Saturday, 30 May 2015

Free Book Offer

I’m pleased to offer my book Hidden Gems free to Kindle readers for two days, May 30 and May 31st. The link is below.

Anybody can read Kindle books even without a Kindle device with FREE Kindle app for Smartphones, tablets and computers.

Download free Kindle reading apps:

Friday, 29 May 2015

Fly on the Wall

I know, I know, ‘fly on the wall’ usually has to do with eavesdropping, like “I’d really love to be a fly on the wall for that discussion”

In this instance I am being very literal; there is a fly on my wall. An insect type fly, just one, and he’s made it his goal in life to pester me continuously.

Surprise, surprise, I found my neon green flyswatter on a hook in the closet. Aren’t I the organized one? Not only did I have a flyswatter, but I didn’t have to go in search of it because I’d forgotten where I put it.

Using the flyswatter is one of those ‘bicycle riding’ skills. Once you learn how to do it, you can do it again. Unless you have a super fly who can fly at the speed of light and leap over tall bookcases to avoid the zap of my swat.

It’s all in the wrists, right? You need to be fast, give a quick snap of the wrist and let the tip of the flyswatter catch that pesky fly before he even knows what’s hit him.

Maybe my wrists are weak, or I’m uncoordinated, but that required snap is not working. My house guest and I will have to learn to get along until I get my fly swatting skills up to speed. It better be soon as I know he’s laughing at me as he sits on the screen while I write.

Just wait, Buster, your time is coming.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Making Real Life Paper Dolls

Years and years ago I had an idea, one of a thousand ideas that came and went without being followed to completion.

I had this granddaughter who was just too cute for words and I was going to make her a paper doll of her own image, then together we would make paper clothes for her to dress herself in.

This was kind of what I had in mind, only in paper, this is a Halloween costume.

Shirley Temple Paper Doll

We began by having her stand in her panties and undershirt, in a pose that could easily be dressed, paper doll style. I thought about it at the time, thinking if anyone found these images on my camera there could be a whole other interpretation made of what I was doing.

If I had been prepared, a bathing suit would have been better, but as the whole thing was innocent and impromptu, I went with what we had.

I found that picture last week and it reminded me that this was yet another craft idea that I started and never finished. That little girl is now sixteen, still a beauty, but so far removed from playing with dolls.

Obviously something I’ve never outgrown. And lookie here, I have more granddaughters who just might like a paper doll in their image. Next time we get together, since it’s almost summer and swimsuit weather, I need to take my camera and try again.

Like Grandma needs another project. LOL

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Ball Room

Did that title bring dancing to your mind, and thoughts that I didn’t know how to spell? Sorry no dancing here, though there are movements that require rhythm, and movement to more inner music than notes that are played out loud.

I’m talking about tennis. Tennis and ball room, you ask?

I’ve been sick and found myself awake at five o’clock this morning, and turned to the French Open to pass the time. It was a match between Rafael Nadal and Quentin Halys of France. Rafa, as he is more commonly called came out the victor.

Rafa was dressed in “electric blue” according to the commentators, right down to his socks and shoes. I quickly got the feeling the cameraman had a thing for the player from Spain; the camera was on him almost exclusively, close up shots taken with a zoom lens of various body parts. There were some head shots, but more action shots of Rafa’s legs (sometimes in what seemed to be slow motion when each muscle group was clearly defined in movement) and other lower body parts (shorts shots).

It’s routine for players who are about to serve to select three balls, one in hand to serve and two go into the pocket for the next serve if needed. I’ve watched the women play and they don’t have the same kind of wardrobe, as in no pockets, so the ladies often tuck the balls under the leg of their shorts.

I guess this is what must be done, as the players don’t want the break in concentration as they are about to serve. I just think it must be uncomfortable. What if a serve is returned and the volley goes on and on, do they play with balls in their pockets until there is a break in play? I’ll have to watch another match, in case the camera picks it up when a player tosses his balls.

My next thought was whether clothing companies like Nike take that into consideration when they design tennis shorts. After all, every man would want to make sure he has enough ball room in his pants, right?

Curious and curiouser. I’m going back to sleep, my brain is tired.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Plastic Surgery/Plastic Faces

I was watching a recent episode of CSI and saw Lisa Rinna was doing a guest spot. Lisa must crave being in the spotlight as she’s a regular on one of those ‘wives’ shows, this time Los Angeles.

She also appeared one year on the Celebrity Apprentice. Mirroring my own thoughts, Donald Trump seemed to stare at her and repeatedly asked her why she would do that to herself. She was beautiful before, and now she’s just...strange looking.

Obviously had a boob job too

I’m wondering how recent her latest injections were for the CSI show, as her face seemed frozen, she never smiled and her words were slurred. Such is the price paid to fight the inevitable. Aging will happen no matter what we do.

A few years ago I saw an episode of Hawaii Five-O and had to look at the credits to know for sure that the actress playing Danny’s mother was indeed Melanie Griffith. She looked so different, like she was in a wind machine or something, because her face just looked so tight. It was her voice that was so distinctive, but her face was not as I remembered.

I find I can’t look at these women; their faces look odd, and so artificial. I suppose there are many women who have had some kind of plastic surgery that might not be quite so apparent. Like a nose job. But when you get into cheek implants, nose jobs and puffed up lips, you’re trying to change who you are.

I don’t think I could do that to my face, though some surgery might be an improvement, I’m comfortable with how I look. What can I say; I’ve lived with it so long it’s just me. If I was going to have any kind of plastic surgery it would be a breast reduction. Nice to have clothes that fit and my neck and shoulders could do with a break from carrying that weight around.

Maybe I should think about it? No, never going to happen.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Book #39...Festive in Death

The first thing that struck me on reading this book was that it was more about the holidays, and the characters than it was the murder case.

Eve finds herself with a large group of friends, for her, and a shopping list. I enjoyed reading about her shopping spree, and the bargain she made with Summerset to be an active participant in their annual party preparations.

The party is an unusual event, as the invites include cops from Central, officers like Trueheart right up to the Commander, and assorted friends like Louise and Charles, Mavis and Leonardo, even Crack, the owner of a sex club. Mixed in are business associates and people from Roarke Enterprises. Quite the group, indeed.

The murder, yes, a serious thing, has a different feel because the woman who found the body is Trina, the crazy hairdresser/stylist who makes Eve cringe with fear.

I like the ending, a personal and private Christmas celebration with Eve and Roarke. They have been through so much in the last few years and have reached a level in their relationship that my cynical heart believes is so perfect it has to be fiction. But, boy, I do love to read about it.

Book number 40 due out in September 2015, and I can’t wait. For now I’ll catch up on the pile of books I’ve set aside for these few months.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Book #38...Concealed in Death

Visiting an old building he intends to rehab, Roarke makes a symbolic break in the wall to start the renovation and finds more than he bargained for. He reports the body he’s found to his wife, and before they are done the count is twelve.

Twelve pre-teen girls, hidden behind false walls. We meet DR. GARNET DEWINTER, a forensic anthropologist new to New York. She and Morris work together to identify the girls, dead now for more than ten years.

One by one they are identified, and Eve again faces the question of environment versus heredity. Some of the girls were runaways, escaping from abusive homes, and others were from good homes seeking...adventure?

Roarke plans to make the building into a youth shelter, a companion facility to his women’s shelter, appropriate given what was found there.

Mavis recognizes a couple of the girls, remembers them from her time on the street. I found this part very interesting because I love Mavis’s character, and was interested in the more detailed story of her childhood, her time as a runaway, and her friendship with Eve.

You would think after 38 books you would know all about the main characters. Learning these details of Mavis’s life was a surprise, and made me think of some of the other characters I’ve met along the way. When will it be Nadine’s story, I wonder?

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Book #37...Thankless in Death

Choice. Is the person you become a matter of choice, or genetics? It’s a question Eve Dallas frequently asks herself, especially when she comes across a murderer such as she faces in this book.

With parents such as hers, evil monsters who thought nothing of hurting the child they created, Eve has to wonder about her future, and that of her children. She likes to think it’s a matter of choice and that she and Roarke chose to become the people they are, despite their beginnings. In this book a child, who had a loving and supportive home and childhood becomes a killer, chooses to become a killer.

For the most part, Eve’s nightmares have been replaced by a different kind of dreams, where she seems to talk to the dead, to the victims. She knows this is really her subconscious at work, and deals with it, uses it. I like this change, am glad to see the end of the nightmares.

Eve has a decision to make when commander Whitney offers her captains bars. She answers immediately, declining as she doesn't want an admin job, but prefers to stay in the field, with her team. It is enough for her that the obstacles to her promotion (her marriage to Roarke) are no longer an issue. Both she and Roarke are to receive the Award of Merit, for their roles in stopping the people who had terrorized the city.

Life goes on, and as we have become so familiar with all the characters in this series, I like that as readers we can follow along. Mavis and Leonardo and baby Bella, Peabody and McNab, Charles and Louise are the ones I think of first. But then there is doctor Morris, still grieving from his lover’s death, Dr. Mira, Detective Baxter and Officer Trueheart who is going to try for his detective’s shield.

Nearing the end...of what’s written, and anticipating more.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Baby's Laughter

Not too long ago I saw a Youtube video of a baby laughing. When his mother first began blowing her nose he had a look of panic, but quickly his face lights up with laughter. Apparently the video quickly went viral.

The video was made in 2011 for family and friends by then five and a half month old Emerson’s mother. Not long after the parents appeared on Good Morning America with their son from their home in London, Ontario.

The video now carries Ads by Google with all the proceeds going into an education fund for Emerson.

Recently I saw a Hellmann’s “Out of this World Burger” commercial that featured a clip of this famous laughing baby. Fame and now maybe fortune, and still so young.

Book #36...Calculated in Death

An accountant is murdered, and her death made to look like a random mugging, but it’s not. The investigation leads back to the victim’s firm and Dallas figures something is wrong with one of the client’s accounts, something serious enough to lead to murder.

Roarke is the best money man around and she enlists his help in deciphering the numbers.

Eve’s nightmares have become more like dreams, where the dead talk to her. I like this change because the constant reliving of her childhood in nightmares for all these books had run its course. The dreams have some components from the past but are more her subconscious working out the details of the case in her sleep.

At the same time, we have the premiere for the movie, and all the Hollywood gang are back in the city.

The killer is really into his work, as more bodies are found. He made a mistake going after Eve, but she has a magic coat for protection. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

What's with the Weather?

I heard a strange noise the other night, as I lay in bed reading, the television softly playing in the background. I laughed when I realized what it was...the furnace. How soon we forget sounds that are everyday common, for a significant part of the year at least.

Saturday was so sunny and warm, a good test for my new SPF 60 sunscreen. Since then it’s been back to cold feet, socks and my favourite hoodie. It’s not really cold, we know cold up here, maybe brisk is a better description.

I like to think I dress weather appropriate. Spring and fall call for layers, sweaters and sweatshirts you can shed if it warms up and put back on if it cools. This is not a lesson learned by all Canadians, as some think they are hardy and can go right from parkas to sandals, winter to summer with no stop in between for spring.

I shudder on a cold spring day when I see people out in short sleeves or shorts, having shed their socks along with their boots. I’m not that brave, though I think of it more as being foolhardy.

We’re in a bit of a down cycle, weather wise, though we are still having bright sunshine. I know summer will eventually come to stay, and we’ll bitch and complain about the heat, same as we did about snow and winter’s grey skies.

That’s the thing about the weather; it’s constantly changing, absolutely unpredictable and always gives us something to talk about.

Book #35...Delusions in Death

Book #35...Delusions in Death

I have read ahead and finished the series with #39, book #40 not due out until September. I was so involved these last few books I forgot to make notes, and almost forgot to post, but here goes.

A massacre has taken place in a New York bar owned by Roarke. Is this a terrorist attack? Or a direct and personal hit at Roarke? Eve has to wade through the bodies, trying to make sense of such a senseless act.

When a second attack occurs, with no connection to Roarke the investigation looks to the links between the victims. It’s an emotional and draining effort by her whole team, and it takes its toll. Strangely enough, it is Summerset who gives Eve one of her best leads.

Of course, when his property was hit, his employees killed, Roarke cannot be kept out of the investigation. He works as hard and as tirelessly as any of the cops on the task force and in this case he becomes an accepted member of the team.

He has proven himself, time and again, and this time he risks it all. The story is gruesome, an unexpected attack on helpless citizens, and all too real.

I’ve been reading, and obviously rereading these books for years. This is the first time I have read them in order, one immediately after the other, as I didn’t start at number one but had to go back to play catch up.

I continue to marvel at the author’s ability to not only come up with a new murder scenario for each book, but that the characters remain so interesting, leaving the reader wanting to know what happens next.

Incidences, and minor characters are melded into current stories in a perfectly logical way, and I shake my head at the author’s ability to do this. How many books does she have outlined, not yet written? With all the characters she has created, it’s amazing that she can pick that one to bring back, and often in a very important way for the case.

I’m a fan, what else can I say?

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Book #34...Celebrity in Death

Nadine Furst wrote the book, and now Hollywood is in New York to film the movie The Icove Agenda based on a previous case.

At a dinner where the cast playing New York’s finest meet the real thing. One of the actors is found dead, the actress playing the part of Detective Peabody. It causes a few rough moments as there is a physical resemblance.

McNabb is particularly thrown off, and his relationship with Peabody takes a step forward as this episode makes him realize how important she is to him. I like this young couple and the often comic relief they provide in what are usually very intense cases.

Eve finds the whole Hollywood bit confusing, even though Peabody is star struck. They learn that Hollywood is not all glamour and glitz, but can be very down and dirty.

Roarke gives Eve the gift of a new coat, leather of course. But this one has a magic lining, a new kind of body armor that his company has been working on, almost from the time they met.

As Eve has been injured many times, as recently as the last case, Roarke wants to give her every advantage. He recognizes that her job puts her at risk, often makes her a target, and he will do whatever he can...the car, the keep her safe.

Not that murder is something to be taken lightly, buy I like that this book is not as intense as previous books, something I’ve felt as I’ve read them one after another in a short time. It was a good read, and at the same time a break from all the terrorists and other killers we’ve encountered to date.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Book #33...New York to Dallas

This is the only book without the...In the title. It’s the summer of 2060. A monster from Eve’s past has escaped prison and forces her to play a game of ‘catch-me-if-you-can’.

Isaac McQueen is a dangerous pedophile. Twelve years ago, while conducting a neighbourhood canvass following a mugging, a rookie finds more than she bargained for. Dallas’s cop instincts were good even then, and a killer was apprehended.

Now he’s out and after Eve. He takes his game to Dallas, Texas, and she has no choice but to follow. Dallas is where she was found as a child, the name she was given when she couldn’t remember her own. Dallas is the city of her nightmares.

The nightmares are back, more fierce than ever with the return to Dallas, with the similarity between McQueen and her father mixed up in her head.

I think the author has made this book a sort of turning point for Eve. Her past is revealed and she must deal with the memories that have haunted her and a present that constantly brings that horror back. She works with the FBI and the Dallas police, her team working the case back in New York.
Roarke is with her, of course, and he’s the only one who knows that she is dealing with so much more than just the case. They have become such a strong unit, each knowing and understanding the other, but in these extreme circumstances, even Roarke is struggling to know how to help.

There are many twists and turns in this book, and some surprises before the action packed ending.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Book #32...Treachery in Death

Dirty cops. Eve Dallas feels strongly about cops who use their badge, their authority, for their own gain. She may find that fine line between right and wrong blurred at times, since meeting Roarke, but any questionable behaviour on her part has always been to see justice is done, not for personal power or gain.

Peabody finds herself in a dangerous situation, and informs Dallas. Suddenly their sense of trust and safety within Cop Central is shattered. Going against a fellow lieutenant, Dallas has to wonder again why someone who grew up with every advantage, in a good and loving home, goes bad.

Dallas suffered such abuse as a child, yet all she wanted was to no longer feel like a victim, but instead to help others who are victimized.

I like that Roarke, with all his money, with his cultured persona, marries a woman who has no use for money. He has a need to shower her with gifts, which she finds embarrassing. Jewels and clothes are not her thing; though she has become accustomed to living in that castle they call a home, with the food and coffee.

Roarke has finally figured out the perfect gifts for his wife. A car that looks like the usual ‘crap cop’ ride, but is loaded on the inside. He’s tired of seeing his wife hurt because her car can’t protect her.

I find the author keeps these books interesting because of the intriguing murder story, but also because of the ever changing relationships between all the characters. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Chips/Cookie Confusion

I was at a gathering yesterday, my granddaughter’s seventh birthday, and cake and make-your-own sundaes were offered. The men, who were enjoying a cold drink of rye and coke, declined, in favour of the Dorito chips in a bowl on the table.

I would have done the same thing, as there are rules associated with my taste preferences. Sweet goes with milk, tea or coffee, salty goes with soft drinks, mixed drinks or beer.

So what are we to do now that Dare has come out with a cookie chip? What does it taste like? Is it like a lot of other snacks that combine that sweet and salty taste? I’m not sure whether I’ll ever try this new food item; after all, I have food rules.

And food rules must be an adult thing, definitely not something the birthday girl was aware of. She ate a cupcake, then some Doritios, then made her ice cream sundae with all the sweet toppings. As her ice cream melted, she went back to the chip bowl. Add in a day playing in the sun, throwing water balloons, it was a pretty good day.

I had tea to begin, made myself a sundae that reminded me of the ones my Mom used to make, chocolate sauce and peanuts (only her chocolate sauce was homemade with peanut butter). Later, I had water and a few chips.

Even at my age I still have this need to follow the rules. The hockey game is about to start and I suddenly find myself craving a cold beer and some chips and dip. There’s a time, place and order for all things, and that includes food.

Book #31...Indulgence in Death

Someone is playing the game Clue...for real. You know, Colonel Mustard in the whatever room with the candlestick. Victims, unusual weapons, killed in public places.

Dallas knows who’s guilty, but how to prove it, and before there are any more victims.

Eve Dallas has to wonder, is it nurture or nature? Why does a person, from a loving and stable home, do evil, and others who grew up with evil are so dedicated to doing good? With her limited memories of her parents, Eve constantly questions genetics, and what has been passed down to her, what her future could be.

Again, the killers see Dallas as the ultimate prize, and she has to be smarter and more cunning to stop them.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Book #30...Fantasy in Death

It’s the year 2060, when everything is ‘E’, and this case leads Dallas into the world of gaming. The four partners, in a company that develops and designs games, are known to Roarke. He has helped them over the years, respecting their creativity and talent. When one of the four is found murdered, he is affected in ways he doesn’t understand. Working with Feeney, he involves himself in the case, but his emotional involvement brings some stress to his relationship with Dallas.

The reality of life is that when one is stressed or hurting, he or she might lash out at those close to them. It happens because that person feels it’s a safe way to deal, because the person he or she is lashing out at loves them and will forgive and forget, understanding the why of it all.

Those old song lyrics, “you only hurt the one you love” are true.

I like that this couple read true to life. They have more baggage than the usual couple and need to find a way to make this shared life work. They’re finding their path, learning the ‘marriage rules’ as Dallas calls them as they go along.

Morris is back at work, still grieving, and he and Dallas have reached a new level of friendship and understanding. I like how the author has gradually added new characters and how those characters also evolve and change from one book to the next. It still reads like one very, very long story for me.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Book #29...Kindred in Death

All murder cases are difficult because, hey, someone is dead who shouldn’t be. This time it’s a decorated cop’s daughter who was targeted, as revenge against the father.

Dallas has come to full acceptance of her husband’s involvement in her work. He has a keen mind and she is now willing to use his experiences, his intelligence and intuition, and to a lesser degree, his resources.

Roarke, on the other hand, enjoys her work, the challenge of it, and in his way feels he’s righting some of his previous wrongs. They have become a true team, knowing the worst of each other, and understanding and loving each other despite it all.

Life invades Eve’s work, or should it be that work invades her life, as Louise and Charles prepare to marry. I love the chance meetings Eve has, first with Louise and then with Charles as she goes about solving her case.

Once it’s done it’s the wedding and time to celebrate.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Book #28...Promises in Death

Promises in Death is one of my favourite books of this series. I’m not revealing anything you wouldn’t read on the back cover...the murder victim is Doctor Morris’s lady friend, Detective Amaryllis Coultrain.

She made a minor appearance in a couple of books, so her death is shocking, but not as devastating as it would be if one of the other characters were killed off.

The reason I like this book is that we see Morris in a different light, see the kind of man he is away from the job. And we see the strength of his relationship with Eve.

To make matters more complicated, Max Ricker reappears, from his prison cell, but still after revenge against Eve and Roarke.

To lighten the mood, we have Dallas and Roarke fulfilling their roles as Matron of Honour and Best Man for Louise and Charles, by hosting the bridal shower and the bachelor party.

Dallas, of course, left most of the party planning to others, and looks for any excuse not to attend.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Disorganized Re-Organization

I always think I don’t have the energy for a complete spring cleaning, so I do it piece meal, a bit at a time. I got into more than I bargained for today and now I’m sitting here laughing at myself and my crazy way of doing things. My day of organizing went like this.

I bought 100 pods of coffee for my coffee maker and the box has been sitting on top of my fridge. When I made coffee this morning I filled the glass canister sitting on the counter and noticed that the box was nearly empty. I found space for the extras in the now I have an empty box.

The pantry I bought last year for more storage has two shelves, top and bottom, with cupboard doors and one drawer in the middle. I emptied the top shelf which already contained a box that once held coffee pods. Now it was full of hats and mitts, crocheted from my yarn stash.

As I had my first cup of coffee I put each set into a plastic bag with a note as to size and found I had both boxes filled, and both nicely fit on the top shelf. The overflow went to the table, except for other crocheted items.

The second shelf was supposed to be my office space. There was a file holder, pads of paper, notebooks, and a mug of pens and pencils. What there was, was a mess of jammed in items I had shoved in to hide or store. I pulled it all out, went through the file I hadn’t looked at in almost three years and now have a blue recycle bag half full of paper.

I’m a pen and pencil hoarder, and had enough to fill a pretty old stationary box, but at least they are all in one place. When I did the scrapbooking for the grand kids I cleaned out a lot of my paper (also a hoarding issue for me) and added what I found in the pantry to what was organized in the closet.

Is it still organizing if all you do is move something from one space to another? I’d say yes if it reduces things at the same time and is really more organized.

A couple of years ago I decorated a wooden box for my brother’s birthday. I had a grand plan, at some point, to make one for each of the grandkids, to store their small valuables or keepsakes in. I got two completed, but wasn’t happy with either, so they got shoved in the pantry. Maybe they’d look better stained, as it made such a nice finish to the one I made before. So, here I am with the boxes on the kitchen counter, stained, using the last of a bottle of sealer that I then tossed in the garbage. I still don’t like the boxes so will scrap them, and maybe try again some other time.

I had a small empty bin from the closet cleaning and pulled it out and set it on the floor. This became my donation bin and I tossed in things that were useful, but no longer wanted. With the desk shelf organized I next tackled the drawer. I found an empty card box and filled it with the birthday cards I had bought for the kids. I added all the pens I found to the office box.

I sorted through the sales receipts, some going back to 2013, only kept the ones for major purchases. I found a box of jewellery making items and added pieces as I discovered them. Another one of those hobbies I want to try and keep buying supplies for.

I can actually see the floor, and have only partially loaded the table, so good on me. I found the old margarine container with the drawer pulls I bought 2 years ago when I moved in. The new ones are brushed pewter looking, more like me than white ones with a gold edge. The kids were changing these for me but we ran out of small washers, so the container got guessed the pantry. If Walmart sold small washers this job would have been done, but I have to go to Home Depot and so it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind. I’ll get to that little task this week.

I’m feeling pretty good by this time and ate some lunch standing at the sink, looking at my day’s work, and I mean day, as it was after 2 P.M.

The empty space on the top of the fridge caught my eye and I reached for all the restaurant coupons and menus sitting there, all outdated. But there was also a carousel spice rack sitting there. It holds sixteen bottles of spice, mostly spices I use for baking, and a series of spice blends I made up for cooking. I don’t do much of either any more so...clean up in the spice aisle.

All the bottles were emptied in the garbage and set to soak in a sink of hot soapy water, and now sit air drying on the counter. The rack will be offered to the kids, for spices or in my son’s case for small screws or whatever on his work bench, and if there are no takers...into the donation bin it goes.

I’m sitting here with a cold drink, feeling pretty smug, maybe I’ll do the bottom cupboard tomorrow, I seem to be on a roll.

Book#27...Salvation in Death

Not having had any religious education in her state provided childhood, Eve is a bit at a loss in understanding the ways of the Catholic Church when a priest is murdered during mass at a funeral service.

This book is a perfect example of how the author mixes characters from previous books into the current story line. We saw Ariel Greenwood, the baker, when she was abducted and tortured by a crazed killer, and rescued by Eve. She promised to bake Eve the best cake in thanks, and here she fulfills that promise.

This visit from Ariel gives Dallas a piece of her investigation that had, up to that time, been eluding her.

How does the author do that? It was perfect, the visit from the previous victim, and how Eve suddenly saw her case from a different perspective, the final clue to solving it.

Does the author have characters and their histories posted about the room, so she can look them all over and see how they can be used in the current story line? When she brings a character back they have such purpose, and it’s like old friends come for a visit. It’s also a bit of closure that wasn’t there when a particular story ended.

Yes, Ariel was rescued, and yes there were hints about her and her neighbour, but in this book we see what became of these two young people, and I like reading that they are happy and settled. As much as any one book is a good read, I have found a greater enjoyment in reading these books in order, as each builds on the one before.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Book #26...Strangers in Death

When one spouse has a job requiring a great deal of time, effort and dedication, like a cop or a doctor, the other spouse can become resentful, maybe jealous of that time spent apart. Eve is 110% dedicated, often brings her job home and more and more often, involves Roarke in police work. Conversely, she has no interest in his financial empire, or in being a corporate wife.

Reading book after book, it seems as if Roarke is the understanding and supportive husband. He seems to accept when Eve forgets plans, comes home late or bruised and battered. He gets her ‘need’ to be a cop, and the total dedication she gives to each case. For a powerful man, he seems to understand that even as she uses his experiences and resources when needed, she resents the fact that she does.

In this book Eve recognizes the killer from the beginning, and must find a way to prove their guilt. It's a convoluted story, and a plot we've seen before, in movies, books and television. I like these references to present day, like in a previous book and the use of an old Agatha Christie book.

Twenty-six books in and these characters are still engaging. I like how Eve and Roarke’s marriage is a work in progress, how the characters are changed by events and move forward. That’s how life comes to us after all, one event at a time, and we learn to accept, adapt and go on.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Book #25...Creation in Death

A killer that Dallas, Feeney and many of the team met nine years ago, and never caught, is back. This time Dallas is in charge and Feeney is the EDD member of the team. Emotions run high as Feeney feels the new case highlights his failure to close the case when he was primary.

The first victim, this time around, worked for Roarke, and trace evidence is linked back to companies he owns. From the minute the middle of the night call sends Dallas to the crime scene, Roarke works as part of the team. First the task force thinks there’s a connection to him, and later he realizes it’s not him the killer is after...but Eve.

Roarke, who has always held a poor opinion of cops based on past experiences in his youth, develops a new respect for the men and women he finds himself working with. So much of their work is dreary and dull; sorting through details, eliminating what is meaningless to find that one clue that will lead them to their culprit.

A different kind of team, one where Roarke’s power and influence prove to be secondary, and useless when his wife sets herself up as bait.

We see Roarke’s point of view, as the spouse sitting on the sidelines when his cop is puts herself in the line of fire. Will this couple forever battle over Eve’s dedication to the job?

At the end, Eve needs some of Roarke's power and skill if she is going to find justice for the victims. 

May the Fourth Be With You

Sorry, I just had to do it.

I always think of this joke before the fourth, then forget it on the day.

It’s a once a year thing, and I was in the mood for a laugh. I hope it worked to make you smile.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Book#24...Innocent in Death

In the previous book, Eve and Roarke faced many challenges...more personal than professional. One of those was the birth of Mavis’s baby, with Eve and Roarke acting as birth coaches. And then there was the police department’s attitude to Roarke’s involvement in a case, which caused stress for their relationship.

Roarke was disappointed to think that his beginnings as a street rat in Dublin, his somewhat shady beginnings, would always come back to taint the image he has worked so hard to achieve. Eve could care less about image, and often feels guilty for using her husband on a case, when she is such a dismal failure as a corporate wife.

An old flame, a woman who was once his partner in some less-than-legal activities, comes to New York. She’s not the first ex-lover that Eve has met, but she’s the first one who mattered. Not only do they have a history Eve doesn’t really understand, the woman is educated, beautiful and classy. She’s the kind of woman who would make the perfect wife for a man of Roarke’s means and status.

Eve feels threatened in a way she’s hard pressed to explain...self doubts and an instinctive feeling the other woman is out to make trouble. Maybe Roarke is feeling a little thin-skinned since the insult he suffered on the previous case, but he is angered by Eve’s concern of his further association with the other woman, and accuses her of petty jealousy.

This is a test for the couple, for there is a disconnect that they will have to find a way to mend if their relationship is to survive.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Betsy McCall Paper Dolls

I was browsing on Pinterest and saw a name that brought back memories. Betsy McCall, a paper doll that came in each issue of the McCall magazine, in the olden, golden days of the fifties.

I hadn’t thought of these paper dolls in decades, and if asked would have been hard pressed to remember the name, but once I read it, saw the images it all came flooding back.

Don’t you just love these old and happy reminders of childhood?

Book#23...Born in Death

If you’ve been reading along in the series, you know that Eve and Roarke have risked life and limb, suffered numerous injuries, in order to save the innocent.

They are now about to face their greatest fear...the birth of Mavis and Leonardo’s baby. Of course Mavis wants her best friend to be at the blessed event and Eve is beginning to regret she’s let all these people in her life.

Like each book, this one is about a murder case, but this time it’s complicated by the impending birth. Added to it all, one of the mothers from Mavis’s birthing class has gone missing, and Mavis is frantic for Eve to find her. How can Eve say no to her pregnant friend?

The murder involves lawyers and accountants, who represent big money interests. They don’t want to turn confidential information over to the police department, and in their argument, state that they fear Roarke would have access to that data and use it for his own gain. The police department informs Eve of this and she is insulted, on her husband’s behalf. How can the police department practically accuse Roarke of using her, and using information for his own gain?  Has he not given the department free use of all his resources, risked his own life in the pursuit of justice?

Eve has to tell him, and when she does, he asks her to walk away. He gives her an either/or  ultimatum, as he needs to know he comes first. It’s interesting how they solve this situation, and how they continue to form this unified front.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Book#22...Memory in Death

It’s December 2059, a year has passed since the beginning of Eve and Roarke’s journey, story wise, written in 22 books. I still find the characters intriguing and fresh.

Throughout this series we’ve learned of Roarke’s beginnings,his abusive father, how he met Summerset and of his previous criminal connections. A couple of books have dealt with this in more detail, bringing his past into the present.

With Eve, we learned of her horrible childhood as she relives it in nightmares and flashbacks. Her memory is patchy and it has only been since Roarke has come into her life that she’s been brave enough to face it.

I like how with every book the story of this couple moves forward, and their past is not only revealed, but part of it. Isn’t that how life works? People move in and out of your life, some with a negative impact so their return is not so welcome.

Such is the case here. Eve at age eight was placed in a foster home, and her foster mother was almost as twisted and abusive as her father.

With the notoriety of the Icove case, (from the previous book), that foster mother becomes aware not only of where Eve lives but that she has a very rich husband, and arrives in New York, supposedly for a happy reunion.
Trudy surprises Eve in her office and the meeting leaves Eve in a state of shock with the onslaught of memories. When Eve later finds Trudy murdered, she manages to stay on the case, as she and Roarke, the most likely prime suspects, had a perfect alibi.

Again, Eve’s character continues to evolve, in how she copes with the past and how her relationship with Roarke allows her the comfort and support to deal with it.