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Posted on Jun 28, 2012 9:29:22 PM PDT
M. Bernstein says:
Barb and all,
Check this out from the LA Times.Check out this article from LA Times:

Jonathan Beggs wanted an easy way for his neighbors to share books.

To read the full article, click on this link or copy and paste it into your browser:,0,4434480.story

Sent from my iPad

Posted on Jun 28, 2012 10:04:56 PM PDT
Mr B,
When you put in the link for the website, did you copy and paste? How do you do that on your iPad?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 6:40:59 AM PDT
Mr. B:
Nice story!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 8:00:03 AM PDT
M. Bernstein says:
With libraries down here closing for lack of funds, this seems like a great idea. Ben Franklin is attributed to having founded lending library this seems like a continuation.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2012 8:17:51 AM PDT
Mr. B:
I agree. Anything that helps people read. We're having similar problems up here with reduced library hours and branch closings due to lack of funds. Sad.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 9:09:17 AM PDT
Amanda Peck says:

I remember the bookstore, may never have been in there.

If it was 8th Ave/Franklin Road.

It was either replaced by or next to a place called Daylight Donuts, where I had breakfast for a handful of years. That was right wonderful--amazing assortment of people, young, old, black, white, men, women, different classes of people. Saved my sanity more than once, because of the above.

I once worked at Hickory Hollow (changing tires and batteries part time at Sears). Yours sounds like a good job there. Although as I had done everything I (and everybody else I knew) could think of about getting me a job, I was glad to get that, and would have stayed if full-time had been available. The then automotive department head was an overeducated bum like me--Master's in something from Duke University--the guy who followed him already knew that I was OK.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2012 9:52:14 AM PDT
Amanda Peck says:
Nice story on the Little Library, not particulately suited to my place (a tenth of a mile off the road, not to mention eight miles from town).

Sometimes I really wish I lived in town. Not often, though.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 9:56:45 AM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:

How are you with this heat, being off the grid and all. It looked pretty wicked heat-wise south of us. We're in the 90's but it's the 100's south by you and Linda S, right?

Barb, more on books coming soon.....

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 10:08:39 AM PDT
Amanda Peck says:
The EP's--now a month over two years old--are doing. Fine, according to them, except that the need EXERCISE. I need to make a dog park just for them. And their mother, and Major and Cherty.

Major got loose and found something probably only mildly reprehensible but a LOT of it, so we got a trip to the vet's yesterday afternoon. Got a shot AND pills for a week. All intended to help my senior citizen dog get a smoothly functioning gut.

Three-footed Cherty is doing pretty well. She (and Major) really don't like the heat. Yep, Cherty really has to be an all-indoor (and leash walks) dog since she had the accident--she CAN still get around perfectly well, run forever, but not after she was hit by a car on our very low traffic road. She still sometimes still gets away and goes for a run.

So I'm getting more batteries and maybe even another fan to try to keep us all more or less cool. Doing all those things--drapes during the daytime, opening it all up at night--that we used to do way back in the fifties.

But good grief, the very early 20th century house we lived in for not too long, did this soooo well. Big porch, high ceilings, tall roof, a huge oak and a couple of big pecan trees were a lot of the solution.

For the younger generation--this was back in the days when movie theaters advertised COLD AIR CONDITIONING in bigger letters than that of the films being shown. And we knew exactly which dips in the road in the early evening hoarded the coolth when we went on an evening drive in the car (no AC--air-con in the Pacific area--there either).

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 10:29:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2012 10:40:56 AM PDT
Hey, everybody,

Nashville yesterday hit the highest ever recorded temperature for June 29, 109 degrees; we're scheduled for record-breaking heat through Sunday. Thank heavens I got my attic fan replaced when I did--I can tell it's making a difference, especially in late afternoon when I get full western sun on the back of the house.

Amanda, I remember sleeping on the floor on a pallet because it was cooler than sleeping in the bed. When I was a little girl, Mom was still cooking on a wood stove, so she'd cook early in the morning before it heated up so much, and we'd eat room temperature food at lunch and supper. We practically lived on the porch. Some of the best times I remember with Mom, even as I got older, was our sitting on the porch in the shade, breaking green beans, shelling peas, peeling tomatoes, getting ready to can them for the coming winter. And going to the air-conditioned theatre to watch a movie in the cool was nirvana.

Finished reading about what will go down as one of "the" trials of the 21st century. IMPERFECT JUSTICE: PROSECUTING CASEY ANTHONY by Jeff Ashton with Lisa Pulitizer was an inexpensive Kindle download. Jeff Ashton was one of the three prosecutors in State of Florida v. Casey Anthony, the one who handled presentation of the forensic evidence.

IMPERFECT JUSTICE is obviously told from the prosecution's point of view, but it details the various explanations and scenarios presented by the defense that were eventually successful in winning Casey Anthony's aquittal in what remained a circumstantial case. The forensics, which were not successfully countered by the defense witnesses, were cutting edge, particularly the work by Dr. Arpad Vass on the odors associated with human decomposition. Mistakes made by the Orange County, Florida, Sheriff's Department and by the FBI Laboratories may have played a role in the jury's final decision; the prosecution's inability to prove the cause of death, whether suffocation or chloroform, may have played a role; unwillingness to believe that an attractive, middle-class Caucasian young mother is capable of causing her child's death may have played a role; the jury's eagerness to finish the trial and go home may have played a role. One of the jurors who spoke publicly later said that the jury was set 10-2 for "not guilty" on all counts after only 90 minutes' deliberation, and the remaining time was spent in convincing the two hold-outs.

What I find hard to understand about the case is that Cayce Anthony was not found guilty on one of the lesser included charges. I also do not understand Cayce's parents, especially her mother Cindy's willingness to accept her explanations for why a child who lived in their home was missing for 31 days before they contacted the police. Ashton leaves the impression that, had Cayce not stolen the car, Caylee's absence might not have been reported even as late as it was. I too watched the Anthonys' appearances on Dr. Phil and was astonished at the depth of Cindy's denial about her granddaughter's death and Casey's responsibility. I don't understand why Cindy was not prosecuted for perjury over her claims that she'd made the computer searches on chloroform.

I can't help feeling that a more realistic verdict in the Casey Anthony case as it played out would have been the Scots verdict of "not proven." But, as Ashton says, "The only certainty in a trial is that nothing will ever go as planned." An interesting take on the media circus that the trial became. 4/5 stars (B)

Linda S.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 10:44:21 AM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
Linda S:

Loved reading your post about your mom. She sounded like an amazing woman.

Courageous, she was not bitter about her circumstances, single mother and supporting her family.

She met challenges with grace, kept her sense of joy it seems, enjoyed life despite the trials, loved her grandchildren.
Kept her optimism. Worked hard with what she was given and the times for a woman. Made the most of everything and
didn't appear to complain.

Not sure I would have been as gracious about it and kept a positive outlook. They do find positivity influences longevity.
There was a study of nuns for over their lives--nuns have about the same nutrition, exposure to disease, life circumstances and they found the ones who wrote optimistically in their diaries about life and were positive lived way longer than the ones who
grumbled more.

Anyway, I think you are a lot like your mom, although you have different gifts than she did with your love for education and helping kids. We all contribute in different ways and your contributions are just as unselfed and valuable as hers I think, even if you think she was more saintly or had more of a challenge. It's a challenge to be in a room with adolescents or whatever 8 hours a day, keeping them disciplined and learning something. Takes a lot of energy. I found it much easier working at office work or hospitality--1/2 the stress, you get to move around, you are with adults, you're dealing with a couple of people at a time instead of 25, there's more variety, there's downtime, you don't have to be "on", you can just show up to work, no prep at night etc. Found teaching much more taxing and strenuous, so you may have had as difficult as a challenge as she did.

Stay cool! I put an airconditioner in one room and stay in that room and it helps. It actually cools a lot of the house if I keep the bedroom doors open and it's really cool in livingroom. Would you want one airconditioner for the room you read in?

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 10:58:06 AM PDT
Amanda Peck says:
Been reading--re-reading in the case of MURDER ON A GIRL'S NIGHT OUT by Anne George--it's SOOO good--and a rather strange book called A HITMAN'S GUIDE TO HOUSECLEANING by Hallgrimur Helgason (a long time hit man hides out in Iceland, which is where the author is from). I told the funny books discussion that it was more of a thriller than a mystery, or would have been if it hadn't been so funny. Kath Russell's A POINTED DEATH, billed as a smart women's mystery--the work descriptions seem like they might be spot on. And the first of Archer Mayer's Joe Gunther series OPEN SEASON, that I'm still not sure if I'd read before. Vicki Delany's IN THE SHADOW OF THE GLACIER, which I did remember reading years ago, a couple of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher books, a couple more of Lee Charles Kelley's dog training mysteries (which have led me to a couple of Kevin Behan's books, one part autobiography--on Kindle--and another, NATURAL DOG TRAINING in DTB form).

Haven't been getting much work done, mind you.

Most of the above get a B+ or better. Some a bit fluffy, learned a lot from the Lee Charles Kelley, who loves Behan as a trainer. If the latter sounds interesting, my guess is that the paperback is the one to start with--the Kindle version is half-autobiography, but then the price may be right.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 4:13:15 PM PDT
Hey, everybody,

Just saw that Sarah Shaber's SNIPE HUNT is available free today. It's one of her Simon Shaw series that I remember as being well-written. Just in case anyone's interested.

Linda S.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 4:15:04 PM PDT
M. Bernstein says:
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective [Kindle Edition]
Kate Summerscale (Author)
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Summerscale (The Queen of Whale Cay) delivers a mesmerizing portrait of one of England's first detectives and the gruesome murder investigation that nearly destroyed him. In 1860, three-year-old Saville Kent was found murdered in the outdoor privy of his family's country estate. Local police scrambled for clues, but to no avail. Scotland Yard Det.-Insp. Jonathan Jack Whicher was called in and immediately suspected the unthinkable: someone in the Kent family killed Saville. Theories abounded as everyone from the nursemaid to Saville's father became a suspect. Whicher tirelessly pursued every lead and became convinced that Constance Kent, Saville's teenage half-sister, was the murderer, but with little evidence and no confession, the case went cold and Whicher returned to London, a broken man. Five years later, the killer came forward with a shocking account of the crime, leading to a sensational trial. Whicher is a fascinating hero, and readers will delight in following every lurid twist and turn in his investigation. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"A brilliant reconstruction of the obstacles facing detectives long before the advent of forensic technology."-L.A. Times Book Review


"Not just a dark, vicious true-crime story; it is the story of the birth of forensic science, founded on the new and disturbing idea that innocent, insignificant domestic details can reveal unspeakable horrors to those who know how to read them."-Time


"One eloquent doozy of a true-crime thriller. A-"-Entertainment Weekly


"The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher combines a thumping good mystery yarn with fine social and literary history."-Fresh Air


"This is a great biographical fiction of an interesting real life mid nineteenth century detective working a shocking homicide case."


"Fascinating."-Denver Post


"If you are a mystery lover, or if you have ever wondered how the modern love of the genre began, you'll enjoy Summerscale's tracing of the early days of the profession and the fascination it exerted...a fascinating look at Victorian life, death and detection."-Associated Press


"In crime annals, it's right up there with the Lindbergh trial or the mystery surrounding JonBenet Ramsey: In 1860, one of Scotland Yard's finest was sent to solve the murder of a little boy at an upscale address near London. It turned out Jack Whicher's hunch was right, and his footwork fed the public imagination as well as writers such as Charles Dickens. Sadly, failure to clinch the case in court upended Whicher's career."-Minneapolis Star-Tribune


"Takes you back to a specific place and time with all the imagination and skill of a top-tier historical novelist. You hang on every word, flipping pages faster than you can read them....If you like your murder mysteries wrapped up in a neat little package, this isn't the book for you.  But if you're looking for a complex, intellectually stimulating thriller that will leave you breathless, well, this mystery is well worth inspecting."-Fairfield County Weekly


"Summerscale's clean writing makes The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher so dynamic that she can't be accused of "freezing" the past-instead, she has done a masterly job of reviving it, with all its curiosities and contradictions.

"A mesmerizing portrait of one of England's first detectives and the gruesome murder investigation that nearly destroyed him...Whicher is a fascinating hero, and readers will delight in following every lurid twist and turn in his investigation."-Publishers Weekly, (starred review)


"Summerscale organizes the book like a period novel, with a denouement that suggests that full justice was never done. Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
Well what a fascinating book. It's much more then the story of the detectives investigation of this terrible murder. It is also a history of detecting in the mid 19th century and its impact on the literature of the period.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 4:18:48 PM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
Mr. B:

Regarding THE SUSPICIONS OF MR WHICHER--saw it on NYT top 100 books of the year--in 2008 I guess--and was going to ask this group about the book. A Victorian murder sounds good. I couldn't remember the name of it so glad you found it.

Let us know what you think of it, if you read it.

I think I'll try to get it. Maybe some in this group might want to read it this summer and chat about it informally?

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 4:51:14 PM PDT
Keefer, Mr. B,

I know I've read about the Constance Kent case, but I don't remember if it's this book. One book that I read suggests that she may have been covering for her father, who was apparently again having an affair with his children's nanny and killed Saville because he caught them in bed together.

I'd be willing to discuss this summer, if people are interested.

Linda S.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 5:42:12 PM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
Linda S., Mr. B and all,

Our library has the book so just requested it.

Love literate mysteries, if that's what this is.

Posted on Jun 30, 2012 8:31:09 PM PDT
Hi, Barb Down Under and everyone,

Another scorching day, ideal to stay inside where it's cool, sip iced tea, and read.

Audrey Peterson's DEADLY REHEARSAL is the fifth in her mystery series featuring Jane Winfield and Dr. Andrew Quentin. Jane, happily married to London solicitor James Hall, is working with her friend Bettina Barnes as a publicist for the Southmere Opera Festival in Burlington, Sussex. When James finds the festival's creator and chief financial support Julian Kingsley dead at the bottom of a nearby tower, as Margot Kingsley's lover before she left him for another man, he is an immediate suspect, especially since he'd met her twice in recent weeks to discuss his representing her; she, however, implies a resumption of their relationship. Jane believes James, but who killed Julian?

Complications abound, as Bettina deals with spoiled husband Simon Barnes, who seems up to something fishy with his job at City Freight Services; the festival conductor Russell Ames clearly wants a close personal relationship with Bettina; her psychiatrist husband Raymond Flynt watches his young soprano wife Ilena carry on a flirtation with the tenor Dmitri Mikos; director Anton Szabo and Margot Kingsley express their dislike openly; Julian's will leaves £10,000 to his former mistress Veeda Riley, whose brother has IRA affiliations; and James is defending a young man accused of robbery with violence of a gunsmith's shop. What is going on, and how are these things connected, if they are?

Peterson's strong point is characterization. She creates a believable set of individuals with personalities, relationships, and back stories that gives the reader a sense of watching real people in operation. In DEADLY REHEARSAL, however, she gives Jane not one but two TSTL moments that could have turned deadly had she been discovered or if the killer had chosen. Andew Quentin makes only a token appearance, just long enough to suggest how the crime was committed. The plot is all drawn together and explained in the conclusion, but the mechanics and motive for Julian's murder are indicated early on. The IRA subplot seems contrived and doesn't really fit. The sense of place is less developed than in earlier books in the series.

This is not to say that DEADLY REHEARSAL is badly written; it's just not as solid as earlier books in the series. 3.75/5 stars (B-)

Linda S.

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 5:54:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 1, 2012 5:56:20 AM PDT
M. Bernstein says:
BDU and more,

Detective Whitcher was one of the earliest detectives in Scotland yard. Whitcher was well known in England at the time of the Kent case. For instance, he was interviewed by Charles Dickens.

Constance Kent has just been arrested for the murder of her stepbrother. Whicher has been given one week to find a missing nightgown else Constance will have to be released.

So, if we want to discuss this book informally, well I'll be leaving town the end of July and Will return the end of the second week in August. And then I am off again until the end of September.

So, have at it.

Dictated on my iPad. Not too bad, A (eh)?

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 9:43:29 AM PDT
Hi everyone:

Today we celebrate Canada Day, July 1, our Independence Day, and the freedom and good life we enjoy. I wish all our American cousins a happy July 4.


Posted on Jul 1, 2012 9:53:51 AM PDT

Best wishes for a great day--Canada has always been our biggest and our best neighbor. Long may she prosper.

Linda S.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2012 10:52:08 AM PDT
Happy Canada Day, James!

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 1:07:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2012 11:50:44 AM PDT
I haven't seen anything from you Anathasia..I hope everything is ok...

Posted on Jul 1, 2012 1:38:34 PM PDT
Finished GUILTY by Karen Robards and I wasn't overly impressed.

It was my first Karen Robards book and it was OK, not great, but OK.

The female prosecutor protagonist was annoying and not a very likeable character. I just didn't warm to her. And she makes some very stupid decisions. Makes you wonder what kind of prosecutor she is. Tom the cop falls for this woman and he needs his head examined.

Some aspects of the plot not believable. But Ms. Robards is a good competent writer and there are parts of this book where the suspense is chilling. Just not enough of it for me.

I may check out some of her other books to see if they are any better, but this one is passable. 3 stars.


Posted on Jul 1, 2012 3:55:39 PM PDT
M. Bernstein says:

Good of you to remind us about a friendship between our two countries. I look back at the four summers I rode and Eastern Canada with considerable fondness and joy.

The monument I will never forget is the one dedicated to the Peace Keepers in Ottawa.

Happy Canada day.
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  96
Total posts:  10000
Initial post:  Aug 17, 2011
Latest post:  Dec 9, 2012

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