Victorian Homes: Public Spaces

Part of my second mystery, Marry in Haste, will take place in a large Victorian home in 1893. I lived in such a house when I first moved to Monmouth, Illinois in the 1960s. In my last post I discussed the history of the W.W. McCullough house, and now I’m...

Murder as a Fine Art

     Murder as a Fine Art, by David Morrell, is part historical novel, part mystery, part thriller, and wholly enjoyable. It contains real people–essayist Thomas de Quincey–and fictional counterparts, like his ahead-of-her-time daughter, Emily de Quincey....

The Bookman’s Tale is for Book Lovers

I picked up The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett at the library and had no idea it would be one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It reminded me of People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. Her novel is about a book that was saved through many...

Revisiting The Great Gatsby

     A little over a year ago I published a post on Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby. This weekend a new film version of the book is coming out to much fanfare and hype. Yes, I plan to see it with some skepticism since I have seen so many wonderful classic...

…and Back Again

“You drive twenty-six hours? Are you crazy?”     This is the universal reaction of people who hear that I spend the winter in Phoenix, the rest of the year in Illinois, and drive instead of fly. I generally rent furnished houses in Phoenix, and I drive so...

The Snowbird Life

Now that I’m about to head back to Illinois from Arizona, I should answer the question people ask me most about winter travel: What’s it like to live away from home for three months, especially in a desert rather than in the snowy and cold Midwest? Aerial...

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