November 22, Fifty Years Later

National Geographic Channel recently aired the first of several documentaries and movies about November 22, 1963. I’d like to say that date seems like yesterday, but in actuality it seems like long ago. At the time I was seventeen, a junior in high school, on...

Upstairs at the McCullough House

After my sojourn across the pond, it’s back to the McCullough House, a Victorian home that will be an 1893 setting in my second mystery. We’ve explored the public rooms downstairs. Now it’s time to take the broad staircase to the second and third...

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...

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