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Showing posts from August, 2012

Neighbors, Lovers, & Other Little Scandals: Upstairs/Downstairs for Today

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Nanny, butler, maid, footman, valet, housekeeper, cook, chauffeur, gardener, au pair, aide... the titles may change over time, but the duties for those who toil away in the households of the rich and privileged remain much the same. And, though we might euphemistically lump them together under the more-palatable “domestic workers” (in our must-above-all-else-be-P.C. world), the truth is they’re still servants, whose jobs involve waiting on others positioned higher up the social ladder.
No one is apt to think there’s much equality between the two groups--particularly not the “haves” (those who have more of everything, whether money, status, or power) nor their household staffs (employed to do the menial work). The domestic hires have at their disposal one (potentially) very useful tool, however: knowledge, of all the little habits, eccentricities, and secrets of their employers (and something which the employers are probably mostly unawares they possess).
What might someone do with such …

Sleight-of-Paw in Vegas (or Murder, Mayhem, Magic & the Marvelous Moggies)

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A vintage-attired, high-heel-clad little dynamo... a hunky ex-priest-cum-radio-personality superstar... a mysterious and rakish magician (in desperate need of finding his lost memories)... and one sleek-yet-stout, green-eyed, black-as-night feline... those four components can only mean one thing: it’s time for a return trip to Vegas, baby!
Hold the phone--and pack an extra bag--though, because this time out Midnight Louie is up to more than just his usual Sin City sleuthing-and-shenanigans; in Cat in a White Tie and Tails, he manages to squeeze in a visit to the Windy City, as well.
~^.,.^~   ~^.,.^~   ~^.,.^~
When suddenly-in-demand radio star Matt Devine receives yet another all-expenses-paid trip to Chi-town--where a group of network bigwigs will again attempt to cajole him into accepting their offer for a major TV gig--it seems like the perfect opportunity to knock out a pair of birds with one stone; he can take Temple Barr--plucky Vegas hotel PR consultant and his delightful fiancee…

Changing the Future... with Love, Magic, & Time Travel

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Humans have probably been longing to go back in time since... well, since man first realized there was a “back then”, and that things in the past may hold clues about the future.
Short of running across an H.G. Wellsian time machine or a souped-up Delorean, though, such time-traveling jaunts have long been viewed as either ridiculously unlikely (by the glass-nearly-empty naysayers) or a maybe-one-day possibility (by the glass-half-full hopefuls)... until now, that is (and still, possible only if you’re chummy with a time-weaving witch willing to take you along for the ride).
Good thing that Diana Bishop (an American professor at Oxford) is just that sort of witch, then, because she and fellow scholar (and ancient vampire) Matthew Clairmont have an urgent need to go back, way back, following the events in last year’s A Discovery of Witches [see review here] by Deborah Harkness. 
At least, it would be a good thing, if only Diana weren’t so woefully-untrained at almost every aspect of being…