I’ve been thinking Thursday: Media

I only took my kindle to London, not my laptop. Why does that matter? It kind of plays a crucial role in this story. See Amazon makes everything “smart.” For example when I wanted to shop Old Navy’s online Black Friday sale, I couldn’t. I was in the UK and wanting to ship to a US address. Error, Error, danger, danger. Whatevs. I didn’t really need new clothes anyway.

But while we were gone the North Sentinel Island situation occurred. My first glimmer was posts on FB, by people I know. Their commentary was bizarre. Talking about how we’d being going to war now and Trump would use this as a means to stop immigration. I kept trying to click on the news article links to figure out what the bleep they were talking about, but….smart kindle. I kept getting denial errors, you are not in this zone.

Eventually BBC 4 filled me in. But in the mean time I had to wonder.

Which made me think about people who get all their news scrolling on FB. Is this what they think is going on in the world? Holy crap. No wonder everyone is so afraid all the time and thinking the worst of everyone else.

And second thought line was, is that really what people got out of that situation. Yikes. We were clearly not reading the same news. Makes me want to stop reading all American news outlets.

What do you think? If you read both American and European news outlets, do you think America spins everything to be tragic and traumatic and salacious?

The Body in the Pool – C’est finit

I hope you have enjoyed The Body in the Pool, Book One of the Dismember Killer series.

These chapters will stay up through the end of the year to give you time to catch up on your reading if you like.

After that I will be publishing out to Kindle, along with the second book in the series  The Body in the Precinct.

I’d love to hear what you thought or answer any questions you have.

Happy Holidays!

Book Review: Surprise Me

New Sophie Kinsella books, Surprise Me, on the new arrivals shelf. I love Sophie, I do. So I had to read it.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads):

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

My Thoughts:

um, yeah. Good description. That’s the book.

The big “shock” is fairly obvious. I’ll give Sophie partial marks for trying to make the reader think one thing, while hinting it’s really something else, and then coming up with a third thing for it to actually be that is rather nasty on several levels.

It’s funny, Sophie’s books always are. And it’s believable. People do act the way she portrays them. But I knew what was coming. I knew how it would go, every time. Perhaps I read too much.

There was one thing that got me by surprise, but it made me sad. LOL.

Overall, very enjoyable read. Definite vanilla pudding for the brain category.

The Body in the Pool Chapter 48

The Body in the Pool

Book One of the Dismember Killer Series


Chapter Forty Eight

The weekend passed quiet and uneventful. Spence helped bake the cake. He took a six-hour hike with Casey and Tom. Butch and Brutus got along fine.
Monday the team was back pushing paper, looking for a lead on Dismember. Spence was considering going home early to make up for the previous week when Tom stuck his head into the team room.
“Look what the cat dragged in,” Barnes said with a touch of anger in his voice.
“Hey, guys.” Tom waved with one hand while the other sat on his hip, next to his shield.
Spence jumped up from his desk. “You’re back?”
“Not exactly.” Tom crossed to his desk. “I’m here to pack up my stuff.”
“She didn’t can you. You have your badge and it’s still gold.”
“Yeah. She thinks I need time to cool my heels.” Tom said with a laugh.
“What does that mean?”
“She transferred me. To Cold Case.”
Spence coughed. “Oh. That sucks.”
From his desk Barnes called, “She could have shit-canned you.”
“I know, man. And you probably think I deserve it. If you have things to say, I’ll take it.”
“Uh-huh. Will you tell your girlfriend later?”
Tom shook his head. “Not happening.”
Barnes nodded and turned back to his computer.
“Cold Case, huh? It’s better than nothing.”
“Yeah. Yeah, it is.” Tom frowned at his desk. “Who cleaned?”
Barnes and Spence laughed. “Tess.”
“You had Tess in here cleaning my desk?”
“Maybe.” Spence laughed. “I found tickets to a Mariners game from three years ago buried in that mess.”
“I remember that game, we got a call out on our way to Safeco field.”
“The good ole days. You need a hand boxing everything up?”
Melanie’s voice interrupted the flow. “Hold that thought Spence. Good to see you Tom. We caught a body. You coming with us, Tom?” Her question asked more than the words said.
“Wish I could. Transfered. Cold Case.”
“Siberia sucks my friend.” Melanie crossed to his desk and gave Tom a hug. “You’ll survive.”
Melanie grabbed her coat, Barnes met her at the door. Spence slapped Tom on the back. “See you soon.” To Melanie he asked, “Where’s this body?”
“Gasworks Park, Wallingford. Body’s hanging from the superstructure.”

I’ve been thinking Thursday: Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving to anyone in the US of A. We’re not particularly united these days as a people or as a Nation but that is way more than I am prepared to tackle on this blog.

Instead I want to discuss something more serious. Turkey. Why do we insist upon eating Turkey for Thanksgiving?

It it the most boring meat on the planet. Why do you think you have to have stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce to go with it? Turkey is the white bread of meat. No taste of it’s own. And really, I have NEVER had a turkey that wasn’t dry. Granted they don’t all grow in your mouth like my grandmother’s did but still…

What are we even celebrating? Oooh, food. Most of us don’t need a banquet of food to stave off starvation. We need a banquet of diet before we keel over under our extra poundage.

This year I am boycotting Thanksgiving. In fact, I am going back to where it all started to begin a thorough investigation into the insanity that is this so called holiday.

Has the penny dropped yet? I’m on vaca. In London. My list is less ambitious than the average Thanksgiving dinner.

London Symphony Orchestra, Mousetrap in West End, Harry Potter Studio Tour, proper high tea, Churchill’s war rooms, British Museum, that underground roman museum of ruins, the name escapes me right now (keeping the kiddo happy). Anything else we get done will be gravy. So to speak.

Cheers mates!

The Body in the Pool Chapter 47

The Body in the Pool

Book One of the Dismember Killer Series


Chapter Forty Seven

It was late when Spence finally made it home that night. He had taken the extra time to drive Casey back to his house. To stop at the Rusty Porpoise and explain to Casey’s boss that the kid wasn’t in trouble with the police, he had in fact helped them close a major homicide.
Tess was waiting up on the couch, her feet on a pillow on the coffee table, a second pillow waiting right next to hers. “Hi love.”
Spence threw his coat over the easy chair and flopped down next to her, patting the couch next to him for Butch to jump up. “That might have been the longest day of my life.” He laid his head on her belly bump.
Tess stroked his hair. “You caught the bad guy, right?”
“It was a bad girl this time and, yeah, we got her.”
Tess kissed his head. “Your job is a lot harder than I realized.”
“I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Tess laughed. “You don’t have to say that to make me feel useful.”
“No, seriously. If it wasn’t for you, this case might have fallen all apart. You and your grandmother’s German Chocolate Macaroon cake.” Spence held his breath.
“You want me to give the recipe for-”
Spence interrupted her before she got rolling. “Not the recipe. Just bake the cake?”
“That must be some story. I’ll bake it. You have to help though since I helped you with your case.”
They sat in comfortable silence. The fire crackled. The dog snored. The baby kicked at Spence’s cheek.
“What’s going to happen to Tom?” Tess asked quietly.
“I don’t know. He thinks his career’s over. He’s interviewing with private contractors.”
“Private contractors? Like personal security?”
“No, not exactly. Private military contractors.”
“Oh,” Tess paused, “No. You need to go see the lieutenant tomorrow. Stand up for Tom.”
“I already tried that.”
“You solved a major case.” Tess lifted Spence’s head off her belly by gentle force. “Don’t tell me you don’t have credit right now. Spend it on Tom.”
“Yes, ma’am.”

The next morning Spence headed into the office. He wanted to finish up the paperwork on the Paulson case. While he was there, he’d work out what to say to the lieutenant come Monday morning. As he drove up he noticed a large contingent of people on the front steps. He decided getting a few questions might be worth hearing what the brass was saying about the case. He skipped the stairs from the garage into the building and walked around the front.
His lieutenant and the mayor were holding court.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of our detectives a brutal murder has been solved and millions in embezzled funds can be returned to the fine organizations which need them, like our own Whispering Evergreen Academy, a Seattle area institution. Your alma mater, right mayor?”
“Indeed. I want to thank Lieutenant Christine Polaski and her team for all their fine work. We’ll answer questions now.”
Spence nodded to himself. Tess was right, he had credit.
Rather than his office, he went to the lieu’s and waited. When she returned, the mayor was with her.
“We are working the Dismember case of course. Random murders are much harder to solve than cases like the Paulson murder.” She stopped short. “Detective Thomas. Mayor Sterland, this is Detective Thomas. He led the team that solved the Paulson murder.”
Spence reached out to shake hands. “Mayor.” He nodded a greeting.
“Did you need something Thomas?”
“I wanted to speak with you about resources.” Spence carefully selected a buzz word to get the mayor’s attention.
“A fine job, detective. Christine, I’ll let you get to business. I’m sure we want to do all we can to help Detective Thomas catch the Dismember Killer.”
As the mayor stepped away the lieu burned holes in Spence’s face with her eyes. “Slick.”
“Don’t you want to do all you can to help me catch Dismember?” Spence asked carefully.
“I am not giving you Harding back.”
“Then transfer him but keep him on. Give him a second chance to prove himself.”
A sound not unlike a hiss reverberated. “You’re pushing it.”
“As far as I can,” Spence agreed.
“I’ll take it under consideration.”
“Thank you.”

Book Review: Goodbye Cruller World

I was so excited to see Goodbye Cruller World by Ginger Bolton on the shelf at the library. I remembered liking her first one and mentally noting to get the second when it came out.

Basic Summary (Courtesy of Amazon):

Normally, Emily’s eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans. But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she’s immediately sweet on the idea. With the help of her father-in-law and business partner—the former police chief of Fallingbrook—she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.

But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats. When the groom dies, there’s no way to sugarcoat it: she’s got a murder on her hands. Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop’s reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs. She’ll have to move fast . . . before the poisoner takes a powder.

My thoughts:

I finished this book more than a week ago. I’ve been debating whether to review it ever since. I have a rule about this. My first year reviewing I was still figuring out the process and I posted a review of every book I read. But by the end I hated putting too much unpleasantness into the world. So this year, if I can’t find three nice things to say about the book, I just won’t review it. Hence my struggle.

I just looked at my review for the first book, the donut thing bothered me again. I get that it’s a donut shop mystery but the sixteen word long description of every donut anyone ever eats in the book is too much for me. And a lot of donut happen in this book. A lot.

It was an enjoyable read, like the first one, up til a point. I was reading along,  smile on my face, ignoring the donuts, enjoying the building budding relationship, the funny ways people lie. And then, wham, the “solution” arrived (totally predictable – I actually thought early in the book I hope it’s not going to be one of those where x did it, it was) without wrapping up any of the loose ends.

I was heinously dissatisfied. Like when I order a Dead Elvis donut and there isn’t enough custard in the middle so the peanut butter frosting overwhelms the whole thing and sticks to the roof of my mouth. Like that.