Murder at Castle Rock and New Book Tuesday

A little while ago, I had the opportunity to read and review Anne Marie Stoddard’s Murder at Castle Rock as part of Cozy Mystery Book Reviews. Here is the link to my review on the CMBR page. Murder at Castle Rock is Anne Marie Stoddard’s first novel and I look forward to reading more of her work.

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(Photo taken from Anne Marie Stoddard’s website

If you are a cozy mystery fan haven’t already checked out CMBR’s page, you’re missing out on a wonderful community and resource–so make sure you do so ASAP!

I’ve been slowly getting into a blogging rhythm, so to speak. What I’ve found works for me is posting at the beginning and end of the work week. I’ll probably post on Monday/Tuesday and again on Thursday/Friday going forward. Weekends will be for me to find fun things to tell you about at the start of the week. 😉 Stay tuned for my final post on “The Bletchley Circle” (although I’m sure I’ll be referring to the show numerous time in future posts–I’m a little obsessed).

I’m going to spend the rest of the week speed-reading my way through Lost and Fondue, the second installment in Avery Aames’ Cheese Shop Mysteries. She will be signing at Mysterious Galaxy’s 20th birthday celebration this weekend and I will be buying her latest book then. We are going to make a day of it, as my husband is looking forward to the afternoon signings, which include John Scalzi and Vernor Vinge.

Lastly, it’s New Book Tuesday! I am particularly excited because Carolyn Hart’s Dead, White, and Blue (her 50th!) is being released today. The other books I’m hoping to pick up at Mysterious Galaxy this weekend are Victoria Thompson’s Murder in Chelsea (also being released today–I’m working on being more patient and waiting until Saturday 🙂 ) and Liz Lipperman’s Heard it Through the Grapevine. What new releases are you looking forward to?

See you at the end of the week!

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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


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The Bletchley Circle: Episode Two and The Christie Caper

First of all, I apologize for the cobwebs gathering on this blog. Life and a bad cold (which I am still fighting, but one can only spend so much time sleeping before your brain starts to hurt) got in the way of blogging.

I watched the second episode of The Bletchley Circle with mixed emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I still love this show and will be extremely sorry to see it end. (CONFESSION: I have the Blu-Ray on backorder.) I did, however, start seeing a few things I had feared would happen given the series’ short run.

I was extremely fascinated by the methods they used to figure out killer’s modus operandi and the location of the next victim and hoped to see more time spent on that in the second episode. The opening minutes, however, showed them already narrowing the field to seven suspects and then to three in short order. How I wish we had been allowed to see more of how they pieced together their conclusions.

The other thing I wish could see more of the individual characters’ development. It’s not surprising given the series’ short run, but I do wish we could see each character go beyond the broad brushstrokes: extremely smart Susan, worldly Millie, sweet Lucy, and capable Jean. It’s a testament to how well-written and well-acted The Bletchley Circle is that I find myself so invested after only two episodes. To see the series end after three weeks is like finding out those great women you just met at the coffee shop are moving away at the end of the week.

Since no blog entry would be complete without some fun trivia, did you know that Rachael Stirling, who plays Millie, is Diana Rigg’s daughter? Dame Rigg, of course, has had a long and illustrious career, but I will always, always love her for her portrayal of Arlena Stuart Marshall in the 1982 film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Evil Under the Sun.

I suspect, however, that what I love most about The Bletchley Circle is that it is a story of women making their own space within the narrow space society has given them. My favorite image from that show is when they use bright red lipstick to trace the killer’s movements across the map. Red lipstick, a symbol of femininity, bleeding into the map, into the world. It mirrors what has happened in the two episodes we’ve seen so far: in the first episode, they spend most of their time indoors. In the second, they seem more part of the world. This show brings me back to a much-loved time in my life when I studied a similar group of women working to find their own voice and make their own space…but that will be for my final Bletchley Circle post. 😉

Before I end this post, I wanted to mention that I am currently re-reading Carolyn Hart’s The Christie Caper in preparation for her 50th release, Dead, White, and Blue. The Christie Caper is my favorite Hart book so I’ve read it numerous times. It actually (re)introduced me to mysteries and introduced me to cozy mysteries. I had been a huge Christie fan, but had fallen off the mystery wagon for a little while. I was trying to figure out where to start up again, when I spotted The Christie Caper on display. I picked it up, saw that it was a mystery set during a celebration of Christie’s 100th birthday, and well, you know the rest. Stay tuned for my thoughts on Dead, White, and Blue!

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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Uncategorized


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My version of Throwback Thursday

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From a “Friends of the Library” sale in Gainesville, FL a few years ago. I love finding earlier editions of my favorite books, especially ones I read as a child. I had a blast finding “yellow spine” Nancy Drew books on eBay sometime ago, but that’s for another Thursday. 🙂

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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


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April’s Fantastic Firsts from Mysterious Galaxy

As I mentioned previously, I signed up for Mysterious Galaxy‘s Fantastic Firsts Cozy Mystery Series Starters. If you’re in San Diego and have not stopped by Mysterious Galaxy, you are missing out on this town’s best bookstore!

I realize that April is almost over (yikes), but I wanted to share this month’s book, J.J. Cook’s (a/k/a Joyce and Jim Lavene), That Old Flame of Mine:


(photo from Mysterious Galaxy’s website)

This is a complete first for me as I have not read any of the Lavenes’ other series, and I am looking forward to a new book and author. I am clearly not going to be posting my thoughts on this book before the month is out, but will do so very soon.

If you’ve read That Old Flame of Mine, I’d love to hear from you. Hope your week is going well–we’re halfway to the weekend!

P.S. In addition to the Cozy Mystery Series Starters, Mysterious Galaxy has five other Fantastic Firsts Book Clubs so check those out as well.

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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Seeing Double and The Bletchley Circle

I am a compulsive book buyer. I am also a compulsive book carrier. I don’t even want to hazard a guess as to how many times my mother said to me when I was younger, “leave your book at home. You’re supposed to be talking to people.” This need to have a book on hand is probably the reason you’ll rarely catch me carrying a small purse–it at least has to fit a book or my Kindle. Actually, make that a book AND my Kindle. I like to carry both. 😉

Lately, however, my book buying habit has moved to a whole new level. My “to read” pile has gotten so large that I’ve bought duplicate copies of certain books. One of my recent purchases at Mysterious Galaxy was Scones and Bones, the twelfth installment in Laura Childs’ Tea Shop Mysteries. When I looked in my gym bag a few days later, guess what I found? Another copy of Scones and Bones, which I obviously put in there as an “emergency” book. I need to organize my shelves ASAP…or yesterday.

Here are a few of my duplicate purchases:
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You see the problem.

In other news…how awesome was The Bletchley Circle? So awesome that I am seriously considering buying the DVD so I don’t have to wait to see the remaining two episodes. I have a few things I need to get off my desk, but I will be back with an honest-to-goodness post on the first episode by the end of the week.

In case you missed it (or if you just want to watch it again like me), the episode is available online until April 28th.

Hope your week is off to a good start! If you did watch The Bletchley Circle, I’d love to hear what you thought.


Posted by on April 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


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“The Bletchley Circle” and why the next three Sunday nights just got a little more exciting

I am a Downton Abbey fan. I realize that makes me one of a gazillion people, so I won’t spend any more time on that. I also realize that if you’re one of the gazillion, you’ve probably spent a little time trying to remember what you did on Sunday nights pre-Downton. I was starting to get into Death in Paradise, which was airing right after Downton at the beginning of Season Three, but it has since disappeared from my local PBS station’s schedule. Sigh.

Thankfully, I’ve found the answer…at least for the next three Sundays. Starting tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. (please check your local listings, though, as “PBS schedule expert” is nowhere to be found on my resume), PBS is airing The Bletchley Circle. It’s about a group of women who secretly worked as code breakers at Bletchley Park during World War II and reunite years later to catch a serial killer. Is it Sunday night yet? How can you not look forward to this series?

I’ll be back after tomorrow with my thoughts on The Bletchley Circle and would love to hear what you think if you tuned in.

P.S. A blogger (whose blog I love) recently posted that watching Downton made her want to say, “m’lady” afterwards and wanted to know if that happened to anyone else. Sadly, what happens to me is that I want someone else to call me “m’lady” after I watch an episode. And bring me tea and scones. Oh well.


Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


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On the Road…to The Mysterious Bookshop!

I recently traveled to the NY/NJ area to visit family and paid my first (but definitely not my last) visit to The Mysterious Bookshop, one of the oldest mystery bookstores in the country.

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It was perfect, down to the comfy couch in the middle of the room. The staff may still be wiping my drool off the place. 😉 Sadly, The Mysterious Bookshop is one of the last (if not the last) mystery bookstore in Manhattan. Murder Ink, Partners in Crime, and the Black Orchid Bookshop have all closed their doors.

I did find a first edition of Ellery Queen’s Queen’s Bureau of Investigation that was within my not-yet-unlimited book budget:

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I also found two other Ellery Queen novels:

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I have not read any of these books so I am VERY excited to get started! I actually got hooked on Ellery Queen via the 1970s TV series that I found while channel surfing years ago (I’m thinking A&E, but don’t quote me on that). The show was created by Richard Levinson and William Link, who also created Murder, She Wrote and Columbo (only two of my favorite shows EVER). Jim Hutton (that’s Timothy Hutton’s dad, in case it ever comes up at cocktail parties or during a game of Trivial Pursuit) was exactly how I’d imagined Ellery to be. More fun (to me, and hopefully to you) trivia: David Wayne, who played Inspector Richard Queen, also appeared in the Murder, She Wrote episode, “Murder Takes the Bus.” Now, aren’t you glad you stopped by? 😉

Of course, as a cozy fan, I couldn’t pass this up: 🙂

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What are you reading nowadays? I’m always on the lookout for new authors/books and would love to hear from you. If you want to just geek out with me, I’d love to hear from you too!

P.S. If you do get invited to cocktail parties where Murder, She Wrote, Ellery Queen, and similar trivia come up on a regular basis, please let me know. You are clearly my long-lost friend.


Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


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