Showing posts from June, 2013

Foibles & Bits of Foolery: A Yank Takes on Merry Old England... and Learns to Fit In

Like a lot of people, I enjoy travel. Not so much the getting-there part, mind you (which, in my experience, involves enduring either too much mind- and posterior-numbing time on an uncomfortable car seat while watching a whole lot of nothing pass by, or a killer-migraine-inducing flight during which I’m forced to toy with the question of what good the seat-cushion flotation device would really do me, were we to unexpectedly make a hard landing in Farmer Johnson’s wheat field--or for that matter, even in a semi-handy body of water, seeing as how I can’t swim), but the being-there part--provided there’s plenty to see, do, and experience--is pretty swell.
Actually finding the time and opportunity to do much traveling has always been a challenge, though, what with trying to juggle work and other responsibilities. (And perversely, all the interconnectedness we have at our disposal today only makes matters worse, not better; it’s impossible to truly “get away from it all” when anyone can--a…

Murders, Multiplying Cats... and Parallel Worlds

A reclusive heiress in the prime of her life is found murdered at home. The news is tragic, shocking, and (though it says nothing particularly flattering about them) quite titillating, as far as the remainder of small Jamesville County’s residents are concerned. 
When Detective Shawn Danger (yep, his real name) goes to the Sylvain mansion to investigate, though, it’s a whole different sort of excitement for him. Given the notoriety surrounding the mysterious Haviland Sylvain, Shawn is keenly aware the police department--the whole community, for that matter--will be placing top priority on solving this one. A lot of pressure? Sure, but that’s just the start of it, because things are about to get weird... very, very weird, in Nina Post’s sublimely-quirky spin on the standard police procedural mystery, Danger in Cat World.

Most people--plenty of cops included--would be pretty annoyed by a phone ringing off the hook at 4:44 a.m. Shawn isn’t exactly a “normal” anything, though; he’s obsessed…

Books, Cats, & Daddy

Looking back on growing up and spending time with their dads, I'm guessing most people probably associate those years with things like learning how to ride a bike, playing catch in the backyard, or grilling hamburgers in the summer.

Not me. Sure, we did that stuff, too, but the way I'll always remember my dad is for his passions... the ones he didn't get to indulge in nearly enough (airplanes, photography, and art), and the ones that gave him pleasure his whole life long (reading and cats).

You were a good influence, Daddy... the best. :)

Spies, International Terrorists... and the Girl Reporter who Outfoxes Them All

It’s one of those sad facts of life: get enough young people together--say, at a college or university--and bad things are gonna happen now and then. Drunken revelries lead to aggressive behaviors and all manner of accidents. Pranks that seem like great fun turn out to be anything but harmless larks. And, kids who haven’t yet figured out a way to deal--with life, studies, the grim realities of an uncertain future, being different, or rejection--decide it’s easier to just end things... permanently.
Thus is the stage set for Mary Louise Kelly’s top-notch thriller, Anonymous Sources.

When Alexandra James--current go-to reporter responsible for the New England Chronicle’s university beat--gets the call, interrupting her summer evening plans, to dash over to Harvard for a breaking story, such is the type of scene she expects to find. Another dead college student who took a dive from a campus bell tower... he either got plastered and lost his footing with tragic results, or was depressed and …