Our own Melissa Yi is back with the ninth book in her Hope Sze medical mystery series, White Lightning. It’s out tomorrow and it sounds wonderful: romance, Al Capone, and “two centuries worth of clues.” (Remember Scorpion Scheme: “Pharoah’s Tombs, Ancient Myths, Modern Murder”?) How can you resist?
Hope Sze escapes for a romantic weekend away at the Rumrunner’s Rest, a Roaring Twenties inn once celebrated both for Prohibition’s best alcohol and the smoothest jazz bands north of the Detroit River. Then a convention of fictional villains overrun the tavern, her friend glimpses a ghost, and Hope uncovers a grisly surprise in the fireplace that may be related to Al Capone, the infamous gangster. At least two people disappeared from this very inn, and one soul will not rest in peace.
Tonight, unless Hope unravels a century’s worth of clues, death will collect several more lives. Including the one she holds most dear..
Like everyone else, I’m still Coping With Things, and that means that I have spells of despair, questioning everything. But in between those, I have moments of delight.
• Knitpicks just had a sale and I opened a box of yarn so beautiful it glowed.
• My adopted cat who I was prepared to wait years for before she was affectionate (she was a stray for at least two years) likes to sleep next to me and rub her head on my arm and runs into the house when I call her name.
• My daughter called the other day and we talked for two hours about absolutely nothing and everything.
• I bought a crepe maker and I’m now researching great crepe recipes (I got tired of running out of bread and not wanting to go to the store).
• I cleaned and redecorated my bathroom and it’s now a riot of color with two fish bags and an incoming octopus-holder-of-everything from Amazon (see right).
I mean, the octopus alone is going to give me a Moment every time I go in there now.
I’m sorry, until Thanksgiving is over, it is not Kwanza/Hannukah/Christmas/Winter-Solstice-Of-Your-Choice Season. Since we got the turkey out of the way yesterday, let us now welcome the change-of-the-year with that fine old Argh tradition: the Drifters. Because it ain’t the holiday until Clyde McPhatter and Bill Pinkney sing. With reindeer.
Since this is the US Thanksgiving Day, it behooves me to give a shout-out to one of my favorite cookbooks, Rick Rodgers’ Thanksgiving 101, which has the best gravy recipe, and let’s face it, Thanksgiving is all about the gravy. Plus it’s only two bucks which is always something to be thankful for.
So, what books sparked gratitude in you this holiday? (It doesn’t matter if this isn’t your Thanksgiving, we should be grateful for books all year round.)
If you’re in the US, you’re probably staring down a frozen turkey and not being thankful for it. If you’re not in the US, be thankful for that: half of our government is evil whack jobs and we’re going to be dealing with leftover bird for at least a week. (Favorite turkey moment still: WKRP’s “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”)
I just deleted over 600 unread e-mails. Part of this is because I was the victim of an e-mail cluster bomb, and part because I just got behind and gave up. They’re all gone now, but if you e-mailed me in that 600+ cluster, I did not read your e-mail. Please resend.
Our own Deb Blake has a new book out, Doggone Deadly, and it sounds doggone good. (Pause for moan from Argh People over lame opening line.). It’s the latest in the Kari Stuart Catskills Pet Rescue Mystery series. If you’ve missed Deb on here (it’s possible, her anti-spam software had a spat with the blog and she was tragically exiled for awhile), Deborah Blake is the author of the Baba Yaga Series from Berkley (Wickedly Dangerous, Wickedly Wonderful, Wickedly Powerful), as well as the Broken Rider Series, and the Veiled Magic series. She has also published eleven books on modern witchcraft with Llewellyn Worldwide, along with a tarot and an oracle deck. When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend in 1999, and also works as a jewelry maker, tarot reader, and energy healer. She lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with various cats who supervise all her activities, both magical and mundane.
I finished up the last of my Ngaio Marsh read–there are 33 of them, so it’s taken awhile–and I think my favorite is A Surfeit of Lampreys (#10 about an eccentric family named Lamprey), but Artists in Crime (#6, Alleyn falls in love) is good, too, and Swing, Brother, Swing (#15, another insane family) is so much fun, and all of the books set in the theatre, and the ones set in New Zealand and . . . basically, they’re all good.
But I still needed to read something so I went back to Pratchett and read Vetinari’s lecture to Moist: “No practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.” Then Moist signed the contract as “Ethel Snake,” and I realized that if I ever do take a pseudonym, it’s gonna be “Ethel Snake.” “For the best in romcom, read Ethel Snake!” “That Ethel Snake sure does know how to write dialogue.” “Whatever happened to Ethel Snake?”