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.