Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cat Sitting - by misterreereeder

** Equal Time For The Feline

I am back from taking care of Alex. Boy did she give me the what for!!! When I opened the door and she came and saw me, she was mouthing off at me. She did not look at me long before she turned around and headed to the kitchen, all the time fussing at me. At first I imagined she was saying, "It's about time you got here. I've been waiting. Why are you making me wait so long? Hurry up, come on and take care of me." When I reached the kitchen she stopped and I reached down to touch her. But she let me know this was NOT going to make her happy!!!

Well ..., I picked up her food bowls and put them on the table and took her water bowl and put fresh clean water in it. Still she fussed as if she was saying, " This is not going to take care of my stomach - it is not solid!!!" Next I filled up her hard food bowl and set it down. She continued letting me have it with, "Don't you know this is NOT going to satisfy me!!"

Finally I opened the can of food - the good stuff - and put some in her plate. She shut up when I set the plate down in front of her. I did not hear another word from her after that. I guess expecting a "thank you" was just a little too much. :D

Friday, December 11, 2009

Finding My New Home - a Misterreereeder Original

Hi - my name is Annabelle. Well ... this is my new name and this is a story about how I got my new home and new name.

You see ... I had been staying at a place for the past few weeks that was not my home. I do not know what to call it but there were a lot of other noisy dogs and cats there. I certainly was not a happy camper there. The only nice things worth mentioning is that I was given food and water while I was there. Occasionally I would see a nice friendly face but I would definitely NOT call this place a home.

Then one day I had a couple of visitors - two ladies. They were both pretty and one was younger than the other one. At first I was resistant. One of the ladies had to pull me out of the cage and take me to the back. But when she got down on her knees and started talking to me I couldn't help but warm up to her. I liked her voice and she was so nice. The other lady with her was nice too. She spoke to me and played with me. For some reason they both called me Annabelle. This was a very happy time. I was upset when I was returned to the cage I have been spending the past few weeks in because they left me there.

Just a while later, another lady came by and asked for me. It was great because I did not go back into the cage but went in the car with the lady to a nice house. I could not be happier. I had a nice place to sleep, not so many noisy neighbors, and food and water. I did not realize this was only going to be a temporary stay over.

After a couple of nights I was loaded back into the car and taken back to the place I had spent the previous few weeks. This was a little bothersome. We walked into the door and the lady started talking to the guy who was there. I overheard the lady who brought me back saying she was allergic to me. I do not know what that means but it did not sound good. That is when I noticed the other lady. She came out and saw me. I do not know who was the happiest - me or her. They talked for a while and that was when I discovered I would be going to my new home. I got into a car with her and she talked to me until I got to my new home. The lady left me in the car for a little while but then she came and brought me into the house. Then she took me to the back yard. Boy ... was I glad. I really needed to go.

Afterwards, she brought me back into the house. I was still nervous. Although I had not seen anybody else yet I did not think I was alone. She lead me to this crate with a cover over it. I was not eager to go into it - even though she told me to. She put my front paws into it but I still resisted. She even tried pushing me in. Next thing I know she picked me up from behind and shoved me in before closing the door. I laid down as she covered me up and wondered what was in store for me later. There was nothing else to do but to go to sleep.

Later I was awakened when I heard some doors open and close. I heard some voices and one of them sounded somewhat familiar. I also heard a deep bark in another room. Where did that come from? I waited in anticipation.

Finally, I heard the other voice from the other day. She came over to the crate and was sweet talking to me. I could not help it - my tail gave me away as it wagged and showed how excited I was. I have to get used to my new name. They keep talking to me so it must be my name.

A little while later the other lady came back. This is when I was introduced to another dog in the house. They call him Mosey and we briefly had a little tiff but things settled pretty quickly. That is because I'm a lover not a fighter. Looks like I am gonna have to share the attention with the other one.

I've heard something before and now I think I know what it means - Home Sweet Home.

Monday, December 7, 2009

MRDB Reviews "Dead Air"

Misterreereeder looks up and speaks. “Welcome to the virtual studio of MRDB. I just finished reading a new book by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid and it is called Dead Air. I wanted to do something a little different to review this book so I decided on a format somewhat influenced by the book I read. This is how I came up with a question and answer talk show where I can ask questions of my guests – a couple of the characters from the book.”

He turns to his left and says, “Please welcome our guests with me. First let me briefly introduce you to Sammy Greene who is the host of The Hot Line, a talk radio show on the Ellsford campus station WELL. We are glad you joined us Sammy.”

Sammy returns the glance and replies, “Thank you. I am glad to be here.”

Misterreereeder continues, “ I am also glad to introduce our next guest Sergeant Pappajohn the Chief of Police for the Ellsford campus. This is a first for me.”

With a straight face, Pappajohn comments, “It’s a first for me too.”

Facing Sammy again, Misterreereeder says, “One of the things I enjoyed in the book was your occasional use of some words I do not hear everyday. I think they are Yiddish. Tell us how you picked up these words”.

Sammy grins and says, “I was raised by my Jewish Grandmother and these are just a part of the influence she has left on me. Even though she is gone, she still has a little influence over me.”

He smiles back and continues, “I understand. Our family is one of the biggest influences on our lives. I noticed in the book that you did not appear to be to fond of something else that has a big influence on people’s lives – specifically religion. You certainly were not very fond of Reverend Taft. Is this a correct observation?”

She ponders his question briefly and responds, “I do not have anything against religion. Sometimes I just do not trust when things are done in the name of religion. Sometimes people will say and do things due to the influence of somebody else’s religious persuasion. The Reverend Taft definitely has a lot of influence over his ‘flock’ and sometimes his religious principles definitely stirs some mixed-up passion. I think it’s about time for a little less passion and a little more compassion.”

The host turns to Pappajohn and says, “I understand Ms Greene spoke to you a few times about the Reverend Taft and his group. Is there a reason you did not take a more visible and aggressive follow-up to her remarks?”

After loosening his collar Pappajohn answers, “Yes … she did speak to me on a few occasions. She is certainly entitled to her feelings and thoughts. However as a member of the law enforcement community I must follow-up in an objective manner. I need to gather real evidence to support the appropriate conclusion.”

“Are you suggesting Ms Greene was not objective?”

Pappajohn comebacks with, “No! She definitely was passionate about uncovering the truth. She just did not have enough for me to warrant an aggressive investigation.”

He admits, “Ms Greene is definitely an intelligent person and I did not want her to get into trouble. As a law officer I want to protect my community and … there is some similarity between her and my daughter who is off somewhere else.”

Returning to Ms Greene, Misterreereeder asks, “Did you realize this?”

Sammy turns a shade darker and answers, “No I did not really. At times I thought he was incompetent or lazy in his work. Other times I felt his concern for me. Then at one point I thought he was involved and perhaps keeping tabs on me. You’ve heard the saying ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.’ Well … I just was not sure!!!”

Misterreereeder jumps in and says, “As you may know, I do not like to give away the whole story. I feel there is just too much I could leave out that is interesting. But I do agree with you about friends and enemies. Sometimes it is hard to tell which is which. Thanks for letting me talk to both of you.”

As he looks back out, “I hope after hearing this conversation with my guests, you will go pick up the book – Dead Air – and read it. That is the end of this program at MRDB. Thank You!!!”

Monday, November 30, 2009

Blog Posting About

I visited the site for the Southwest Chapter of Mystery Writers of America at and noticed they have their monthly meeting coming up this Saturday, Dec 5th. Now ... I am not a writer or a member but I noticed on the page that "You do NOT have to be a MWA member to attend." This may be something interesting to try out. It may be a chance to meet some of the authors I have read about.

At the very least, it sounds like there will be an interesting speaker.. Here is what it says on the site about the speaker.

On December 5, Detective Tommy Le Noir parallels skills "How Excellent Homicide Detectives and Great Mystery Writers are Alike." Twenty-nine years as a detective with the metroplex's Arlington Police Department prepared Detective Le Noir to KNOW about investigations.

Several of Detective Le Noir's homicide cases have earned national recognition and media attention, including Jack Reeves, featured in several nationally televised documentaries and the subject of the book Mail Order Murder by true crime author Patricia Springer.

Here is the meeting information:

First Saturday of each month
9:30-11:30 AM
Texas Land & Cattle
812 South Central Expressway
Richardson, TX 75080

There is a $5 door fee.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Deja Vu by Misterreereeder

I could not understand it. It was like I was caught up in the Ground Hog Day zone (like the movie). The same thing kept on happening - over and over again. Here is what would happen.

I would find myself getting to work. No problem yet. Sometimes I would be carrying packages - something in grocery bags or shopping bags. Again no problem. I would get to my desk and set the packages down. Then I would start wondering - did I remember to shave this morning? Not sure of myself I would raise my hand to my face and feel. Sometimes I could tell I had shaved because my face was smooth but other times I would feel the stubble on my unshaven face. Oh well ..., I had forgotten to shave.

The next thing that occurred to me was the most disturbing thing. I would glance down and realize I did NOT have a shirt on. OMG ... how did I forget to put on a shirt? And how come it did not occur to me at any time while I was on the way to the office? This did not make any sense!!!

I would be brought back to the present when somebody would speak to me. The comment was not always the same. "Uh ... good morning." "Look who we have here." "Did you have a rough night?"

And that kept happening over and over again. I was REALLY confused.

Then I woke up. I was still in bed and it was still early in the morning. Thank goodness ... I was ONLY dreaming!!! Boy ... was that a relief.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Book Cottage

GONE??? NO ... Just Moved!!!
In case you have been by the old location in Garland and
noticed the store is no longer there, do not fret. They
have not gone out of business and have not moved far away.
In fact, they have moved just down the street to a bigger
store. Here is their new address:

A Book Cottage
1225 Beltline #5
Garland, TX

A Book Cottage is an independent used book store located in
Garland, Texas. Keep them in mind when you are looking for
another place to find something to read.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Books And Murder

This may come as a surprise to those acquainted with me but I enjoy being a people watcher. What may shock them even more may be when I say that I do most of my people watching in the privacy of my own home. This should not be a surprise because I love to read mysteries and fiction. So how does that work?

Here is a book I just read. This is the first in the Bibliophile Mystery Series. You see the title is Homicide in Hardcover and it is by Kate Carlisle. This was a book recommended to me by the director of my local library it was a book used by one of the book discussion groups she belonged to. Yes ... it is fiction and the characters in it are not real live people. But the characters have roots. And from my seat and I can watch them as I read the book.

In this book I encounter some "people" I would not typically meet where I live in Texas. This book takes place in California. The sleuth in this story is named Brooklyn Wainwright and it is "through her eyes" that I get to do my people watching. You see ... she was raised by her parents in a commune and this is how I learn a little about the life there.

One of the things she learned to do in her community was how to to restore books and we get a glimpse of this in the book. Her mentor / teacher is Abraham Karastowsky and he has asked her to help him restore a copy of Faust. But before they start working on this project, Brooklyn finds him dying and he gives her a warning with his last breath - Remember the devil. Unable to learn anything else before he dies, Brooklyn must learn more about this by doing some investigating on her own. Did Abraham die because of the curse of Faust? Who would want to murder Abraham and Why?

There were a lot of interesting "people" introduced through the eyes of Brooklyn and this was one of the things I liked about the book. I certainly do not have this many people "walking through my house". I was equally surprised by how one of my favorite interests - Texas - was thrown into the story. And of course one of the benefits of people watching are the things you learn like a phrase used by one of the characters - "feather buckets". It was a phrase made up by one of the characters and his brother because their parents forbade them from using curse words.

Finally, I also love the word bibliophile - someone who loves books. And if you love books (and mysteries), this is certainly one you would love to read.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Discussion Group Selection For November

This month's author selection for our discussion group was Tami Hoag. The author was suggested by my wife who is not a formal member of the group but she has read a lot of what the group has read as well. As is typical for the group, we try to start at the beginning of the series so we chose to start with Still Waters.

Incidentally ... my wife who is a fan of Tami Hoag's books indicated that they are not really a part of a continuing series. She told me we probably should have chosen another one of her books. Oh well ... sometimes you win ... sometimes you lose.

Let me introduce you to this book. The note on the book cover describes it as "a sizzling novel of romance and suspense". Still Waters is a place ... well ... actually it is Still Creek. This is a small town in Minnesota in an area where there is a population of both Amish and non-Amish people. I thought it was interesting to learn that the Amish refer to the non-Amish people as "English". Among the "English", you have those that were insiders and those that were outsiders.

One of the main characters is an outsider - Elizabeth Stuart. She and her son have moved to the area and she has bought the local newspaper business. Not only is she an outsider but she is a well publicized outsider. She recently went through a divorce from a rich man and was destroyed through the process with some false accusations. This is another strike she has in this place she is trying to make a fresh start. As a result of this divorce (and earlier experiences) she has hardened herself and has determined men do not have a place in her life. Things do not bode well for her when she discovers the body of one of the "insiders" dead / murdered in his automobile.

Another main character is one of the insiders. His name is Dane Jantzen and he is the local sheriff. I will not go a lot into his background (that is part of reading the book) but he is not looking for any romantic attachments. He just wants to do his job here in Still Creek. His "apple cart" is about to be upset. There has not been a murder in his town for a loooooong time and now he must deal with one. He will find himself clashing with this outsider - in more than one way.

There were several more interesting characters in the book and they are a part of what makes the book good to read. Now ... you may be wondering what our group thought about the book. Well ... here is the vote - three thumbs up; four thumbs down. Some of the people were willing to try out other books by the author.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Another Matt Royal Mystery

Yes ... it is the latest Matt Royal mystery by H Terrell Griffin. It is called Wyatt's Revenge. Terry Griffin is another Florida author I have read before. As a matter of fact I have enjoyed a coupe of other books in the Matt Royal series. If you are interested, H Terrell Griffin has a website at Here is a quote about the book I found about the book - "Wyatt’s Revenge is a hard-hitting, action-packed tale about good versus evil, justice versus revenge, murder, and redemption."

Who is Matt Royal? Well ..., he is a currently a beach bum with a complex past. He is a retired lawyer. He was also in the service. Now he spends his life on his boat, with friends, and drinking.

But when his friend Wyatt is brutally murdered in his own home, this gets Matt's blood boiling. He is not only determined to find out why somebody killed his friend who was a college professor. But he also wants to make sure there is justice and revenge for the death.

Once he starts unofficially investigating, an attempt his made on his life. A bomb is put in his truck. It explodes and kills a car mechanic picking it up to take to the shop. Now Matt has two deaths to avenge.

Determining who is responsible for the murders is a big task but Matt (and Wyatt) has a lot of friends with connections. It isn't long before Matt discovers who actually killed his friend but the reason remains a mystery. It becomes clear however that another professor (and colleague of Wyatt was also murdered the day after Wyatt. Whatever they were working on appears to be the underlying reason they were murdered and somebody does not want the truth (whatever that is) to get out.

Typically I do not like to tell to much of the story because I do not want to give it away. Besides that ... you would miss out on a lot of what happens if you do not read it for yourself. What I will tell you is that the book takes Matt (and us) to Germany. We also get some glimpses of the past (the Hitler era). If you read the book, you will find out the connection between these glimpses and these murders as Matt uncovers them with help from some friends. I encourage you to check out this book!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Don Bruns and Stuff To Spy For

Don Bruns is a mystery writer I have read before but this is the first book I have read in this series. This series is the Stuff series and the name of the book is Stuff To Spy For. It is the third book in the series. The other two books in the series are Stuff To Die For and Stuff Dreams Are Made Of.

The prolougue definitely sparks some interest in the rest of the book. It is here that we find out the main character in the story - the one telling the story - dies. It made me want to find out what happened - and how the character was telling the story.

The person who tells the story is Skip Moore. He will find all sorts of surprises in this book and story - besides dieing. I think the author has described him and his roommate (James Lessor) as being clueless. I definitely can see how one comes up with that characterization.

As the book opens, Skip Moore is at a client site to check into a job involving set up of a security system. Skip is apparently the main contributor to paying the rent in his roommate situation so he definitely wants this job to work out. His first surprise is discovering who his contact person is for this job. She was an old classmate of his and , as we hear a few times, she was way out of his league. Regardless, Skip is surprised to discover that the job is his but there are some catches. Sarah, his old classmate, wants him to pretend to be dating him and will pay him additional money for doing this. NOW ... I will not tell you why she wants this but let me say that a lot of red flags sure seem like they should come up. AND his real girlfriend can not be too happy with this idea.

But surprises do not end here because he is offerred more money by another person - the wife of the boss of the company. She wants him to spy in the company while he is there. Oh ... the tangled webs we weave. Let me just say that things are not always like you think they are AND our two amateur sleuths do not always seem to think about them. As a matter of fact, there apparently is a reversal in rolls involved here. Skip is described as usually the sensible person in this friendship and James is not ... but NOT in this book.

I do not want to give away any more of this story ... except that it happens in Miami, FL (which really is not giving away anything). What I can say is that it was at times humorous and overall an interesting story. Oh ... and about the character dieing ... well, you will have to read to find out about it. That is a part of the story.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Starting A Literary Tour Mystery Series

This is the first book in a new series (November 2008) and the paperback version has just recently been released. It is book #1 in a Literary Tour Mystery Series and it is called Frankly My Dear , I'm Dead. Does it sound kind of familiar? The author of this series is no stranger to me - she is Livia J. Washburn - Texas author of the Fresh Baked Mystery Series.

It isn't surprising that an author will do more than just one series. I could not tell you why because I know there are a number of good reasons. One series might attract a different audience than another.

So what are the attractions of this new series? Well ... I can only name a few. This is a series that features a divorcee who has opened her own literary travel agency. Her name is Delilah Dickinson. The theme for her first tour is Gone With The Wind and the author Margaret Mitchell. Just like there are people who would be interested in this tour, there are people who would like to read about it. Incidentally, as an extra bonus at the back of the book, there is real information about Gone With The Wind Tours.

Delilah wants to have a successful tour under her belt for the start of her business. This tour starts with a problem between two of her customers - one accusing the other of trying to steal his camera. This will be nothing though compared to other problems occurring in the tour. One of the tour stops is at a plantation fashioned after Tara in Gone With The Wind - complete with performers dressed for a reenactment. Things go awry when the actor who resembles Rhett Butler is found stabbed to death. And this is not the end of the trouble for this tour. Hoping to salvage what she can, Delilah decides she needs to help solve this murder (and other problems I will not mention) - not only for the business but to prove the innocence of herself, her son-in-law, and her two granddaughters.

Will Delilah's business survive murder? Time will tell. As a matter of fact, the next book in the series is scheduled to be released next month and this tour will involve one of my early favorite authors - Mark Twain who wrote about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The name of the next book is surprisingly called ... Huckleberry Finished. This should be interesting!!!

So ... do you like to travel? Like one of Delilah's granddaughters commented - murder does make the tour more interesting!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NEW Miniature Mystery RELEASE by Margaret Grace

Let me start out by saying ... I am a reader. I enjoy reading ... otherwise I would not read. When it comes to books, there is bound to be something out there for everybody. Let me take for instance the latest book I have read in Margaret Grace's Miniature Mystery Series. It is called Mourning In Miniature. This is the fourth book in the mystery series. Each book in the series offers as an extra bonus - tips about miniatures at the end of the book. I guess you might realize the author must have some interest in miniatures. It is no surprise her stories / books might include this interest.

This series has as it's sleuth a retired teacher in California named Geraldine (Gerry) Porter. One of the interests Gerry has is the making of miniatures.

Excuse me while I take a slight detour here. Gerry who is a retired English teacher occasionally makes comments or observations about the grammar, sentences, or words used by her former students or other characters in the book. I wonder what she would say about what I say - Ha Ha!!! Well ... as I have said ... I am just a reader (who occasionally blogs about what I read) and NOT a writer!!!

Now back to the book. One of Gerry's former students (and a friend) Rosie has asked her to go to a 30th high school reunion. She agreed to go and also brings her granddaughter along with her. Gerry knows Rosie is hoping to renew a failed relationship from her high school days. She hopes her friend does not get hurt again by the former high school football star she has her sights set for.

Needless to say, Gerry sees her friend get disappointed again after the party. Things go from bad to worse though when the former high school football star turns up dead - murdered. Her friend is an obvious suspect for the murder with a lot of "clues" pointing to her - but she has "disappeared". In spite of the appearances, Gerry believes Rosie to be innocent and sets out to clear her.

NOW ... I HOPE this has gotten your interest. I do not want to spoil the fun for you by giving away too much of the story. What I will tell you is that there are a few things the author has included in the story to catch your interest. One of the things I found of interest to me was a quote by one of my favorite authors as a youngster - Mark Twain. "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."

By the way, the author has also published under the name Camille Minichino. To learn more about the author check out one of these websites: or

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another Fresh Baked Mystery by Livia Washburn

Finally ... I get to take another book off my list of books to read!!!

The latest Fresh Baked Mystery by Livia J. Washburn was just released last month. It is called Killer Crab Cakes. I enjoyed getting back to another Texas mystery and this is a fun series. If you are interested in the previous three books in this series, you can check out Livia's web page at

Phyllis Newsom and her fellow retired teachers are in the Gulf Coast area called Fulton, TX. Phyllis is watching over her cousin's Bed and Breakfast while she is away. This is supposed to be a vacation opportunity for Phyllis and her crew. And they are looking forward to entering in another baking contest - this one in nearby Rockport, TX.

Who would have thought that murder would follow Phyllis Newsom? What first appears to be a death by natural causes of one of the guests at her cousin's Bed and Breakfast turns out to be murder. And this is NOT an isolated incident!!! The next day another one of the guests is found stabbed to death. The first death was due to a poisoning. Is there a connection between the two murdered men?

This is NOT how Phyllis was hoping to spend her vacation. She realizes the bad publicity of two murders at the Bed and Breakfast can destroy her cousin's business. Unofficially (since she is just an amateur detective) - she starts looking for connections between the murders. There are quite a few potential suspects to consider.

I will not give away any more of the story here but want to remind you of an extra bonus with this series. Each book includes recipes used in the book. Hope you enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Discussion Group Selection For October

EXPOSED!!! This is one of those things that happens being a part of the Firewheel B&N Mystery Discussion Group. The way it works we each have an opportunity to select a book to be read by the group and discussed. It would be impossible for each of us to have the same interests – other than reading mysteries. And apparently there are SO MANY possibilities out there it is not surprising that we might get EXPOSED to authors and mysteries we might otherwise have not been exposed to. This month is NO exception. This month’s selection was Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell. To the person who suggested this book, GREAT CHOICE!!!

Kate Stanley is preparing for the production of one of Shakespeare's plays - Hamlet - at the Globe theatre. She has no intentions of being a sleuth but her world is shaken up by the appearance of her mentor from Harvard - Rosalind Howard. She handed her a package and promised an explanation later if Kate would meet her. Kate went for the meeting but it never took place. Instead she hurried back to the theatre to find it on fire. Here it just gets interesting because a similar event happened at the theatre many years ago. In that historic fire only one person lost their life and it appears only one life was lost here - Rosalind.

It becomes even more peculiar when the cause of Rosalind's death s determined to be similar to the death of a character in Shakespeare's plays. Whatever Roz was trying to get Kate involved in. somebody seemed to want it to remain a secret. Kate is determined to followup on this dangerous quest.

It was interesting to see how the author did this book. It was a mixture of the current story with that of some Shakespearean history. It was written with elements of a play - prologue, acts, and interludes. There were a lot of twists in the story and a lot of secrets. Who would have thought there were so many murders in Shakespeare's works.

This is all I want to say about this book except how our discussion rated it. If you cannot tell, I give it a thumbs up. And as far as the rest of the group is concerned, the vote was ... 6 thumbs up, 1 thumb down, one thumb wavering, and 3 abstains since they did not get a chance to read the book.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Novel by Patricia Gussin - The Test

Paul Parnell was a billionaire and a philanthropist. He also had a family from two marriages and one affair. As he is preparing to die, he wants to leave his family more than money. Where he had failed in life, he hoped his will and the test for each of his offspring will produce better outcomes in their lives. This is where Patricia Gussin's new novel called The Test picks up. This is her third book. Shadow of Death and Twisted Justice were her first two.

Paul's offspring (and their families) are gathered together for the reading of the will. They include: two sons from his first marriage - Frank (a U.S. Senator with White house aspirations) and Dan (a Florida Pam Tree farmer); two daughters and an adopted daughter from his second marriage - Rory (the adopted daughter married to a doctor), Carla, and Ashley; and a daughter from an affair between the two marriages - Monica (a famous female vocalist).

Each of the kids are given individual letters telling them what their father wants them to accomplish within a year's time. At the end of the year the remainder of the estate (valued at about 2 billion dollars) is to be split up to those who sufficiently meet the requirements designated in the individual letters. Some are not interested in the remainder of the inheritance - like Monica. Others are influenced by somebody near them to pursue the inheritance - these include Dan, Carla, and Ashley. Frank is interested for his political pursuits.

Only the contents of the letter to Frank are made known to us the readers. It says:

This is what I want for you: ethics and compassion as a senator; commitment to the community, both personal and financial; celebration of your faith, Catholicism, and for Meredith, Judaism.

There are a lot of things that will happen within Paul Parnell's surviving family over the next year. Some will die and others are threatened by death. I do not want to give away too much of the story. I think it is interesting how the author blends in real current events to the story - like the election fiasco in Florida and 911. It was also interesting how she uses a past event to affect this family's present - no ... I can't give that away. Let me conclude by saying that I would highly recommend this book as a must read.

If you are interested in learning more about this author, check out her website at

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another First Time Author - John J. Le Beau

Charles Hirter was an American tourist. He was exploring the countryside in the Bavararian Alps region. Later we find out his grandparents had come to America from Germany. While he was here he was in a habit to hike around the countryside during the day to see everything. His last day he hiked into the mountains. When the weather started to get bad he found a hidden cave and went in for the shelter. While he was there, he made a discovery - a discovery that would result in him being murdered.

This is how Collision of Evil starts out. This book was the first novel written by John J. Le Beau. This is my first time to review a book by an author of this type. As I have said in the past, it is always good to know what you are writing about and this author definitely has a background from which he writes.

John J. Le Beau's background includes the time in the Army and time in the CIA. He has spent time in Europe as well as the Middle East. If you are interested in learning more about the author, check out this page on his website

A single word that bests describes or catagorizes this book is a thriller. A whole lots of things after the murder Charles Hirter and the discovery of his body. The officer responsible for investigating this murder is Kommissar Franz Waldbaer. He is also responsible for notifying the next of kin - Robert Hirter - the brother of the murdered tourist. Shortley after Robert Hirter arrives, the Kommissar learns he is dealing with more than a grieving brother and an unexplained murder.

Robert Hirter is very interested in learning the cause for his brother's death and getting revenge for it. And as the Kommissar is to discover, he is going to need somebody with Robert Hirter's connections to solve this mystery. Back in the states, Charles Hirter is a CIA officer - a fact he reveals after he and the Kommissar learn there is more to the murder of the tourist. The murder was to coverup what was hidden in the cave and what was in the cave was moved shortly afterwards to keep it a secret.

This secret from the past SS days is about to be brought into the present by a group of terrorists. Unless they can find this secret, a lot of people will likely die. An unofficial alliance is made to stop this from happening.

There are a lot of twists and secrets revealed in this book. It is impossible to reveal these in this short review. However, let me say I would highly recommend you read the book and make the discoveries for yourself.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

NEW RELEASE by Sharon Potts - In Their Blood

COMING IN SEPT 2009. It's a new release by Sharon Potts. And you can see it is called In Their Blood.

This is a very special book for the author. The reason it is so special is because it is her first novel. After getting the opportunity to read the book before it is actually released, I must say I was impressed. The author definitely put her best foot forward and spent a lot of time getting it right. Here is the link to the author's web page -

Let me tell you a little about the story. First, the protagonist is Jeremy Stroeb - a son. He dropped out of college in his senior year and went travelling in Europe because he was dissatisfied. He was not ready to be responsible and live a life like his parents did. He once had a good relationship with his father but the relationship was now strained because his dad wanted him to come back home and be responsible.

His mom and dad (and sister) just return from a trip to Europe - after trying to convince him to return home. It takes the events that occur that night to bring the young Jeremy back home.

His sister, Elise snuck out of the house that night to go see her boyfriend. While she was gone, somebody came into the house and kills the parents. It was the death of his parents that makes Jeremy come back home. But Jeremy half suspects the joke is on him and that he will return to find out his parents are not dead - and this only angers him.

When he discovers his parents are indeed dead, he experiences some remorse and is determined to find out who murdered his parents and why. To top it off he learns that his Uncle Dwight has been named as the alternate guardian for his sister - provided Jeremy does not take that responsibility. Why does this frustrate him? One because his parents have placed him in this position. Also because his uncle says Jeremy can not handle the responsibility. His uncle and aunt never had kids because they chose not to. Now they are going to accept this responsibility (and the estate that come with it).

By all appearances it seems Jeremy is going to accept responsibility and his uncle vows to prove he is irresponsible. Jeremy gets a job with the accounting firm his mother had worked at and he registers for evening classes at the school where his dad was a professor at. He was intent on finding out if the murderer was somebody who worked with either his mom or dad. What he did not expect was to discover things he did not know about his parents.

Needless to say, there are a number of potential suspects. And there are a number of things Jeremy has to learn along the way.

This is all I am going to say about the story - don't want to give it away. But there is a quotation I have heard before - Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!! Good quote but sometimes it may be difficult to distinguish between the two.

A final thought - this review cannot do justice for the book - it's merits stand on it's own!!! Great job by a new author.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

WORMWOOD by Susan Wittig Albert

I know ... I know. The title of this post is direct and to the point. It is the title of the book (Wormwood) I read and the author's name (Susan Wittig Albert). I usually have something different for my post title but sometimes ... what can you do.

This is the latest book in the China Bayles mystery series (number 17) and I do love this series. Yes ... Susan Albert is one of those Texas authors and China Bayles is one of those Texas characters I love to read about.

(By the way, thanks again to Meadowview Thymes for introducing me to the China Bayles series.)

I remember hearing there were some complaints about this book. I do not know specifically what the complaints were. Now that I have read the book, I have NO clue as to what the complaints might have been about.

The author did some interesting things in this book - and with China. When China goes away to get away from it all, she just finds herself in the big Middle of not just one mystery but also a mystery from the past. It was interesting to see the parallels between what happened in the past and what happened in China's present. Even China finds herself in a dream connection with the past.

I must say I was not that familiar with the Shaker culture but Susan Albert (and China) definitely gave me a taste of it. I thought the format used by Susan Albert in the book was good. There were chapters involving China (in this historic Shaker village) interspersed with chapters about the story in the past. Sometimes these chapters about the past were just letters and journal entries from the past but that made it more historical and gave it validity - since this Shaker village was a tourist attraction similar to the Alamo.

Finally, I think Susan Albert did a great job in making China a little more human - somebody we can relate to. That is why I enjoy reading mysteries - what about you?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reading: Brought To You By ....

School starts back up REAL soon and this brings to mind a saying I have heard (or seen) somewhere. If you can read this, thank a teacher. It is a simple and short saying but it certainly does not say it all. A teacher does more than teach how to read.

Let me go ahead and say this to ALL teachers now ... THANK YOU!!! I want to share with you about two of my former teachers and then I will tell you why.

The first teacher I want to tell you about is Mrs Sullivan. She was my 4th period English teacher at Kirby Jr. High in Houston, TX. She was also the faculty person responsible for the school newspaper. One day she gave us an assignment - to write a story for the school newspaper. I do not remember the specifics but I wrote my story about the sounds of 4th period - like pencils being sharpened, the sound of the second hand on the clock, stomachs growling in anticipation of lunch. Later the teacher pulled me aside and told me she was not going to put my story into the paper yet. She told me it was a timeless story and could apply today, next week, or even next month.

The next teacher I want to tell you about is Mrs Susan Young at J. Frank Dobie High School in Houston/Pasadena TX. She was a teacher of mine in several classes. One day she was giving us instructions for a writing assignment that included typing the report - margins, spacing, etc. I raised my hand to ask a question and she recognized me. After I asked my question, she made an exaggerated look of surprise on her face and said, "He actually speaks!" Then she smiled and answered my question.

These are just two of the special teachers I had when I went to school. Now to get to my point. LISTEN ALL TEACHERS. When I said thank you earlier it may have sounded hollow to you because you do not know me. But just think of those kids you teach or have taught. It has been more than 30 years (almost 40) since I was taught by these teachers - but I remember them still. While I may not be able to tell them personally that I am grateful to them, they have still made an impression on me and for that I am thankful. We are not always timely with our thanks but it is still there. So again ... THANKS!!!

Can you imagine those former students of yours (30 years and more down the road) who will still think about you? We may not remember everything you taught us but we will remember you!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Name Dropping - Willard Scott

The Book Cottage 1456 Belt Line Rd # 115 Garland, TX (972) 495-0051
Yes – I am dropping a name some people may be familiar with. But I am not just dropping his name for the heck of it. I knew Willard Scott was on television and had seen him on the today show. What I did not realize was that he was also an author of some mystery books – and I do read mysteries. I ran across one of his books at a local independent bookstore in Garland , TX – A Book Cottage. He co-authored the book with one of my favorite Texas authors – Bill Crider. The name of the book is Murder Under Blue Skies. Now I am not sure what it means when you have a co-author but this book definitely reflects Willard Scott. It is not a real complicated mystery but it definitely is FUN!!!

The sleuth is called Stanley Waters – a former weatherman himself who decided to return to his hometown and open a bed and breakfast. He had no interest in becoming a sleuth. - then a murder occurs at the grand opening party of his bed and breakfast.

He also was not expecting to rekindle a romantic relationship with a girl from his past. She is now the chief of police in his hometown. This is not a heavy romance but almost like a teenagers' first romance - very simple. He is very subconscious around her and finds his bald head getting red at times.

No more about the story now. There was one other interesting thing about the book though. At a few spots before new sections of chapters begin, the author includes little "weather cliches". Here is one he uses in this book - if trees keep their leaves until late in the fall, a bad winter will follow.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just Three Steps More -- A Misterreereeder Original

Just three steps more!!! If he would have just taken three steps more, he would not have found himself in this situation. He could not think why he did not – heck he was not thinking at all!!!
It was dark and he could not find what he was looking for. That is when he started thinking - where is it –and – where am I? He was reaching around and trying to find something familiar. He could not locate a light switch.

He banged into the wall on his right. Not just once but several times. Then he heard her scream but he was in a haze and could not respond. Then he hears a door open around the corner and hears a voice, “Is everything ok in there?” He mutters, “Yes” but that is all he can say. He is still confused.

It must have been the pill he had taken. He had not slept through the night the night before and he wanted to be sure he would get enough rest tonight.

Now he seems to realize what had happened. He had not taken enough steps before he turned. So he backed tracked, hit the wall a couple of more times, and took those extra steps he had missed before. Once he had finished, he returned to his bed. Then she asked him what the heck was going on. “I got lost going to the bathroom.” She burst out laughing but he just turned over and went back to sleep.

He would not remember in the morning if it was real or if it was just a dream.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Discussion Group Selection For August

Our August mystery group selection was a pleasant surprise for me. It is called Still Life and was written by Louise Penny. This is the first in the series with Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as the sleuth. I am not certain who in the group suggested this book but .... it is a thumbs up from me. HERE IS THE VOTE BY THE GROUP - 9 THUMBS UP!!!

This story takes you north of the border in Quebec and some of the language and words was different for me. And I thought I knew what "tabernacle" meant? Obviously there are some other ways to use the word.

A lady in Three Pines is found dead and the Inspector comes in to investigate. Could her death have been due to a hunting accident? This is for the Inspector and his team to find out - And things do not add up. The mystery is definitely there. But there was more to this book than just the mystery I enjoyed. It so happens the woman who was found dead is an artist of sorts. Lot of people in this town are artists of one type or another. The author of the book did a great job describing the painting by the dead woman. So well as a matter of fact that I was sure I have seen the painting. And I am not typically into art and painting.

Another thing I believe the author did well ... describing characters in the story. Not just a physical description of the characters but some good character development as well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Why Read?

Why read? That is an interesting question. I suppose there are a number of different ways to take to answer it. Why do I read? One of the primary reasons is for the enjoyment. I enjoy reading mysteries (no duh?) but I read other things as well. I especially like to read books by Texas authors but I do not limit it there either.

So how do I decide what to read? There are so many choices out there and not a whole lot of time left over to actually read. Well ..., once I come across an author and a series, I like to continue in the series. One such author who happens to be a Texas author is Bill Crider who lives in the Alvin, TX area - down in my old neck of the woods. I just recently finished the latest book in his Dan Rhodes Mystery series. It is called Murder In Four Parts. This is the sixteenth book in the series featuring the fictional sheriff in Blacklin County. And yes ... I've read all of the books in the series. The series has a lot of interesting characters including the sheriff. You just gotta like this sheriff. I do have a question lingering now that I completed this book. Is our sheriff fixin' to (that is one of those Texas sayings) stop being a sheriff? Two things cause me to wonder about this. First there is a lot of talk by constituents about our sheriff needing to do some things if he expects to be elected again - two years down the road. The other thing is how the cover of the book says this is a Dan Rhodes Mystery - not a Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery like I've seen in the past. I guess time will tell.

Generally, I like to start a series from the first book in the series. And if I like it I continue in the series. As you may know from a previous post, I thought I was starting with the first book in a Miniature series by Margaret Grace. It ends up I got the third book in the series by mistake. I enjoyed it and got the first two books in the series (Murder in Miniature and Mayhem in Miniature) as well. This is about a retired teacher called Geraldine Porter. She happens to be involved in making miniatures. (By the way, the author is also involved in making miniatures.) I discovered some common interests with the character like her interest in the library, the friends of the library, and tutoring. This is one of those other things I like to find in the books I read.

I have also been introduced to some books I would not otherwise would have read. An obvious source is friends who share an interest in reading. Another source of recommended readings is through a Mystery Book discussion Group I belong to at a local Barnes and Noble. Occasionally I find out about authors through invitations to participate in virtual book tours. One thing for sure - there is a variety of books out there to read. And they are written by all kinds of people from different walks of life and different perspectives. READING IS GREAT!!! What are your reasons for reading?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

INVASION - Another Original Story by Misterreereeder

Invasion!!! She did not know what hit her. It came so unexpectedly.

The day before had been a beautiful day. It may have been a little hot but otherwise the weather was nice. She sat in her backyard and enjoyed looking around. There was the deck and the pool. On the deck were some of the containers with the plants she was growing. There were other things she enjoyed in the back as well - the grill and the patio set. She'd also hung some hanging baskets with flowers and a hummingbird feeder. She was looking forward to see some visitors taking a sip from the feeder. Her back yard was her oasis.

She came back out the next evening to discover her little paradise had been invaded. The invaders were hidden at first - wearing their camouflage of green. But she noticed the destruction they had caused. It was very disturbing what they had done. One of her pots had been flourishing with a pepper plant but now it had literally been stripped of a lot of the leaves and branches.

Then she saw the invaders. There were three of them. They were big and ugly. It was then when she became enraged and turned to defend her oasis. She grabbed the nearest tool she could find to use as a weapon. It was a pruning shear. She used it to grab the invaders and remove them from her plant. When she finished with them there were several pieces of them still writhing about - on the verge of death.

Then she noticed another group of five starting to work on her tomato plant. There was no way she was going to let them do the job on this plant their friends had done to her pepper plant. With renewed determination, she went on the offensive against them. It wasn't until she had removed the last fat worm that she was satisfied. They may have started it - but she took the battle back to them and won. This time she had succeeded in defending her front. Now she is on the alert to fend off any future attacks.

!!! Inspired by my wife !!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Virtual Book Tour: Guest Author - Paul Martin Midden

Welcome to this stop on the Virtual Book Tour for Paul Martin Midden's Toxin. The author has provided the following fictional interview based on the character in this book and the story. It is pretty good. Be sure to check the bottom of this posting for information on how to win a copy of the book. Now ... with no further ado, here is the interview.

An Interview with Jake Telemarck, junior senator from Wisconsin (a character in the novel Toxin)

Conducted by Sanford Williams, Senior CNN correspondent.

CNN: As most people know by now, there have been tragic occurrences of domestic terrorism in the United States in recent months, developments which seem to have ended with the mysterious deaths of members of a shadowy organization known only as “the Bookkeepers”. With me today is Senator Jack Telemarck, the junior senator from Wisconsin, who was reported to be involved in those developments. Some say he played a critical role in ending the threat—some even say he had a hand in the deaths of the terrorists, although he has consistently denied that. Details about those deaths and the ongoing investigation are still coming out. This is Mr. Telemarck’s first interview with CNN.

Senator Telemarck, much has been made of your role in recent events surrounding domestic terrorism in the US. Some say that you had a major role in reducing or even eliminating this threat. What do you have to say to that?

JT: Well, Sanford, let me say a couple things to that. Number one, this kind of threat is never completely eliminated. Fanatics continue to dream of overthrowing our government, and there are always groups out there who think that they could do a better job at running the country. So it is something we have to be on the alert for constantly. Secondly, while I was honored to play a minor role in recent events, the defeat of the plot that was uncovered in Washington was really the result of hard work by many federal agencies working together. Actually, people from inside and outside the government were critical to the success of those efforts.

CNN: So you deny rumors that it was you who single-handedly eliminated the Bookkeepers.

JT: By killing the Bookkeepers? I think the investigation into those deaths is still inconclusive. If you are suggesting that a sitting Senator somehow murdered or conspired to murder thirteen people, you had better have some solid proof. Even if they were traitors and mass murderers. But yes, I deny that I single-handedly made much of a difference at all. I was close to some of the principal players. I did hold some meetings. There was an incident during the Senate debate on secession that I played my most significant role in. By interrupting that and rallying other moderate Senators, we were able to prevent that outrage from happening. And I think this was an important element in exposing the extent of the conspiracy.

CNN: So you believe there was a conspiracy.

JT: Absolutely. I don’t think there is any doubt about that. The results of the investigation in northern Virginia these past weeks uncovered an extensive and highly disciplined plot to unseat our government. I do not know how those people died, but the country is safer with them out of the picture.

CNN: This was a religious group which is alleged to have made these plans and perpetrated one of the largest mass murders on US soil. Some have accused you of being anti-religious. Are you?

JT: Of course not. Fanatics are fanatics, no matter what their religious practices. I do think we have learned from this experience that not all radical groups are of foreign or Islamic origin. There have been religious fanatics throughout history and they have been consistently disowned by their parent churches. No one can blame religion for the deranged few who use it to further their own power. I also remind you that, prior to 9/11, the largest terrorist attack in the US was perpetrated by a US citizen, Timothy McVay.

CNN: You are familiar with Dr. Isadore Hathaway of the progressive think tank, The Center for Law and Public Policy. She was quoted as saying that without your help the Bookkeepers’ plot may well have succeeded. What is your response to that?

JT: I do know Dr. Hathaway, and I know her to be a bright, generous person. But I am afraid she overrepresented my role in recent events. It was actually she who first sounded the alarm—discreetly—about the Bookkeepers and their plot. She was actually the essential player, as I see this situation. But she is too modest to say so. Like a lot of those analysts, she likes to remain in the background.

CNN: There have been reports that you and she have gotten close over these past months.

JT: No comment.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Paul Martin Midden is a psychologist who currently serves as Clinical Director of a nationally-recognized treatment center. Midden’s debut novel, Absolution, was released to great critical acclaim in 2007. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

ABOUT THE BOOK: A gripping first person novel that reads like non-fiction, Toxin is briskly-paced and filled with urgency. Part provocative political thriller, part powerful psychological narrative, Toxin delivers a terrifyingly-real storyline that deftly blurs the lines between fiction and reality. Novelist Paul Martin Midden displays remarkable dexterity in his extraordinary character development, exquisite understanding of the texture and complexity of human relationships, and ability to keep the pages turning in this powerful thriller.

REGISTER TO WIN: Paul Martin Midden is giving away a signed copy of his book, Toxin, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to his book tour page,, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 6482, for your chance to win. Entries from Mystery Reader Discussion will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow (Thursday, July 23rd). No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on their book tour page next week.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Two'fer One

If you know me, you know I like Texas mysteries. Well ... I came across a Texas mystery series by a Texas author so I feel lucky. The author is Cindy Daniel and she lives in the Dallas area. She has written a two book mystery series located in East Texas featuring Hannah Evans - a divorcee with a daughter. (Oh by the way these books also fall under the category of romance.) The title of the two books are Death Warmed Over and Family Affair. Here are a few adjectives that describe these books - good, funny, light, entertaining, delightful. I am sure there are plenty of others but I will stop with those. Now for a little about the stories.

Death Warmed Over introduces Hannah and her family. Hannah (and her daughter) lives in a garage apartment at her parents' house. Her father is a retired minister who owns and operates a five lodge campground. Since Hannah has returned home, she helps out by doing the maintenance / housekeeping for the lodges. She also has a sister Ruth who tends to be the wild one of the two but who seems to be settling down and is dating the local lawman. A lot happens in this book including romance (Hannah meets a handsome lawman-a cross between Tommy Lee Jones and Mel Gibson) and mystery (a local beauty queen is murdered). When one of the suspects for the murder turns out to be Hannah's sister, she decides she needs to help solve the mystery and clear her sister's name. All of this and she also makes a decision to open a mystery book store called Death Warmed Over. Now .... no more about the plot but let me tell you some of the inviting tidbits in the story. If you like good clean reading, then this is one - why heck it occurs in the East Texas Bible Belt. What is a romance if there is no sex? Well there are some minor references but nothing explicit - a woman doesn't tell. There are also good local descriptions in the words and the language. Here is one example - "Good Lord and Greyhound." There are so many things that made this an interesting book.

Here is a sample of the writing from Death Warmed Over:

Glancing at the clock as I heard Will's truck pull onto the highway, I had been shocked to see it was after one o'clock. Momma, being the snoop she was, would've surely been watching her clock as well. She would also be watching my face the next chance she got to see if I developed a case of acne. She always told me that she was glad I continued to have acne during my adolescent years- it was a determining factor as to whether you were a frustrated teen instead of a satisfied one.

I know I probably don't have to tell you this, but, Ruth always had a complexion smooth as a baby's bottom. Mommy and Daddy did a lot of praying during those teenage years.

The second book was called Family Affair. And it is a Family Affair in more than one way. First with the opening of her new bookstore, Hannah gets help from her family (and close friends). Plus she is getting married to that handsome lawman she met in the first book. When a customer and new friend asks her to investigate some attempts(?) on her life, Hannah does some investigating but turns up nothing. When the new friend turns up dead on Hannah's wedding day, she takes up the investigation again with the help from a few friends and family - including her new husband. He warns her to keep him informed since she was almost killed in the other book. The initial suspects are those family members (and an animal shelter) who will benefit from the will. But finding the murderer will not be easy with everything going on. Well ..., once again, no more of the plot but following is a sample of the delightful writing from this book:

Ruth scooched out of her leather seat and attempted to straighten her spandex miniskirt. Okay, I have two problems with that. One -wouldn't spandex be hot and sticky against those leather seats? And two - what did she think there was to straighten? I mean, my panties offered more coverage than that thing she was wearing.

Now, grant you, it takes a good size pair of panties to cover my sculpted derrierre, but still.

Don't pass up these two books. They are good reading material. And if you are interested, check out her website

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Toxin by Paul Martin Midden

This posting is a little different from what I usually do. I introduced the book in the title - Toxin. The author of this book is Paul Martin Midden. Let me tell you a little about this author. He has written one other book titled Absolution. In addition to writing these books, he is a psychologist. Apparently he uses some of the same skills in understanding his patients when he writes his books.

In this book, Toxin, Jake Telemark is a United States Senator. He got involved in politics and ultimately became a Senator at the urging of some drinking buddies. He has been in the Senate now for two years and as a moderate Republican has been working with like minded colleagues. He has no idea what may be required of him when he agrees to meet with Isadore Hathaway.

What he knows about Isadore is she was the daughter of Frank Hathaway. Frank Hathaway was a bigtime Senator before Jake came along. When she calls and speaks to him on the phone, he is intrigued by her. He agrees to meet her and is amazed by how young and pretty she is. He immediately feels an attraction towards her. But he is dumbfounded when he hears what she has to say to him.

Isadore tells him there is a plot to overthrow the government. There is a group of 12 men who want to change the form of our government to a managerial council of twelve. They want to change our country into a theocratic oligarchy with themselves in charge. She wants to enlist his help to stop them and throws him for a loop when he learns what she wants him to do - she wants him to kill them.

Now this sounds like a far fetched idea but we learn she knows something about him that only a few are supposed to know about. As a young man when he was in the service, he was a sniper. For several years he served in a Special Ops group and killed people. It finally got to him and he got out and this information was highly classified, so how did Isadore know this?

She tells him of some of the things they are planning to do in order to convince the people they need to be in charge. This includes plans to get rid of people likely to oppose their plan and she tells him they have already determined he would be a threat to them - he will be a target as well.

Even though he is attracted to her, Jake is not convinced this can be true and has his doubts. He thinks she may be a nutcase until some things start happening. There is a terrorist attack on a Colorado water supply killing thousands of people. When a friend and colleague mysteriously dies, he becomes convinced and joins forces with Isadore.

It quickly becomes apparent this involves more than them against the twelve. Will they be able to survive attempts on their lives? Will they be able to prevent this attempt to overthrow the government? Sounds like one of those "STAY TUNED" right? Well ... in order to find out you should pick up the book and read it. It is a good suspense and mystery - take it from me.

If you want to know more about the author and his books, check out his website : Oh ... by the way. I hear there will be a virtual book tour for Paul Martin Midden and his new book. For more information on this, check out

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Discussion Group Selection For July

Our mystery discussion group met last night at the Barnes and Noble at Firewheel. Our book for July was Deep South by Nevada Barr. This is the eight book in the Anna Pigeon series. There were seven people in attendance and everybody gave it a thumbs up!!!

So what is it about this book and author that was so interesting? Well..., a few of the group had read one or more of her books before. The character - Anna Pigeon - a National Parks Ranger is one of interest. You learn about her and the place where she is stationed at. It is no wonder!! The author Nevada Barr writes from experience as a National Parks Ranger. Plus she throws in her creative writing to make some good reading.

In this book, Anna Pigeon has just gotten her first supervisory position in a Natchez Trace park. This will definitely be an interesting move for her and not everybody is exactly happy about it. She has to take leadership in a place where women are not typically in this type of position. In addition, she has to deal with some personal issues - she learns her sister is going to get married and her adopted dog gets hurt badly defending her from an alligator. She also finds the body of a young lady and must investigate to determine who killed her. There are several possibilities.

No more on the book. I know this is short. Let me just say I strongly agree with the other members of our group AND I think is was worth reading. Check it out!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Rosemary & Larry Mild's Boston Scream Pie

Welcome to this stop on the Virtual Book Tour for Rosemary and Larry Mild's Boston Scream Pie. Other stops on this tour can be found at Boston Scream Pie is the third book in the series featuring Paco and Molly. The first two books in the series include Hot Grudge Sunday and Locks and Cream Cheese.

This book and story included a lot of interesting characters. It is interesting to see how all these characters are connected. The first chapter introduces Delylah who I certainly am glad is not my wife. Her husband (was it husband number 4?) has a breathing problem during the night. Instead of taking him to the hospital, she tells him to call for an ambulance or his daughter to take him to the hospital. When she cannot get information over the phone from the hospital the next morning, she mails out his obituary to the newspaper. Rather than go direct to the hospital first thing in the morning, she goes out and does other things (including seeing another guy). Her husband dies later when he is leaving the hospital. INTERESTING!!!

Caitlin is a teenager who has started having dreams about a fatal automobile accident. She had been in a fatal automobile accident that killed her parents and her twin sister but this is somewhat different. Against her grandmother's wishes she asks Paco LeSoto (a retired detective) and Molly (his wife) to help her discover the truth about this recurring dream. Now ... Molly is an interesting character ... she has a vocabulary of her own. It was funny hearing some of the words she put together and this added an aspect to the story.

This is a murder mystery and there is no shortage of suspects. Now I do not want to give away the story (and there is a lot to it) but here is a synopsis of it.

Seventeen-year-old Caitlin Neuman, a Maryland high school student, is plagued by a series of bizarre nightmares about a horrific car accident on a snowy road. The lone survivor of a car crash that claimed both her parents and twin sister years earlier, Caitlin was too young to remember the details of that fateful night. But are these present-day nightmares simply Caitlin’s mind working out the past, or is there more to these vivid images that haunt her every waking moment?

As the harrowing images escalate, Caitlin takes matters into her own hands and seeks out the one source she knows can solve the mystery of the nightmares: retired Baltimore detective Paco LeSoto.

For any other detective, such a case would seem impossible. But for Paco LeSoto, nothing is impossible. Paco, after all, has both a keen ability to solve mysteries, and the loving support of his wife and biggest cheerleader, Molly, a woman whose deliciously skewed language, exquisite culinary skills, and shrewd cleverness are equaled only by her girth.

As Paco and Molly set out to find answers, they’ll uncover a string of unsolved deaths and a case of mistaken identity buried deep in the past. As the clues mount and the tension builds, Paco and Molly are led to a nearby family embroiled in a crisis of its own.

Newlyweds Newton Boston and his blonde bombshell wife Delylah are mired in their own family turmoil as Delylah’s adult children churn up trouble that threatens this already-fractured family. But what Newton does not know is that four dead husbands lie in Delylah’s past. When another Boston family member dies under suspicious circumstances, all clues point to murder.

Can Paco and Molly stop another killing, bring justice to the culprits, and right an egregious wrong from the past—before it’s too late? As they uncover the sinister clues, Paco and Molly will either shed light on a long-hidden secret, or stir up a recipe for disaster.

If you want a light and funny mystery to read, this would definitely be one I recommend.

Rosemary and Larry Mild are giving away a signed copy of their book, Boston Scream Pie, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to their book tour page, , enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 9709, for your chance to win. Entries from this blog site (Mystery Reader Discussion) will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow (Wednesday, July 8th). No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on their book tour page next week.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Miniature Mystery-Malice in Minature

Another subject for another series. This series is developed around miniatures - the people whose hobby is to make miniatures. I had intentions to start from the beginning of the series. In fact, I had ordered the first in the series but instead got Malice in Miniature by Margaret Grace in it's place. When I had started reading it something seemed amiss and I realized this was NOT the first one in the series. Oh well ... once started, I could not put it down. I will have to get the first one (and second one) to read later.

The main character is retired and her hobby is miniatures. Her name is Geraldine Porter. She is a widow and her son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter have moved in with her until their house is finished. She (and her daughter-in-law who is an artist) are preparing for a local event centered around the reenactment of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Another artist also involved in the event is discovered murdered and paintings are slashed. Geraldine is asked by a neighbor to look into the incident since her best friend was involved with the artist. So why did her neighbor ask her to get involved? Apparently she had become involved in some earlier investigation/books and been successful. A lot of things keep pointing to the friends' guilt but other things do not add up. It will take the help of family (including her granddaughter and nephew who is a cop) and friends for Geraldine to get to the bottom of this.

This book blended a lot. It was not just a mystery - it included a lot of other interesting aspects of the story. There were good development of character relationships. There was a good blend real life events - not to mention a Texas event involving murder in a cheer leading competition. There was even a good use of the local library - and I am partial to the local library.

This was a good book and I am glad to have read it. This is another series I will have to follow. Incidentally, the author has another mystery series based on the periodic table. She uses a different pen name for the series - Camille Minichino. I may have to check it out as well.

Incidentally, Margaret Grace (aka Camille Minichino) does not just write about a character who makes miniatures, she als o makes miniatures herself. To see some of her work go to

Friday, June 19, 2009

Reading Habits

What are your reading habits? When (and where) do you read? The other evening on my way home from work, I saw something that amazed me and got me to thinking about my reading habits.

I was at a traffic light and a lady walked across in the pedestrian lane. She was pushing a baby stroller and had a hold of her dog's leash in one hand. After she got on the sidewalk, I noticed she had a book sitting on top of the stroller with her thumb holding the place in the book. She quickly opened the book back up, glanced ahead, then back down at the book and read as she continued walking. WOW!!! I know I couldn't do that - as one of my friends pointed out to me when I shared the story. Boy ... do I know!!!

Anyhow ... there are times when I read and when I can't read. If I have time in the morning before I go to work, that is the best time. Sometimes I stop at Whataburger on the way to work and get some reading time in but these days I am going into work earlier. Nighttime / bedtime is NOT a good time for me to read.

Now that it is summertime (and now that my pool is finally clean), I can stand in the pool (at the edge) and read. This is a little trick I learned from my wife last year. But of course it also depends on how my eyes are after working on the computer all day.

On occasion, I have checked out books on tape (or CD) from the public library. These I can LISTEN to while I am driving. This works out sometimes (and if you see me sitting in my car it might be because I did not want to stop listening to the book).

I've had one experience listening to an audio (digital) book from one of our local libraries - Nicholson Memorial Public Library. It uses Overdrive Media Console. At first I downloaded a book on my laptop and tried listening to it on it. This kind of defeats the purpose for me - plus I started having problems with sound on my laptop. I finally figured out how to get it downloaded to my mp3 player. Then I had a learning curve how to use my mp3 player with the audio book. Each time I quit listening to a "track" I would have to start listening from the beginning of the "track". I finally figured out how to speed forward in a track to the approximate point in time I left off. The jury is still out on this since it was a "learning" experience.

So ... I ask again ... what are your reading habits?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Branching Out!!!

Branching out!!! Starting a new series!!! I believe this is a natural progression for a successful author. Leann Sweeney has a successful series - the Yellow Rose Mystery series. Currently there are 5 books in this series and it takes place in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas. This happens to be where I was born and lived mostly until I moved a little over 10 years ago. Oh ... by the way ... I enjoyed the series ... especially those places I could visualize where they were supposed to be.

Now Leann has started a new series - A Cats In Trouble mystery - with the first book called The Cat, The Quilt, And The Corpse. This book takes place in a small town called Mercy in South Carolina. The main character was Jillian Hart who lost her husband shortly after they had moved from Texas to Mercy. She makes quilts for cats and sales them through cat shows. The book opens with her returning from an overnight business trip to find her house has been broken into. Not only that but one of her three cats is missing. But this is just the beginning for Jillian. I will not give away the story but you already know from the title that there has to be a body/corpse involved.
This was a great start for a series - including the introduction of a new character. I am looking forward to more to follow. By the way ... I heard this book was a number one seller on IndependentMysteryBooksellers List for May!!!
EXTRA!!! If you like cats, there is a lot of information about cats. I did not know there were so many different kinds of cats and there were some good descriptions.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Intruder - An Original Story by Misterreereeder

It was not clear when he first showed up but he definitely caused her some discomfort. She did not like the fact he was around when she was in the pool. She started avoiding the pool because she did not know where he was.

Occasionally she would see him or evidence he was still in the area. Sometimes she could hear him in the dark. She just wanted him to be gone. But until he could be caught and taken away, she would have to be on the lookout.

Finally one evening she heard him jump into the pool and she called to me inside the house. “He is skinny-dipping in the pool again. Help me get him out and take him away.” So I joined her outside and we chased him around the pool. He was fast!!! Finally she cornered him and we were able to catch him.

We dumped him in a plastic bag to keep him from escaping. He was not moving so I was not sure if he was still alive. She said, ”Take him away … far away so he does not come back. Take him to the creek.”
I hoped in the suburban and started driving and figured I would take him to the pond in the opposite direction. It is bigger than our pool and surely he would enjoy it here. The entire trip over he did not seem to move. However, when I turned the bag over to dump him on the bank of the pond, he immediately started scurrying. Last I saw him he was hopping towards the pond – a bullfrog’s paradise.

The deed done I went back home. Is he gone for good? If he returns I imagine it will be a new chapter for a story called “The Incredible Journey – Bullfrog Style”.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Virtual Book Tour - Mary Stanton - Angel's Advocate

Welcome to this stop on the Virtual Book Tour for Mary Stanton and her newest book in the Beaufort & Company Mystery Series. It is called ANGEL'S Advocate. Mary has certainly found her niche in this series. The first book in the series (which I have not read ... YET) was called Defending ANGELS. Mary has a website in case you are interested in checking it out.

The series has an interesting cast of characters. Bree Winston Beaufort is the practicing lawyer at Beaufort & Company. The "company" includes Ron (her secretary), Petru (her paralegal), and Lavinia (her landlady). Oh ... I should not forget Sasha - the office dog she rescued from a trap in the adjoining cemetery. In this book she has agreed to take on a case of a teenage cheerleader who stole money from a Girl Scout selling cookies in front of a store. This is NOT her typical case - and it is NOT her ONLY case. She is also taken on the case of the cheerleader's father who died four months earlier - this is definitely NOT a NORMAL case. As with any case, she and her "company" must investigate prior to the trial date. Is it possible there is a connection between these two cases?
The case against the cheerleader is scheduled to go to court in the Chatham County courthouse and the cheerleader is not making it easy for Bree to represent her. The case of her father is to be handled in an entirely different court - the Celestial Court of Appeals. The reason is to prove he did not commit suicide but was murdered. Definitely an interesting plot. But there are those who do NOT want Bree to succeed - both in the real world and the ghost world.
I think the book was interesting. It was fun to read even though it was different. You should try it out.
Mary Stanton is giving away a signed copy of her book, Angel’s Advocate, to one lucky tour visitor. Go to Mary’s book tour page,, enter your name, e-mail address, and this PIN, 6209, for your chance to win. Entries from Mystery Reader Discussion will be accepted until 12:00 Noon (PT) tomorrow - Wednesday, June 3rd. No purchase is required to enter or to win. The winner (first name only) will be announced on Mary’s book tour page next week.