Monday, June 27, 2016

Bauman's Rare Books

What do most people do when they go to Las Vegas? Hit the casinos.

What do book addicts do when they go to Las Vegas? Go to a book store.

I found out about this book store when I was watching Pawn Stars. (I like looking at vintage and antique things and the guys are pretty funny). One of the "experts" they call in to the store to "take a look" at books that come in, is a book appraiser named Rebecca. The store is in Las Vegas thereby Rebecca must be in Vegas = "Google Rebecca Pawn Stars". Tada! She works for Bauman Books. And it is right near "the strip" in the Venetian Palazzo shops. A short walk from our hotel. Hurray!

The picture above is what you see as you walk in. It goes from floor to almost ceiling. I wanted to get a full length picture but some guy kept standing in the way. Yes, I did ask if I could take a picture. You can as long as you don't use a flash.

Anyway, the above book shelf is in the middle, with two rows of books on either side. Some are locked cases. Others are open and you can pick them up and look through them if YOU ASK FIRST.

There are a lot of books that look like the above but there are also many first editions of classics such as Gone With the Wind ($20,000) To Kill a Mocking Bird ($6800), Wuthering Heights ($15,000), Dr. Seuss books, Harold and the Purple Crayon and other children's books, books by Hemingway and signed letters and pictures of past presidents and actors. There was a photograph of Vivien Leigh in a Scarlet O'Hara costume (dress from the bbq) with a thank you letter written by her for $1750.

This book intrigued me but it was under glass in the front case pictured above. (Oh it is about food and recipes, that's why).

"Louise Andrews Kent revolutionized America's appreciation for rural life and cooking. In addition to her popular historical fiction, magazine articles and columns, Kent's fame was especially centered on the "very successful Appleyard series that flowered from the 1941 best-seller, Mrs. Appleyard's Year… She invented Mrs. Appleyard to be 'plump, rosy, and cute'… a wonderfully motherly, easy-going, adaptable and witty woman," whose popularity with readers sparked an influential series of cookbooks (Warner, Province of Reason, 176-7). In 1942 James Beard named Kent one of the "four famous gourmets" he chose to name their favorite cookbooks. Precedes a book guild edition in orange boards with a brown-and-gold background design on dust jacket. "

I didn't buy anything but they did have nice brochures of their current books for sale, which I did pick up. Very fun for a "book person" to look at.

Here is the link to their website if you would like to browse. They also have stores in Philadelphia and New York. There is a great picture of one of the stores on the website, so you can get a better look. The Vegas store had a different display when you came it. Maybe you will find something you just have to have.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Currently reading...

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson.
This is our July book club selection. Looks like its got a good twist here in the middle.

"Criss cross".

Will be having a little break so hope to get a lot of reading done.

See you soon!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Case of Section 950, Seat E-14

Just finished The Case of Section 950, Seat E-14: a Sam Cloudstone Novella (Sam Cloudstone Chronicles) by Jimmy Martin.


 This is a good action mystery. Here is the synopsis:

" Sam Cloudstone is a modern day hero, one that would prefer to live by his wits instead of his brawn. But like any hero, Sam's not afraid to get physical when he has to!

He is a full blooded Comanche living in today's world. He tried to follow his father's footsteps becoming an oilfield engineer, but couldn't handle the confined spaces of a modern office job, or the soul destroying stress of corporate life.

Leaving that world, he became a free spirit, surviving as an author, a songwriter, a photographer, a bartender and a bounty hunter. One day he accidentally crosses paths with Melissa Steinhardt, a beautiful and impetuous "Damsel in Distress", and his life changes forever!

Attempting to help her involves him in a 70 year old mystery that pits the two of them against the FBI, the CIA, and a billionaire drug lord. They end up in a chase across Texas, each new destination dictated by solving the riddle preceding it. Their final stop ends in a showdown between all of the parties involved, at the "Enchanted Rock" in the middle of the historic Comanche territory in the Central Texas Hills.

The first clue is inside the cushion of Seat E-14, Section 950 of the now obsolete and disused Astrodome, Houston's former Pride and Joy...  "

The story spans from Houston to the Texas Hill Country. If you are from Central Texas or familiar with Central Texas, you will enjoy the "chase". Lots of "I know where that is. Is that a real place? Yes it is."

There is never a dull moment or dull part of the story,  as Sam and Melissa try to find Section 950, Seat E-14, and where that leads them. Smatterings of WWII history, current day technology, past technology, lots of bad guys, good guys, and good guys that are kind of bad guys. Lots of people chasing other people....

The ending is quite exciting and surprising. I liked it!

Here is a bit about the author, Jimmy Martin.

I received a free copy in exchange for a review.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Summer 2016

Looks like it is hot all over the US right now. Need some indoor mystery movie watching? Here's what's coming up on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.

Garage Sale Mysteries: The Novel Murders with Laurie Loughlin.

"Jennifer Shannon (Loughlin) is a garage sale shopping expert whose sharp observation skills allow her to uncover valuable antiques, as well as help her local police department investigate crimes and solve mysteries. When an impoverished man enters Rags to Riches - a consignment shop where Jennifer sells the gems she’s found at garage sales - and asks to have an item home-delivered, Jennifer agrees. Upon her arrival at his run-down apartment, Jennifer finds the man murdered. As the police survey the crime scene, Jennifer cannot help but think there is something familiar about the details of the killing – and soon realizes that the victim’s cold- blooded demise is a re-enactment of a murder in a classic mystery novel."

This started 6/5/16 and I stumbled on it. It is rerunning this weekend. I watched it last night. Really good. Someone is murdering people with clues based on famous murder mysteries i.e. Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle..
The story takes you down a couple of possible paths and I think you will be surprised at the end.

Aurora Teagarden Mystery: Three Bedrooms, One Corpse with Candace Cameron.
Three Bedrooms, One Corpse: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery

"When Aurora pitches in to help her busy real estate mother, Aida, she quickly realizes she has again walked into a life or death situation. When a body is discovered at her first house showing and a second body is found in another house for sale, it becomes obvious that there is a very cool killer at large. Stars Candace Cameron Bure, Marilu Henner and Yannick Bisson."

Starts Sunday 6/12/16 8 p.m. central

Murder She Baked: A Deadly Recipe with Alison Sweeney, Cameron Mathison
Murder, She Baked: A Deadly Recipe

"Bakery owner Hannah Swensen (Alison Sweeney) just can’t keep her hands out of the batter when murder stirs things up in Lake Eden, Minnesota, leaving the sheriff dead, a deputy accused, and a killer on the loose. For years, Sheriff Grant’s been the iron hand in town, but when his dead body is discovered, Hannah’s brother-in-law is accused of the crime. Soon, Hannah’s dishing up scandalous secrets, steaming hot betrayals, and enough intrigue to keep the gossip mill at The Cookie Jar going through several pots of decaf. And the closer Hannah gets to the truth, the closer she gets to finding the murderer with a calorie-laden, nasty recipe for silencing people."
Starts Sunday 6/19/16 8 p.m. central
(Note to self: fudge cupcake recipe on the website under Murder She Baked)

The Flower Shop Mystery: Dearly Depotted with Brooke Shields

"Abby Knight, ex-lawyer and crime buff, and the owner of Bloomers Flower Shop, is having a week to be reckoned with. A reluctant bridesmaid at her drama queen cousin’s wedding, Abby ends up not just doing the flowers...but having to find out who murdered a wedding crasher. Stars Brooke Shields, Brennan Elliott and Beau Bridges."
Starts Sunday 6/29/16 8 p.m. central

I have watched a few of the previous seasons of all of these and LOVE them.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Accidental Alchemist

For our June Mystery Book Club, we read award winning books for 2016, published in 2015. You can find the list at Stop Your Killing Me:

I read The Accidental Alchemist by Gigi Pandian. This book won a Lefty Award for Best Left Coast Crime.


"When Zoe Faust--herbalist, alchemist, and recent transplant to Portland, Oregon--begins unpacking her bags, she can't help but notice she's picked up a stow away: a living, breathing, three-and-half-foot gargoyle. Dorian Robert-Houdin is no simple automaton, nor is he a homunculus; in fact, he needs Zoe's help to decipher a centuries-old text that explains exactly what he is. Zoe, who's trying to put her alchemical life behind her, isn't so sure she can help. But after a murder victim is discovered on her front porch, Zoe realized she's tangled up in ancient intrigue that can't be ignored."

I loved this book! I would describe it as a fun mystery.

 Zoe is older than you think. Dorian is an expert chef in French cuisine, and well he is a gargoyle. He cooks for her so she can stay on track and help him. But a murder and near murder happen that get in her way. Then there are the neighborhood teenagers that keep hanging around and get a little too nosy for their own good.

The author combines historical figures with modern day. For instance, Dorian's father was Robert Houdin. He was a real person. The first magician. Houdini took his stage name from his name. Dorian was a gargoyle made by Eugene Viollet le Duc who is famous for restoring Notre Dame Cathedral and added a gallery of gargoyles. How about Nicholas Flamel. Legend says he that he "made the Philosopher's Stone, which turns base metals into gold, and that he and his wife Perenelle achieved immortality through the "Elixir of Life"." Wiki

I love Dorian, the gargoyle. The picture in my mind of him in the kitchen in an apron made me laugh. The food he cooks sounds wonderful.

There are a few recipes at the end. I made the cookies. They are great!

 Mystery, history, food, antiques, spooky houses, creatures and people from the past. All of my favorite things. Plenty of twists and surprise ending though. I am thrilled to see there is a book two out.

In case you are wondering about alchemy, here is a link to some information. (I had never heard of it other than some program at work. Now I am wondering why they called it that.)