Cozy Mysteries: Kate Carlisle Edition

I make no secret of it….I love a cozy mystery.  To me, a cozy mystery is a book that has a small town charm, with a witty protagonist, some sort of adversary, and usually a hot cop or two thrown in for good measure.  It’s usually a quick read….I tend to go through them in a few days or a week.  That’s especially true for some of my favorite authors.

First up is Kate Carlisle.  She writes two of my favorite mystery series, the Bibliophile Mysteries and the Fixer Upper Mysteries.  The most recent book is from the Fixer Upper Mysteries called ” Crowned and Moldering:  A Fixer-Upper Mystery”

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Rarely do I pre-order books.  Usually only if I find the characters engaging and the story full of twists and turns.  This book hit all those points and more.  This is the third book in the series, but you never feel left out of the story if you’re just picking this one up.  The basic story follows Shannon Hammer, contractor and owner of her father’s business and her tendency to get caught in all the wrong places.  Mostly murder places….you know, places where murder victims happen to be.  This book follows that, and takes Shannon to the antique Lighthouse mansion that her current sort of boyfriend, famous writer Mac Sullivan has bought to live in.  I saw sort-of boyfriend, only b/c there is also a hot police officer in town that Shannon finds herself drawn to as well.  Not exactly the worst problem to have in the world.  For Lighthouse Cove, the town where all this takes place, everyone seems to know everyone, and everyone’s personal business is all out in the open.  Also, I don’t know if I’d live there….it currently gives off a Murder She Wrote vibe….so many murders in such a small town!

Kate Carlisle’s other series is the Bibliophile Mysteries.  Currently, there are 10 books in the series, the most recent being “Ripped From the Pages”

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This is another one on my pre-order list.  This series follows book restorer (which sounds like an awesome job in my opinion) Brooklyn Wainwright and her frequent brushes with death.  Luckily, she at least lives in/around San Francisco….so all the murders are a little less weird.  Still weird that she knows the victims usually…but still.  These books provide gorgeous descriptions of some of the rare, old, unusual books that Brooklyn works on.  So if you’re not trying to puzzle out the culprit, you’re drooling over the fact that she gets to work on these amazing pieces of art!  No cozy mystery would be complete with out an attractive law enforcement officer, and this book is no exception.  In the first book of the series we meet security specialist Derek Stone (what?  Such a great name), who is British (what again?  So good), and works with Brooklyn through a myriad of crises.  You also get to meet Brooklyn’s eccentric family and friends, and also makes you want to hang out with them.  You know, except for all the murder stuff.

Kate Carlisle is great, and her website has all sorts of fun stuff on it too:

http://katecarlisle.com/

She’s also a great follow on twitter….for those that are on twitter:

https://twitter.com/katecarlisle

 

Enjoy the reading, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Moses Supposes

I admit it.  I’m a musical theater loving geek.  I’m especially a movie musical nerd.  Give me a classic singing and dancing tale from the 1940’s/1950’s….and I’m IN TO IT.

As a former (reformed?) dance student, Gene Kelly was one of my icons of dance movies.  He portrayed the “every man” to Fred Astaire’s debonair gentleman.  He starred in such classics as “Singin’ in the Rain”, “An American in Paris”, “Anchors Aweigh”, and my personal favorite, “On the Town”.  I can’t get enough of that one.  Anytime it’s on TCM I will sit and watch it.  A musical about Navy Sailors?  In New York?  Dancing through the tourist places of New York City?  And a ballet at the end?  Yes please.

So, knowing how obsessed I was about Gene Kelly, I picked up the following biography of Gene Kelly:

Gene Kelly: A Life of Dance and Dreams

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To say I loved it is an understatement.  I have read it three times in the past couple of years and I make sure to loan it out with incredible frequency to my fellow old Hollywood fanatic friends—-shout out to Leslie!

It traces his life from growing up in Pittsburgh to becoming one of the most outspoken critics of McCarthyism.  It even touches on his later years choreographing and receiving awards.  Of course, the juiciest stuff is in the middle during the golden age of movies.   Touching on other stars as well (most notably Judy Garland), this book really has a great all encompassing view of that era of movies.

And, if you hate to read (which is weird….b/c why are you reading my stuff then…..but whatevs), just watch the movies anyway.  They are classics that everyone should see at least once.  A majority of the Kelly movies are super funny too….granted, it’s early movie humor, but anyone should appreciate them.

Also, randomly…..Gene Kelly reminds me of my Grandpa.  Or at least movie Gene Kelly does.  Always smiling, always the glue that holds the group together, and just an all around good guy.