burkholder Story by Linda Castillo is a
pretty good one. It is significantly better than the previous short stories she
has done as tie-ins to the series. In this case, all the usual characters are
in place and the mystery has a couple of twists to it. Unfortunately, a couple
of time discrepancies are apparent and that tends to cause the reader to double
check the sequence of events as one works through the read. Despite the fact as
well as the obvious fact that the short story is a marketing gimmick designed to
wet appetites and interest readers into buying the latest novel, it does work
fairly well on its own.
Just got home from seeing her at the hospital. She was sitting up in a chair and doing okay when we arrived. They plan on putting a PICC line into her arm tomorrow and then sending her home later in the day. The timing of both events is up in the air right now. The home health care folks have already billed and processed my payment for the $600 they wanted for her out of pocket stuff on this so you know that things are being lined up to send her home asap.
Jeanne is back this
week with some thoughts on the phenomenon of putting cats on book covers…..
Treadmill Books: Cats
on Book Covers
Anyone who has browsed the
mystery paperback racks knows there are lots (and lots and lots) of books with
either cats or dogs on the cover.Being
partial to cats, I immediately gravitate to those.First I look to see how prominently the cat
is featured:is it a small, unobtrusive
cat or is it front and center?Front and
center gets my attention first, but I’ll also take a look at any with feline
However, a cat on the cover doesn’t mean there’s a cat in
the book.Often authors feel obligated
to insert a passing cat to justify the image, such as, “I raced to my car to
follow the serial killer, and the neighborhood stray cat ran under the bushes
to get out of my way.” Authors, you don’t have to do that for me.I understand that these days a cat on a cover
is meant to convey that this is a cozy mystery, just as a plate of fried
chicken on a checkered tablecloth means Southern cozy.Actual fried chicken may or may not appear in
Books with cats added
under protest feel like books with cats added under protest. Authors obligated
to create a reoccurring cat character tend to forget said feline for large
portions of time.One book had a cat run
off, giving the heroine an excuse to go snooping in the bushes and uncover evidence.What she never uncovered was the cat, who
vanished for the rest of the story, though he did obligingly show up next book
to be fed and forgotten again.
Actually, I don’t demand or even expect a cat be part of a
book.A well written book with complex,
likablecharacters or a clever plot that
keeps me engaged is a winner every time. In fact, some of my favorite mysteries
do not feature cats. Give me a sleuth, amateur or professional, with flaws but
who doesn’t wallow in self-pity, who doesn’t find a new lust object every book
or else who doesn’t think their Significant Other is cheating/leaving five
times a book, who follows up on clues without being foolhardy, and who is a
decent human being without being a saint or a doormat, and I’m in. Or else give
me a fiendishly clever solvable puzzle, one that will keep me guessing until
the end, and I’ll be happy.
So why do I look for covers with cats on them?When it comes to new authors and series, I
expect a certain percentage to be, well, average at best. In some cases it
takes time for characters to grow on me, and if there’s a cute cat around I can
be more patient.There have been books I
would have given up on long before the end if I hadn’t been hoping that terrific
tabby or adorable angora might show up again. They’re my backup plan. Some of
these series have become fairly decent series, despite lackluster beginnnings;
I hung in there only because of Muffy the Maine Coon or Simone the Siamese, and
now I’m glad I did. If there’s a cat on the cover, but no cat in the book , it’s
okay providing the book meets the above criteria, i.e., is well written with
complex characters and a decent plot.
Also, there are books in which the cats are the ONLY
redeeming quality.I’ve read more than a
couple of tales in which the amateur sleuth needsto be hit in the head with a common sense
stick or else needs to develop a backbone or learn to follow up on clues before
she or he ends up the next victim—the acronym TSTL exists for a reason.I may swear I’ll never read another book by
the Honorable Mrs. Mewington, but when a new book comes out with Charming Billy
the grey tabby or Crazy Fred the ring-tailed wonder or amiable Melon the
overweight ginger and white on the cover, I tell myself that surely it couldn’t
have been as bad as I remembered and find myself buying a copy.
I will add one caveat, though:if there is a cat on the cover but the only
time a cat is mentioned is when the heroine complains about stray cats being a
nuisance, then that’s an immediate deal breaker.I don’t ask that the author and/or heroine
LIKE cats, but I draw the line at active dislike. And yes, there was such a
book.The heroine was so-so, a
supporting character was really annoying, the rest of the characters were
bland, and I don’t remember any of the plot, though I assume there was
one.The cat was my only hope, and when
that was dashed, the book became a rare DNF.
Just talked to Sandi tonight and she is doing okay. They removed the tri fusion port this afternoon. They are now running what they need to do through one IV that is located in her right arm halfway between her wrist and her elbow. Currently that is one bag of antibiotics after another one with each one being a different antibiotic. After getting multiple units of blood and platelets this morning it looks like they are not planning to repeat that tomorrow.
Fortunately, she is not in much pain and has been able to crochet. Her mood is pretty good though she is a bit bored and restless and is not finding anything on TV to take her mind off of things. She can still hear and she is thrilled with that fact and hope it holds.
So, I think things are as good as they can be right now. Or, as she put it again tonight, "It is what it is."
September 2, 2017 - Shelley Kaehr, Ph.D. "The Wacky and Unpredictable World of Writing and Publishing."
Kaehr, Ph.D. began her writing career as a newspaper editor-in-chief.
She opened a publishing company in 1994 and became a nationally known
past life regressionist and authority on the practical applications of
gems and stones after authoring dozens of books on the mind-body
connection. Her work has been featured on such programs as Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and William Shatner’s Weird or What.
also writes horror and science fiction under the pen name Annette
Shelley and romance under the pen name Leah Leonard. When she's not
writing, Shelley loves to travel and owns a Cruise Planners
franchise. She is a member of the Horror Writer's Association and NTMWA
and will talk to our group about her experiences in the wacky and
unpredictable world of writing and publishing.
There is unrest on
the San Carlos Indian Reservation in Arizona in the late 1800s as some are agitating
for the Indians to unite and leave. There are rumors that those chiefs who
oppose leaving will be killed. That includes Geronimo who was just shot as Geronimo
Must Die by J. R. Lindermuth begins.
Mickey Free, whose
mixed race ancestry is uncertain and was raised among the White Mountain
Apaches, does not think the shooting at Geronimo was faked, though others,
including his superiors, certainly do. Serving as a scout for the U.S. Army,
Mickey moves about the reservation quietly drifting through the camps of the
various groups while listening to what is being said. It is a dangerous
practice at the best of times, and far more dangerous now as some actively work
Before long, Mickey Free
has a contact among those in the rebellion and begins to work at the edges of
the conspiracy against Geronimo and others. As he slowly works his way closer
to the discovering the elusive identity of the person behind the conspiracy, he
increasingly puts his own life at stake. Having saved Geronimo twice before,
the third time may not be the charm for either one of them.
Along with the
mystery at work in Geronimo must die, there is plenty about the history and
political situation for the Indians on the reservations. While San Carlos is
the location, these same issues existed elsewhere throughout the country. This
social commentary, often delivered from Mickey’s perspective, serves to enhance
Geronimo Must Die is a solidly good western from J. R.
Lindermuth. As in other books from this author, while the genre is primarily western,
there is a strong mystery element that runs throughout the work. Complex and
nuanced this western has fully developed characters, a complicated mystery, a
hint of romance, and plenty of history that brings the book alive for the
reader. Geronimo Must Die is another very good read from author J. R.
Lindermuth and well worth your time.
Having talked to her a couple of times today I was already aware that by noon she had learn that the planned port removal surgery was not happening today as she was not on their schedule. As we had discussed, that might have been a good thing as that would mean she would be on heavy antibiotics for another day to deal with the bacterial blood infection before they again opened her up to do something. It also had become clear that they had to do yet another multi unit blood and platelet transfusion.
When we got home from UTD tonight, less than an hour ago, Scott called her and then after a few minutes I was on the phone with her. Upon further review of the x-rays, it turns out she did break her right rib. It is apparently a hairline fracture and the rib did not displace so it should heal without any intervention. At this time, they do not see any breaks anywhere else.
The plan for tomorrow is for the port to come out. At this point, we do not know when. She has been told that she is probably getting more blood and platelets tomorrow and they will do that by way of fresh needle inserts through each hand. Obviously, when they do that, it pretty much is going to shut down her ability to crochet as it will hurt far too much. Of course, if they do this tomorrow after the port surgery, she will be so heavily pain medicated that she won't be able to crochet or do anything anyway.
"It is what it is" has been her mantra the last few days and that hasn't changed tonight. The fight goes on.
One of my great finds this year has been the prolific Golden
Age author Ernest Robertson Punshon (1872-1956). Writing as E. R. Punshon, he
released 35 books featuring Bobby Owen, an Oxford-educated policeman who worked
his way up through the Scotland Yard ranks. He wrote another five featuring
Sergeant Bell, a plodding, lugubrious London detective who nevertheless always
reached a satisfactory conclusion in his cases. Still another 20 books were
stand-alone mysteries.Dorothy L. Sayers
regarded Punshon’s work highly, saying that “all his books have that elusive something which makes them count as
literature, so that we do not gulp them furiously down to get to the murderer
lurking at the bottom, but roll them slowly and deliciously upon the tongue
like old wine.” While I don’t like them quite that much, I enjoy reading Punshon,
sometimes more for his portrayal of England during the first half of the 20th
century than for his plots, which are not always as solid as one could hope.
In Music Tells All,
published by Victor Gollancz in
1948, Bobby Owen and Sergeant Bell, promoted now to Inspector, team up on a
case that moves back and forth between a village and London. The story starts
with Bobby and his wife Olive who need a place to live. She asks to see a home
at a comfortable distance from his job at Scotland Yard. Expecting a crowd of competing
seekers, they rush out only to find a quiet village with a house that seems
perfect. The landlord names a rental fee far less than what he could get in
this time of extreme scarcity and they jump at the lease. They soon learn that
an odd neighbor is given to playing her piano tempestuously at all hours.
Everyone in the village gives her a wide berth, except for their landlord who
seems to be simultaneously fascinated and repulsed.
Bobby is distracted by a jewelry heist in London which
involves a wild car chase through the city streets. One of the rings from the
robbery is found in the village where Bobby just moved and the body of a
stranger shows up in a nearly dismantled bomb shelter, bringing in Inspector
Bell. The obvious suspect is a chauffeur who disappeared about the same time
but several of the neighbors warrant closer inspection. Bobby doesn’t
understand how his new village is tied to the robbery but can see that it is.
Poor Olive is constantly searching for food for the two of them.
There aren’t enough clues to suggest the actual culprit and
the motivation behind the crimes so the ending requires too much explanation,
but all in all this is a good story, describing as it does life in post-war
England and the citizenry determined to make do and get by.
The Kindle edition features a new introduction by crime fiction historian
In the wreckage of the S&L crisis of the late 80s and early 90s, Ed Earl Burch works as a private detective. His office located near Mo...
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In my wife's memory and honoring a promise I made to Sandi, the blog continues...at least for now. If you would like to make a donation of support, you can do so at the links below. Most of the donated funds go to the purchase of various short story anthologies and collections which eventually are read and reviewed here.