Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Natchez Burning

Natchez Burning (Penn Cage Series #4)

I finally finished this book; all 798 pages. # 4 in the Penn Cage series.

"Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor and pillar of the community has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Once a crusading prosecutor, Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense."

My take on it: most mysteries have one or two bad guys and the good guy trying to right the wrong, solve the crime, remove the bad guy.  This book has a handful of good guys and two states (as in Mississippi and Louisiana) of really bad guys.

 Per Dictionary.com:

Sociopath: a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience

Icky:  disgusting; repulsive. Synonyms: revolting, disgusting (this is the word that kept coming to my mind)

It is full of sociopaths that have been operating for many, many years and getting away with it. They have performed horrible atrocities to black people, white people, animals, family members, anyone they didn't like the looks of. (I.e.Nazi's, Taliban, KKK) The only reason I finished it was to make sure these people did not make it past the end of the story. Unfortunately, I am not sure about that.

It was well written and was a page turner, I will say that much.

I think I will go read a nice cozy now.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Susan Wittig Albert fans

Any Susan Wittig Albert fans?
Book #23 in the China Bayles book comes out April 7, 2015.


"The China Bayles Herbal Mysteries feature herbalist China Bayles, who abandoned her career as a hot-shot Houston criminal attorney to buy an herb shop in a small town located half-way between Austin and San Antonio, Texas. China wants the things that many contemporary women seek: a quieter life, rewarding work, a close relationship, friends, and community. Each of her mysteries has a signature herb that is connected to a major theme, and each is liberally sprinkled with information on growing and using herbs. The China Bayles novels have been praised for their intelligent plots, quirky and appealing characters, interesting settings, and strong writing".

I enjoy reading this series because it takes place in my neck of the woods and is fun to read about local places and history. And who wouldn't want to leave their stressful job and have an herb shop and solve mysteries like China. Well, I guess I don't know anything about herbs, so I wouldn't have that but something fun...

Book #6 of the Darling Dahlias come out Sept 2015:
The Darling Dahlias and the Eleven O'Clock lady.

"The series is set in the 1930s, when times are tough, jobs are scarce, and people are worried about what lies ahead.
But the ladies of the fictional town of Darling, Alabama, are determined to keep their spirits up, their families fed, and their town beautiful. They belong to a garden club called "The Dahlias," which (next to Beulah's Beauty Bower, the Darling Diner, and the party line) is the most important of the town's social centers. The Dahlias have a clubhouse, a flag, an overgrown garden, and a weekly column in The Darling Dispatch, written by Miss Elizabeth Lacy. And like many other women of that era, they are experts in gardening, cooking, sewing, saving money, and making do, cheerfully. "

What I like about this series is the references to things, events, radio shows, music, food of that time that my grandparents would talk about. It is like hearing those stories again with a mystery thrown in. Also I am a big fan of the  " Greater Tuna" plays. The names of the characters make me think of the characters in the Greater Tuna.  :)


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A couple of notes of interest...

Sherlock Holmes

The BBC series Sherlock will be back for a 4th season. They started filming the three part series in January 2015. They are also filming a "special", stand alone episode set in Victorian times, to be shown prior to the new season. The article I read said the guess is it will be shown at Christmas time. (not sure if that will be in the U.S. or Britain).

I am a fan of the t.v. show Elementary also. I was watching some Sherlock movies from the 1940's with Basil Rathbone this weekend and noted some interesting things. (I have never read the Sherlock books.)

Elementary follows the "originals" more than I thought. In one movie I watched, Sherlock is working with Lt. Gregson. In Elementary, Sherlock works with Lt. Gregson. In the movies, Sherlock's flat is pretty cluttered, has lots of projects going on, Watson is there most of the time. The same is true in Elementary. In one movie, Sherlock and Watson talk about Sherlock's lack of a relationships with women, and talk about Irene Adler having been his one serious relationship. And none since. This is also talked about in Elementary.

I just found these similarities interesting because I didn't know if Elementary was following the basic background story or not really.

XM Radio Classics

If you have an XM radio, do you know about the Radio Classics station? They broadcast many of the old mystery radio shows such as: Suspense, The Shadow, The Falcon, The Whistler, Ellery Queen, Sherlock Homes, Lights Out and more. Check out the listings if you have a XM or Sirius radio. Fun to listen too if you are driving or doing things around the house.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Look what I found.

Look what I found on my shelf.

About three years ago, I had the opportunity to go through an older collection of books and I brought home this set of four, among others. I hadn't looked at it since. Then recently, I have seen the name, Dorothy Sayers, a few times. I said to myself, "Self, that sounds familiar...". Low and behold I have a set of four.

These books are Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane detective novels from the 1930's.

I really want to read at least one soon.

Dorothy Sayers is pretty interesting. Here is an excerpt from Wiki and the link to her full bio.

"Sayers, an only child, was born on 13 June 1893 at the Head Master's House, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford...In 1912, she won a scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford,[5] and studied modern languages and medieval literature. She finished with first-class honours in 1915.[6] Although women could not be awarded degrees at that time, Sayers was among the first to receive a degree when the position changed a few years later, and in 1920 she graduated as an MA. Her experience of Oxford academic life eventually inspired her penultimate Peter Wimsey novel, Gaudy Night....Sayers' longest employment was from 1922 to 1931 as a copywriter at S.H. Benson's advertising agency in London. Sayers is also credited with coining the slogan "It pays to advertise . "

Lord Wimsey "burst upon the world of detective fiction with an explosive "Oh, damn!" and continued to engage readers in eleven novels and two sets of short stories; the final novel ended with a very different "Oh, damn!"....Sayers introduced detective novelist Harriet Vane in Strong Poison. Sayers remarked more than once that she had developed the "husky voiced, dark-eyed" Harriet to put an end to Lord Peter via matrimony. But in the course of writing Gaudy Night, Sayers imbued Lord Peter and Harriet with so much life that she was never able, as she put it, to "see Lord Peter exit the stage".

I think this is a great find!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Did you know that a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird is set to be published July of 2015?

This was originally to be Harper Lee's first book. It is story about adult Scout. When it was read by her publishers, they were intrigued by the flashbacks of Scout's childhood and urged her to write a book about that.

To Kill a Mockingbird was written and published. Go Set a Watchman was presumed lost. The manuscript was found in 2014 and is soon to be published.

While it may not be "mystery", who has not read To Kill a Mockingbird?

This book is on my "want to read" list.


Go Set a Watchman

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Let me know please...

Hi all !
Finally nice and sunny today but cold. Glad to see the sun finally.

I found out not everyone, or maybe no one could comment to my blog posts because it was linked to Google +. I have removed that setting....I believe.

I am new to this and not a computer whiz, meaning I can figure it out eventually but have to study the situation. I have been taking "hints" for blogs and maybe Google + wasn't a good choice for now.

If you can let me know my just a "yes", I would like to know if people can now comment on my posts.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Checking in...

As I mentioned 1 1/2 weeks ago, my next book is Natchez Burning by Greg Iles.

It is our April book for our Mystery Book Club. I can safely bet there will be quite a discussion about this book.

I am on page 217 of 791, so I won't be ready to "report" on it for awhile yet.
I wish I could just sit and read books all day, but my guess is, my full time job won't allow that. :(

I already have one word to describe this book.  I don't think I have ever thought of one word to describe a book. I will save it until I finish.

I will say I probably wouldn't have chosen this book to read on my own. Just not the type or length of book I typically choose. But that is the great thing about belonging to a book club. You are introduced to a variety of books, styles, and authors. Even though our group reads mysteries, there is a great variety of mysteries.

I found this interesting article about Greg Iles; how a tragedy influenced his writing of the book and influenced his decision to make the story a trilogy.


Natchez Burning