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Murder Among Friends

Trace Evidence: Casts of Characters and Fun Bits About Our Books!

"Trace Evidence" helps tell the story of what happened at a crime scene. As our "crime scene" is the book we're reading, the Trace Evidence is information related to the book: Our Cast(s) of Characters, Graphic Crime Quizes, and Links related to the author and the story.

Each book's entry begins with the Cast of Characters, then moves on to links, photos & other interesting points. Some of the things I've gathered for the discussions will take longer than others to make it to this page - but they will make it here!

All books are listed alphabetically by their author's last name. To help you locate a particular author or book's entry, go to the year's Authors & Their Books section below. There is a table for 2015 and 2016 for each year's authors. There are links by author name to take you directly to the author/book you want to go to.

You can also scroll down throught the authors to find the one you want: all of the authors are in order by Last Name (regardless of which year we read them in).

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2017 Authors and Their Books:

*This table will have active links added as we read each book each month!

 Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train *See the movie 2-25-17 at LLD!  
 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Mycroft Holmes Just Added Susan M. Boyer - Lowcountry Bombshell
 Ellison, J.T. - No One Knows Georgette Heyer - The Unfinished Clue
 Carolyn Haines - Them Bones Catriona McPherson - Quiet Neighbors
  Julia Keller - A Killing in the Hills David Baldacci - Memory Man
 Hank Phillippi Ryan - Say No More  Karin Slaughter - Pretty Girls

 

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2016 Authors and Their Books:

*This table will have active links added as we read each book each month!

Tasha Alexander  - And Only to Deceive & Andrew Grant - Run
C. J. Box - Open Season K. J. Larsen - Liar, Liar 
Alafair Burke - Long Gone Lori Rader-Day - The Black Hour
Sophie Hannah - The Monogram Murders Hank Phillippi Ryan - What You See
Tana French - In the Woods Rex Stout - Fer-de-Lance
 William Kent Krueger - Ordinary Grace  Victoria Thompson - Murder on Astor Place

 

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2015 Authors and Their Books:

Kelley Armstrong -
Omens
Craig Johnson -
The Cold Dish
 (Added!)
Linwood Barclay -
No Time for Goodbye
Catriona McPherson -
Dandy Gilver & A Measure of Brimstone
Dorothy Cannell -
Murder at Mullings
Chris Pavone -
The Expats
Andrew Gross -
No Way Back
Jenny Milchman -
Cover of Snow
Tony Hillerman -
The Blessing Way
Anne Perry -
The Face of a Stranger
Anne Hillerman -
Spider Woman's Daughter
Hank Phillippi Ryan - Truth Be Told
Zoe Sharp -
The Blood Whisperer

 

 

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Mycroft Holmes

 

Cast of Characters from Mycroft Holmes 

Emanuel – the first character we meet, he’s an 87 year old native of Trinidad living in a village near the sea where children are being taken and killed. He and the other villagers fear it is a doen and a lougarou.

Mycroft Holmes – a twenty-three year old secretary to the Secretary of State for War during the reign of Queen Victoria. He is blond and sturdily-built, but his real strength is his brilliant Holmes’ deductive skill. We meet him first at the annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities. He’s in love with his fiancé , Georgiana, a love that leads him to adventure and peril in Trinidad.

Cyrus Douglas – Mycroft’s best friend, a “black man, his skin the color of cinnamon” is a very successful, tobacco tradesman with a tobacconist shop in London. He and Holmes bonded over cigars and whiskey, and a mutual appreciation for each other’s knowledge. Gerard and Ava Pennywhistle work in his tobacco shop – and appear to be the owners to its customers.

Georgiana Sutton – is Mycroft’s fiancé and a “quintessential English rose”, blond “wth cream-colored skin, pink cheeks, and sparkling blue eyes”. She was born in Port of Spain where her family has a large, and by all accounts prosperous, sugar plantation. She has been well-educated and has very “progressive” ideas. The red and black seed bracelet she wears is the “only visible symbol of her native homeland”.

Edward Cardwell – Mycroft’s boss, the Secretary of State for War who relies on Mycroft to “pinpoint the world’s trouble spots with the deadly accuracy of a champion archer”. He has graying hair and “fulsome muttonchops”.

Charles Parfitt – the young junior clerk and errand boy who is Mrs. Hudson’s nephew. Mycroft helped him to get the job, and he looks after Mycroft’s horse.

 Adam McGuire – the “intense brown-haired chap who’d been eyeing Douglas and Holmes on board. He’s an American who seems to be some kind of government official. He is also seen with the men who attack Holmes and Douglas.

The duffer – the young pickpocket from the ship who was writing a love note to the mysterious Annabel.

Captain Miles – the man in charge of the steamship to Trinidad, he has been guilt-ridden over what he knows about the attacks on Holmes & Douglas, so much so, that he gives Holmes a critical list of names to be opened when Holmes goes to the governor’s office.

Edward Dedos – the infamous Trinidad poisoner also known as Three-Fingered Eddie. His meat pies are deadly…

Huan – the Chinese man who is good friends with Douglas. He, his son Little Huan, and his friends provide a safe shelter in Port of Spain for Holmes and Douglas, as well as martial aid (through the Sacred Order of the Harmonious Fists) later in the story.

Mrs. Sutton – Georgiana’s mother and her maid Maria are the last people at the decaying Sutton Plantation. She shares details of her husband’s great-great grandfather and his wife migrating from Britain as indentured servants. When she shares one of Georgiana’s letters to her, Holmes learns Mrs. Sutton’s full name…

Beauchamp – the supercilious, aide of Trinidad’s Governor Sir Hamilton-Gordon. He snootily informs Holmes that the governorship is to be taken over by Sir James Robert Longden as the recent governor has fled to Mauritius.

Count Wolfgang Hohenlohe-Langenburg – the cousin of Queen Victoria’s half-sister, Feodora’s husband (Ernst). He has been involved in a venture that is funneling money from the Bank of England to Jamaica.

Jessup Jones –  the young Meriken whose grandfather fought in First Company alongside the Britishers (during the War of 1812). When he hears that Holmes and Douglas are trying to save people from slavery he challenges his fellow Merikens to help them out.

Nestor Ellensberg – the “rheumy-eyed German business man who is one of Adam McGuire’s cohorts and investors. His mysterious employer obtained the funds for their criminal venture that Holmes later “frees” for the Crown.

 

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for Mycroft Holmes

 What is a douen?

The douen is a demon who aids the lougarou to kill people and take their blood. The douen looks like a child, but its feet are backwards, and it wears a traditional Trinidad hat.

 What is the name or breed of Mycroft's beloved horse?

Abie is his name, and he is a Hanoverian – one of the warmbloods competitive equestrians love.

 Who gives Mycroft the walking stick with the sword inside?

His brother Sherlock – who stipulates that Mycroft makes sure he returns it.

 What is the name of the Victorian steamship that Holmes and Douglas take to Trinidad?

The Sultana.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Web Site 

Fantastic Fiction's Kareem Abdul-Jabber Web Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Web Page

Illustration of a Meriken in uniform Wikipedia's article on Merikens 

Scarificator graphic Wikipedia's article on Bloodletting (has a section on methods that talks about the scarificator) 

Poison seeds from Trinidad plant graphic Wikipedia's article on Abrus precatorius - the poison used on Mycroft! 

Wikipedia also has articles on Port of Spain - where Georgiana was born & San Fernando -- Cyrus Douglas' hometown.

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Tasha Alexander - And Only to Deceive

Tasha Alexander and Andrew Grant

 

Cast of Characters from And Only To Deceive  

Lady Emily Ashton – is the main protagonist of the story, and the daughter of an earl. We meet her just as she’s become the widow of Lord Philip Ashton a big game hunter and wealthy viscount. Emily first sees him only as the means to escape her mother, Lady Catherine Bromley, and her non-stop efforts to marry Emily off. She comes to learn there was much more to Philip than first met the eye.

Colin Hargreaves – Philip’s best friend and fellow traveler, they shared a common interest in ancient Greek artifacts and Greek literature. He initially meets the young widow to offer to make arrangements for her to see Philip’s villa on the Greek isle of Santorini, but his reasons for continuing to see her grows, as does the mystery surrounding Philip’s death and collections.

Davis – is the butler, a consummate professional, at the Ashton’s London house in Berkley Square. He has served Philip and his family faithfully from Philip’s birth, and continues to support Lady Emily since Philip’s death.

Alexander Murray – the Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum who first makes Emily aware of just how respected Philip has been for his knowledge and collection of Greek antiquities. He presents her with a copy of a book he had written: Manual of Mythology.

Ivy Cavendish – Emily’s best friend and confidante. We meet her as she’s about to marry Robert Brandon in two weeks.

Emma Callum – one of Emily’s fellow debutantes. Given her simpering propensity for flirting with Philip in an attempt to secure his proposal, she is not one of Emily’s favorite people.

Arabella Dunleigh – another fellow debutante who could become affianced to Andrew Palmer’s younger brother, Arthur.

Andrew Palmer, the elder brother, prides himself on his charm and outrageous manner. He is highly attracted to Lady Emily, and is not so subtly trying to court her. Both he and Arthur are sons of Lord Palmer, who is also a passionate collector of Greek antiquities and a Greek scholar. Lord Palmer would like to publish a monograph he and Philip had been working on, and asks Emily to see if she can find Philip’s copy of it.                                         

Meg – Lady Emily’s loyal maid. Emily loans her a copy of Amelia Edwards’ book A Thousand Miles Up the Nile hoping to inspire enthusiasm for traveling in her very English maid.

Monsieur Renoir – the impressionist painter in Paris who has recently married Aline, brings Emily a painting that Philip, a loyal customer & friend, had asked Renoir to paint of her.

Cecile du Lac – an older, sophisticated Parisian aristocrat whom Emily met at a dinner. She becomes one of Emily’s liveliest champions and friends. The extent of both her wealth and connections seem boundless.

Jean Pontiero – Lady Emily’s French drawing master, he was recommended to her by Renoir.

Aldwin Attewater – a master sculpture who openly copies masterworks for wealthy patrons who know they are buying copies; some question whether he really stops at copying – and actually produces forgeries.

Miss Margaret Seward – an American who recently graduated from Bryn Mawr, she suggested that Emily learn to read ancient Greek. She becomes friends with Emily and heartily supported Emily’s ventures in scholarship and travel, as well as her investigations.

Monsieur Beaulieu – the manager at Le Meurice hotel in Paris where Lady Emily’s room is ransacked.

Mrs. Henley – the housekeeper at Ashton Hall, Philips country estate, assures Lady Emily that all the boxes that Philip had sent there have not been disturbed when Emily goes there to see what original pieces Philip may have collected, and catalog them.

Monsieur LeBlanc – a man “of dubious character” who assures Madame Cecile that he has artisans who could produce a copy of anything she desired. He confirms to her that Philip has had dealings with black market sellers of antiquities.

Wesley Prescott – a “tall, rail-thin, sunburned man who was dressed terribly” tells Lady Emily that he is a missionary with the Anglican Church Missionary Society in eastern Africa. He goes on to say that they received an Englishman there who was very ill, but is now in recovery. He gave Prescott a picture from his wedding day of his new bride. It is a picture of Lady Emily.

Caravaggio – a sobriquet used by the man who is stealing antiquities from museums and replacing them with forgeries.

Lord Lytton – the real-life English ambassador in Paris (from 1887 until his death in 1891) who Emily approaches about a rescue search for Philip in Africa. According to the end notes of this novel, his father, Edward Bulwer Lytton wrote Last Days of Pompeii, a book that was wildly popular in the nineteenth century. He is also more widely known today for his much-quoted first line to his novel, Paul Clifford: "It was a dark and stormy night“. This inspired the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (BLFC), a tongue-in-cheek contest "to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels" held annually by San Jose State University.

 

  

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for And Only to Deceive

Kalista on Greek Urn  What Greek nickname does Philip use to refer to Lady Emma?

He calls her Kallista which means ‘most beautiful’; the words “Te Kalliste” were supposedly written on the golden apple that Paris awarded to Aphrodite – whose support of Paris’ love for Helen led to the start of the Trojan War.

 Painting of two lapdogs  Can you name one of Madame du Lac’s lapdogs?

Brutus or Caesar.

  Who owns the rare Mycenaean seal ring?

Monsieur Fournier.

 

   Links graphic

Tasha Alexander's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Tasha Alexander Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Tasha Alexander Page 

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Kelley Armstrong - Omens

Author with Omens cover

 

Cast of Characters

Icons from Kelley Armstrong's "Omens"

 

Olivia Taylor-Jones  – The heroine who finds out that she’s the adopted daughter of renowned Chicago philanthropist, Lena Taylor and Arthur Jones, owner of the iconic Mills & Jones department store. Her birth parents are the notorious serial killers, Todd and Pamela Larsen. (Olivia’s birth name is Eden Tiffany Larsen.) It is learning this fact that leads her to the eerie, small town of Cainsville, IL.

James Morgan – CEO of Chicago’s fastest growing tech firm and son of a former senator. He is Olivia’s fiancée and a direct descendant of the Mills family who had co-owned Mills & Jones until recent times. His clingy mother Maura, has never wanted him to marry Olivia.

Howard  – the Taylor-Jones family lawyer. His advice strongly skews to Lena and her needs in dealing with the adoption revelation and media fallout.

Grace’s 2nd Cousin Jack – the old man Olivia helps out when two girls in his bad neighborhood are out to get his groceries/money. He gives her a note to present to Grace in order to get an apartment in Cainsville. It is after she meets Jack that Olivia ends up at the cheap hotel with the creepy hotel clerk.

Ida & Walter Clark– two of the mysterious elders in Cainsville who are deeply interested in Olivia and the Larsen case.

Rose Walsh – the town’s Tarot, palmistry and astrology expert, she is also Gabriel’s aunt. Her house is the first one that Olivia notices has gargoyles on it.

Grace – the crotchety landlady who grudgingly lets an apartment to Olivia. She expects - & gets – Olivia to deliver her favorite scones to her.

Margie – the inept server at the Corner Diner. Guiltily  Olivia is hoping she’ll get turned off so Olivia can get her job. Larry Knight is the owner and chief cook at the Diner.

Patrick – the bocan that types away on his laptop in the diner. He too is interested in Olivia and seems to have a mysterious hold on a number of the residents – including Rose and Gabriel. He recognizes that Olivia has a different type of old blood than he does.

Gabriel Walsh – the attorney who last handled Pamela Larsen’s plea for re-trial. He is a huge man, roughly 6’4” with inky dark hair and frozen blue eyes. He is out for himself and has no problem with people seeing that. He desperately wants Olivia as his client on both a cash and PR basis. He has had a rough background and is seen as a dangerous man by many characters. Her first inkling that some of this may be true is when he skillfully steals her scone for Grace – presenting it to Grace as his own idea. His mother Seanna Walsh died under questionable circumstances, possibly drug-related.

Peter Evans & Jan Gunderson – Pamela indicated that the conviction she & Todd got for their deaths is highly questionable, and that if Olivia can get some Innocence project to review this case, it could be overturned.

T.C.  – The Cat. A black cat (that brings good luck?) and who has been called “matagot” by Veronica, one of the Cainsville elders.

Christian Gunderson – Jan’s strange brother who committed suicide after her death.

Dr. William Evans – the psychiatrist whose son Peter was killed with Jan Gunderson, he indicates that Christian might be a viable candidate for having killed the two instead of the Larsens.

Dr. Edgar Chandler – Evans boss in the CIA. Chandler and his bodyguard, Anderson play a key role in solving the murders of Peter and Jan - and how it tied to the CIA.

   Links graphic

Kelly Armstrong's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Kelley Armstrong Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Kelley Armstrong Page

 

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Linwood Barclay - No Time For Goodbye

Author Barclay with No Time for Goodbye cover

Cast of Characters

Cynthia Bigge – the heroine of the story, she is first introduced as a teenager experiencing the day she wakes up to find her entire family: father, Clayton, mother, Patricia & brother, Todd is gone without a trace.

Vince Fleming – Cynthia’s boyfriend when she was a teen, he comes from a notorious family and is definitely a bad boy.  He still has a role to play in her life as a grown up.

Paula Malloy – the ambitious TV interviewer who pushes for Cynthia to re-live her worst day for Malloy’s news/entertainment show Deadline. Cynthia and her husband, Terrence (Terry) Archer, hope the segment will finally bring Cynthia some answers. Terry is the narrator of the main story.

Rolly Carruthers – the principal at the school where Terry teaches, and a longtime friend of both Cynthia and Terry. He’s quickly burning out on the job, and looking forward to his retirement.

Jane Scavullo – a student in Terry’s creative writing class, she’s a troubled teen with a tough homelife, who “writes like an angel” -- a talent that Terry is determined to encourage. He’s helping her to keep from being suspended from school.

Lauren Wells – fellow teacher at Old Fairfield high school with Terry who has a definite interest in him, that may or may not be a simple attraction to him.

Grace Archer – Cynthia & Terry’s eight year old daughter. She’s more aware of her mother’s tragic history than either parent wants her to be.  

Pam – Cynthia’s boss at the dress shop, she’s been friends with her since they were teens.

Dr. Naomi Kinzler – the therapist who is working with Cynthia and Terry for the last four months. She is concerned that Cynthia has been hearing members of her family speaking to her.

Aunt Tess Berman – Cynthia’s aunt who took on the task of raising her after Patricia and the rest of the family disappeared. A divorcee working a blue collar job, she somehow found the funds to send Cynthia to college, and has always cared for Cynthia, Terry and Grace.

Jeremy Sloan – the man Cynthia sees in the mall and thinks is her brother Todd.

Keisha Ceylon – the psychic who approached Cynthia through the Deadline staff to say that she has information on Cynthia’s family that she needs to know.

Denton Abagnall – the private detective that Cynthia and Terry hire to try what he can, to find out what happened to her parents and brother.

Anthony Fleming – Abagnall finds out that Anthony, Vince’s father, was a major player in organized crime. He would have had the cash to send to Tess.

Connie Gormley– the woman featured in a 1982 clipping Clayton Bigge has saved about her being found dead in a ditch.

Rona Wedmore– the Milford police detective handling the homicide of a key character, she has her eye on Cynthia and Terry.

Howard Gormley– Connie’s brother, he confirms there were issues with Connie’s death beyond the hit-and-run.

Enid Sloan – the wheelchair-bound mother of Jeremy Sloan.

   

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for No Time for Goodbye

Graphic Crimes Quiz pictures

And here are the questions (and answers) for the Cast of Characters graphics for No Time for Goodbye.

Please note some answers may be potential spoilers!!

Hat: Why does Cynthia say the fedora is her dad’s?

A: She sees the letter “C” in the headband on the inside.

How does the cash sent for Cynthia’s education lead to Tess’ death?

A: There’s a chance the envelopes and notes that came with it could identify who sent it.

Why did Clayton keep the newspaper clipping about his son’s basketball team?

A: He wanted a memento to keep – he just kept it in the wrong place!

What role does the lack of a note play in the story?

A: It is the main impetus behind Cynthia’s desperate need to know what happened.

 

  Links graphic

Linwood Barclay's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Linwood Barclay Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Linwood Barclay Page

Globe & Mail Interview with Linwood Barclay

Barclay wrote a sequel to No Time For Goodbye called: No Safe House. Click this link to go to our copy of it!

 

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C. J.  Box - Open Season

C J Box MAF folder graphic

Cast of Characters

Joe Pickett – a Wyoming Game Warden, Joe is the main protagonist of the story. He’s an upright, square-dealing man who loves his wife and little girls. He’s had his embarrassments and successes as a Warden, but as the story progresses, he’s in danger of losing his career -- and more.

Maxine – Joe’s eight-year-old yellow Labrador who follows him everywhere she can.

Ote Keeley – is a “big man, built solidly with thick arms and a barrel chest”. He’s a professional hunting outfitter. We first encounter him poaching elk, holding a dripping knife in his hand. The end of this encounter becomes a local legend, one of the main embarrassments for Joe, and a critical issue by the story’s end.

Sheridan Pickett – Joe’s seven year old daughter is a dreamer and the eldest. Lucy is her three year old sister. Sheridan has a tough time at school where a game warden is often seen as the enemy of the local hunters and even businesses. It doesn’t help that she recently had to get glasses, and her pets have been eaten by local wildlife predators. She’s thrilled when she stumbles on little creatures she comes to think of as her pets.

Marybeth Pickett – Joe’s wife. She’s pretty, pregnant, and force to deal with. She is also Joe’s strongest supporter – despite her mother Missy Vankeuren’s disdain for him. Missy had loftier plans in mind for Marybeth, which Joe acknowledges Marybeth has the talents and brainpower to have done, if she hadn’t married him.

O.R. “Bud” Barnum – the curmudgeonly county sheriff who seems more interested in his chances for re-election than in pursuing crimes. He’s “an institution in Twelve Sleep County and he has been in office for 24 years... very little got past Sheriff Barnum.”

Deputy John McLanahan – the young officer Barnum sends with Joe and Wacey to see what’s happened at the elk outfitters’ camp. Ote was there with two other outfitters, Kyle Lensegrav and Calvin Mendes.

Wacey Hedeman – Joe’s counterpart in the next district (Basin), he and Joe were both hand-picked by Vern as game wardens. (Joe is the warden for the Saddlestring district.) Wacey is a former rodeo cowboy who’s making a serious bid to oust Barnum and become the next Sherriff. Joe finds him a bit oily, but basically a friend who can charm just about anybody. Marybeth doesn’t trust him.

Vern Dunnegan – the former game warden who is legend in Wyoming, with a lot of powerful connections. He comes to Twelve Sleep to observe the elk outfitter case. Vern currently has a high-paying job with InterWest Resources, an energy company, who are in the running for a new pipeline in the area. As the case progresses, he wants to recruit Joe.

Aimee Kensinger – the wife of Donald Kensinger, an affluent member of the Eagle Mountain Club, she’s having an affair with Wacey, and lets it be known she loves game wardens…

Clyde Lidgard – one of the three men (along with Kyle Lensegrav and Calvin Mendes) who were at the elk hunter camp. Wacey and McLanahan both shoot him when he comes out of his tent. His gun is the murder weapon for the deaths of the other two men. Clyde is air-lifted to a hospital. He’s “a mentally unbalanced modern-woodsman type who lived on a disability pension & fees for looking after summer lodges.” He is also fond of taking odd and questionable pictures.

Dave Avery – a college friend of Joe’s who now works as a game biologist for the Montana Fish and Game department in Helena. Joe send his second sample to him after the first mysteriously disappears from game biology at the headquarters in Cheyenne.

Les Etbauer – the bureaucrat at the Game and Fish Headquarters in Cheyenne whom Joe has to see about the potential suspension he is facing that stems from Ote taking Joe’s gun, and the rumor that Joe burned down Clyde’s trailer – a loss of potential evidence in the case. 

 

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told For Open Season

Black-footed ferret infant graphic What is the name of the species of “little animals” that Sheridan discovers in the woodpile?

They are called “Miller’s Weasels” in the story, and are an imaginary species – the author based them on the black-footed ferret.

 

 Where do they move to when they leave the woodpile?

Under the foundation to the Picketts’ garage.

 

Roll of Film graphic  Where does Joe find the critical role of film with Clyde Lidgard’s last pictures?

At the Barrett’s Pharmacy under “Unclaimed”.

 

 Ford F250 OteTruck graphic What happens to Ote Keeley’s Ford F-250 XLT Lariat turbo truck?

His widow buries him in it – his last request!

 

Links graphic

C. J. Box's Web Page

C. J. Box's Bio on Joe Pickett

Fantastic Fiction's C. J. Box Page

Stop You're Killing Me's C. J. Box Page

Crazy Woman's Canyon

SaddleString, Wyoming

Ten-Not Twelve! Sleep, Wyoming

 

 

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Susan M. Boyer with Lowcountry Bombshell cover

Susan Boyer - Lowcountry Bombshell

 

Cast of Characters:

Liz Talbotthe main character of this series, she is a native of the Lowcountry, specifically Stella Maris. She’s moved home from Greenville, NC where she and her former brother-in-law, Nate Andrews run a successful private investigators business. She’s hoping to keep the business running in both places, but a lot of that depends on Nate – and what kind of relationship may be occurring between them.

Colleen Stevens the ghost of Liz’ best friend growing up on the island. Colleen has informed Liz that Colleen’s there as the guardian spirit of the island; but she’s not opposed to lending Liz a “hand” as well, when needed.

Calista McQueen – the client at the center of the story who strongly resembles The Blonde Bombshell in American culture: Marilyn Monroe. Disturbingly, she’s been raised in such a way by her groupie mother Gwen/Gladys Monroe and her mother’s questionable friend “Aunt” Grace McKee/Donna Clark so that major events in Marilyn’s life have been duplicated in Calista’s – including being given to an orphanage so their stories of childhood would match!

Michael Devlin – the contractor/designer of Calista’s new house. He is also Liz’s former -- & possibly future -- love interest.

Joe (Jose) Fernandez– a baseball player, like Joe DiMaggio, and also like DiMaggio, Calista/Marilyn’s second husband. Calista’s Joe was the coach of the Charleston Riverdogs, a class A farm team for the New York Yankees. He loved to buy lottery tickets, and was killed by a carjacker before finding out that he’d won the lottery for $700 million dollars.

Moon Unit Glendawn – the owner of the Cracked Pot, Stella Maris’ local diner – and gossip center. Her parent, John & Alma Glendawn, own the Pirates’ Den, a popular restaurant & bar. She tries to remember the name of the son Elenore Harper had before marrying the doctor.

Blake Talbot –Liz’s brother, the chief of police on Stella Maris. He and Liz are close, but since she’s moved home, he’s had issues with her being a P.I. on his turf. Rodney is one of his patrol officers.

Warren Harper – the town physician on Stella Maris, he identifies the pills left on Calista’s bedside table as Nembutal – the drug that killed Marilyn Monroe.

Robert Pearson – the Stella Maris attorney handling Calista’s legal issues.

James (Jimmy) Edward Davis – Calista’s first husband who was basically forced on her by her mother and Grace. She left him as soon as she turned 18, and changed her name. She’s avoided seeing or being in contact with him – until now…

Harmony (a.k.a Helena Calhoun Rigney) – Calista’s life coach, who is shot and killed. She was also a clairvoyant and claimed a man from Calista’s past who means her harm & thinks Calista owes him money.

Elenore Harper – the odd former wife of Stella Marris’ Dr. Harper. She is Calista’s housekeeper.

Niles Ignacio – Calista’s yoga instructor who seems overly interested in Calista. He comes over from Mount Pleasant just to give her private lessons.

Sonny Ravenel – an old family friend of the Talbots, he’s a Charleston city police detective, and in charge of Harmony’s murder investigation.

Mack Ryan – the contact Calista has for Security Solutions, the firm who installed her security system. Many of the employees have military and/or police backgrounds. Their system has problems getting activated. Tim Poteat & Ryder Keenan worked for the Charleston police before joining the firm.

Phoebe DiTomei – owner of Phoebe’s Day Spa, she’s the hairdresser on the island.

Dr. Charles Gadsden  – Calista’s therapist, whose Svengali-like relationship with Calista, leads Liz to suspect him and his insistence that Calista should have an injection to deal with her stress.

Mr. Patel – owner of the minimart where Roy Lee Jenkins disappeared from after the winning lotto ticket was sold to Joe.

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for Lowcountry Bombshell

Golden Retriever graphic 

What is the name of Liz’s faithful golden retriever?

Rhett 

 

 

Why does Calista choose McQueen as her last name?

In honor of Steve McQueen’s movie, The Getaway. Calista was getting away from the whole Marilyn craziness with her mother, “aunt” and ex-husband.

 

Marilyn Monroe tombstone graphic 

Along with the Nembutal, what else contributed to Marilyn Monroe’s death that turns up in Calista’s house?

An enema with a big dose of chloral hydrate; an enema kit that was on the housekeeper’s grocery list for Calista

 

soap bubble graphic 

What personal quirk does Liz have that she even stops her romantic night with Nick for?

Liz is somewhat obsessed with using hand sanitizers/washing hands. She constantly offers her bottle to others.

 

beige toyota camry graphic 

Who is in the tan Toyota Camry across from Calista’s house?

Her ex-husband Jim Davis.

 Here are just a few of the pictures from Susan's visit with us. To see more, go to our Flickr page!

Susan Boyer Cake for LowCountry Bombshell Photographic evidence of Susan's cake just moments before the staking...

MAF members with Susan signing books MAF members enjoying talking with Susan individually while getting personalized books!

MAF members with author Susan M. BoyerMany MAF members participated in this group shot by Susan's husband -- a true Southern gent!

Links graphic

Susan M. Boyer's Page

Susan's Map of Stella Maris

DeWees Island graphic

The Inspiration -- & Location! for Stella Maris: DeWees Island, S.C.

Wild Hogs graphic

Feral Pigs Go Hog Wild in South Carolina, Worrying Naturalists  

Pimento cheese on crackers graphic

What is Pimento Cheese? 

Fantastic Fiction's Page on Susan M. Boyer

Stop You're Killing Me's Page on Susan M. Boyer

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Alafair Burke - Long Gone

Alafair Burke with Long Gone cover 

Cast of Characters       

Alice Humphrey – the 37 year old daughter of a famous film director, she’s been determined to make it on her own. This leads her to eagerly jump at the offer to manage a new art gallery – without knowing the mysterious client who is funding it, or the man who is fronting the gallery.

Drew Campbell – is the man who meets Alice at one of her favorite galleries while buying a painting for his client. He offers her the gallery manager job at a new gallery. He acts as intermediary to the client and his pet artist in starting the gallery which is committed to featuring the artist n shows at the new gallery.

Becca Stevenson – is a teenage loner who lives in New Jersey and has only one good friend, Sophie Ferrin. She has a massive crush on one of the school’s popular jocks, Dan Hunter. Her relationship with Dan and with someone else are her two big secrets from her single mom. Even Sophie doesn’t know about her second relationship.

Lily Harper – Alice’s close friend, she’s a travel editor for a magazine, working for “the Gorilla”. Alice met her in a spin class the previous summer, & their friendship has grown since then. She’s initially suspicious about Campbell’s job offer, but supports Alice when the Highline Gallery starts coming together.

Jeff Wilkerson – Alice’s longtime, on and off boyfriend. He’s a lawyer whose desire to father children is the critical issue that separates them: Alice cannot have children.

Hank Beckman – an older FBI agent who, despite being disciplined for tracking Travis Larson, the guy who killed his sister, is following the guy on his own time.

Hans Schuler – the artist being supported by Campbell’s anonymous client. His pictures are graphic, violent, and in very questionable taste. The artist refers to his work as being “radical introspection”. Others would call it porn. He includes a thumb drive to his pictures with the sale of one of his photos. These sell extremely well online.

Joann Stevenson – Becca’s single mom has had a rough life, but lives for Becca. Her guilt over having a man sleep over (Mark) pales when she realizes in the morning after, that Becca did not come home.

Rose and Frank Humphrey – Alice’s famous parents. Her mother, the former actress Rose Sampson, is a drinker, and her father is in the news for his Oscar-winning direction of In the Heavens, & for his (likely) affairs with other women. Alice’s brother Ben, is a dilettante in the film industry, mainly living off his father’s name and money. He is also a “recovering” drug addict, but his affection for Alice, and hers for him, is genuine.

Officer Jason Morhart – is with the Dover, New Jersey police investigating the disappearance of Becca Stevenson. He is fair-haired, blue-eyed and somewhere in his thirties – not at all what Joann expected the investigating officer to look like. He is very empathetic with Becca’s mom, Joann, and he grows stronger in his determination to find the girl, the better he gets to know Joann. He’s the one to find a connection between the Stevenson disappearance case & Campbell’s murder.

Reverend George Hardy – the tall, gaunt leader of the protesters outside the Highline Gallery. He is with the Redemption of Christ church are specifically protest a photo they claim is underage porn. He has a personal interest in the issue as well.

Ashleigh Reynolds – the once and future girlfriend of Dan Hunter, she calls Becca a slut on Facebook.

Det. John Shannon and Det. Willie Danes – the officers in charge of Campbell’s murder investigation. They are the ones to show a copy of a picture to Alice that looks like she’s kissing Drew Campbell.

Arthur Cronin – one of Alice’s parents’ best friends, he is also the “go-to attorney for all remotely law-related Humphrey family problems. Alice’s father Frank recommends that she use him instead of Jeff when it looks like she’ll need a lawyer.

Susan Kellermann – owner of the art gallery where Alice met Drew, Alice goes back to find that Drew never picked up the picture that he had “bought for a client” the night they met. She also finds out that Drew introduced himself to Susan as Steve Henning.

Julie Kinley – is the person named in an agreement with ITH Corporation in which “the corporation agreed to put all of its existing assets into a trust for her benefit. In exchange Kinley agreed to release all potential legal claims against ITH and its agents, officers and employees, both in their official and personal capacities.” Alice later learns that Julie had been at her brother Ben’s high school party where things got enough out of hand, that the police came to the house. Julie has passed away, but she has a daughter named Mia.

Robert Atkinson – the tabloid reporter who is overly-interested in both Alice Humphrey and her famous father. He is later killed in a car accident driving home from Bedford.

Mrs. Withers – is Gloria & Julie Kinley’s gossipy, next door neighbor. She relates the story of the time Julie was sent away to a girls school after a wild high school party, and Gloria unexpectedly found herself pregnant with Mia.

 

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told For Long Gone

Burke Social Media graphic  What popular social media site is Morhart trying to access when his account is blocked at the Dover police station?

Facebook.  He’s trying to get to Dan & Becca’s pages.

Burke Black Gloves graphic Alice’s gloves: How do they incriminate a character other than Alice in the murder investigation?

They are the one piece of evidence that seem to prove that Alice shot Campbell. The discovery of the gloves by the police leads her to follow Lily’s advice and go on the run.

 

Burke Contract graphic What is the secret that the ITH corporation was formed to hide?

That it is a dummy corporation set up by Arthur Cronin for Frank Humphrey for reasons revealed late in the plot.

 

Burke ABJ monogram graphic What name does Alice use when she moves to Portland?

Alice Janine Benjamin

 

Links graphic

Alafair Burke's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Page on Alafair Burke

Stop You're Killing Me's Page on Alafair Burke

 

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Dorothy Cannell - Murder at Mullings

Author and Murder at Mullings cover

 

Cast of Characters Murder At Mullings Clue pictures

Florence Norris – widow of Robert Norris of Farn Deane (home farm of the Stodmarshes) the current housekeeper at Mullings, she has worked there since she was a 14 year-old housemaid much of the story is seen through her eyes.

Lord Edward Stodmarsh – master of Mullings, father of Lionel who has passed away, and younger son William. He is devoted to his ailing wife Lady Stodmarsh (Lillian).

Mrs. McDonald – the “Mrs.” is a courtesy title for Mullings’ excellent cook who (while never leaving Yorkshire) is proud of Scottish heritage. She and Florence become great friends as well as loyal coworkers for the family.

Edward (Ned) Stodmarsh – the heir to Mullings, he is the grandson of Lord Stodmarsh and son of Lionel and his wife – both killed in a car accident. His vicious hard-drinking nanny, Nanny Hilda Stark not only verbally abuses him, she later creates havoc with spreading other nasty rumors. Florie adores the young boy and he continues to rely on her as a young man. She is instrumental in having Hilda fired.

Mr. Grumidge – the butler at Mullings, he too is very loyal to Lord Stodmarsh and his wife Lilian. He also has a semi-secret affection for one of the maids, Molly.

William and Gertrude Stodmarsh– William is the petulant younger son of Lord Stodmarsh who resents his father’s (perceived) favoritism of his older brother. His hot temper and rude manners do not faze his stolid, long-suffering wife Gertrude.

Mrs. Eugenie Tressler – the maternal grandmother of Ned Stodmarsh. Her stays in a mental hospital are one of the things that Hilda taunted Ned about.   

Annie Long – one of the house maids at Mullings, she is both as timid as a mouse – and afraid of them too.

Mr. Derwent Shepherd – master of the local school where Mr. Fritch tries to get a job, he introduced George to Florence.

George Bird – a large man & widower approaching fifty, childless but a fond support of his godson/nephew Jim Leighton, an aspiring artist. He move to Dovecote Hatch and buys the local pub, the Dog & Whistle, where he becomes very popular with the locals, as well as very fond of Florence Norris. Lacking any backing from his parent, Jim writes to tell George he’s found a place to live thanks to an elderly woman who is interested in supporting his art.

Alf Thatcher – the long-standing postman of Dovecote Hatch, he becomes friends with George (Birdie) Bird who dines with he and his wife Dorie. Alf has his ear to the ground about all the goings-on in the area.

Tom and Gracie Norris – the couple who run Farn Deane, the home farm of Mullings. They are Florence’s affectionate in-laws.

Mr. Cyril Fritch – the former schoolteacher who ends up working part-time at Craddock’s Antiquarian Bookshop, and later as part-time accountant at Mullings as well. As a result of his second job, he develops a relationship with poor relation, Madge Bradley, a cousin who had been left standing at the altar by her bridegroom.

The Stafford-Reids, Blakes, & Palfretts – the other major landholding upper class families in the area who are more concerned with social standing and fashion than the Stodmarshes. The Stodmarshes witness this first-hand when young Ned develops a crush on Miss Lamorna Blake daughter of Lord Winthrop & Lady Blake.

Regina Stapleton/2nd Lady Stodmarsh – the older woman who becomes Lord Stodmarsh’s wife when he goes on a trip to Weymouth. She is from the Tamersham family in Northumbria at Cragstone where Florence’s mother worked happily as a maid. The 2nd Lady Stodmarsh however, proves icy, difficult to work for, and a troublemaker for the family. She is determined that Mullings will be the place for the fashionable upper class to aspire for an invitation to visit – and that her family’s “ornamental hermit” be given a hut to now live in the woods at Mullings.

Jeanie – the saucy maid who delivers meals to the hermit at his hut.

Hattie Fly – a cousin of Florence Norris, she owns a boarding house in Kings Cross where one of her boarders is a young woman called Miss Toffee Jones. She is the one who tells Toffee about Lord Stodmarsh’s recent marriage to a woman named Regina Stapleton who brought an ornamental hermit to Mullings. Disguising herself, Toffee furtively arrives at Mullings – where she has a stunning announcement to make.

Inspector LeCrane – the detective who comes to Mulling when a violent murder occurs, and the main suspect of a murder in London is believed to be in the area.

 

 Links graphic

Dorothy Cannell's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Page on Dorothy Cannell

Stop You're Killing Me's Dorothy Cannell Page

Maine Crime Writers' Interview with Dorothy Cannell 

A Chance to See Dorothy in Action!

 

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J. T. Ellison - A Deeper Darkness

Author with A Deepter Darkness cover

Cast of Characters

http://www.militarymoviesandnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/army-ranger-logo.jpghttp://standononehand.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/tonic1.jpghttp://static.wine-searcher.net/images/labels/91/16/laphroaig-diamond-jubilee-18-year-old-single-malt-scotch-whisky-islay-scotland-10379116.jpghttp://www.globalk9group.com/globalk9group/wp-content/media/Ford-Protection-dog-stand2.jpghttp://cauldronsandcupcakes.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/journal.jpg

Dr. Samantha Owens – Sam is a forensic pathologist & the chief medical examiner for the state of Tennessee who lost her husband Simon and children (Matthew & Maddie) in a devastating flood. Since then she has been battling OCD behaviors and trying to find reasons for living. She finds this and more when she is asked by his mother to do a second autopsy on the first man she loved.

Eddie Donovan – formerly Major Edward Donovan, 75th Ranger Regiment, was Sam’s first love, but is happily married to his second love, Susan Donovan. He’s the father of two girls, Vicky & Ally – and he’s carrying a heavy secret that will lead to his death.

Susan Donovan – passionately loved her husband, and resents having Sam involved in the second autopsy that she initially thinks is a painful waste of time. She is the daughter of a military man as well as the wife of one, and she’ll need all the courage and strength these relationships have given her to keep her girls safe while finding out the truth about Donovan’s death.

Eleanor Donovan – Donovan’s mother and a dear friend to Sam. She is the one requesting the second autopsy – and that Sam be the doctor to do it.

Maggie Lyons – the single mother of Jennifer Jill Lyons, she is deeply concerned when she learns that Harold Croswell has been killed in the empty house in her neighborhood, while the owners are out of town. When added to Donovan’s death, and the presence of her abusive ex-husband Roy, she decides she and her kids are leaving town.

Det. Darren Fletcher– the divorced father of a son he’s limited in seeing, he is a workaholic leading the investigation into Harold Croswell’s death – and all that follows it.

Det. Lonnie Hart – Fletcher’s partner, and friend who is happily married, but sympathetic about Fletcher’s situation, while not blaming Fletcher’s wife.

Harold “Hal” Croswell – the victim found in the empty house was married and had three kids. He was also in the same regiment as Donovan, and his wife Betty tells the police he suffered from PTSD. Both Hal and Donovan had gotten notes that said “DO THE RIGHT THING”.

Dr. Amado Nocek – the assistant chief medical examiner in charge of the morgue where Donovan is awaiting the second autopsy. He and Sam establish a mutual respect while they do the autopsy where he explains that there is sand in Donovan’s lungs, which is something they see with soldiers who’ve served in the desert from breathing it in.

Rod Deter – Donovan’s boss at Raptor, the defense contractor company where former colonel Allan Culpepper is CEO. Hal Croswell had also briefly worked for Raptor.

Xander Whitfield – Susan tells Sam about him when the sand in Donovan’s lungs turns out to be from Savage River – where Xander has been living since he and Donovan left the regiment after their last tour in Afghanistan. He has a black & tan German Shepherd.

William Everett – another member of Donovan’s group in Afghanistan that they all called Billy Shakes, for his habit of quoting Shakespeare. Hal was Jackal, Donovan was Doc, (& Mother Hen) Xander was Mutant, and others in the regiment also had nicknames, including Perry King, (King) who was killed in Afghanistan.

Felicia – Det. Fletcher’s ex-wife who helps him to get secured personnel information about the five soldiers from the regiment; and to tell him she’s pregnant.

Gino Taranto – the reporter Xander impersonates when he approaches Sam about Major Donovan being involved in an incident of friendly fire. The real Taranto writes a weekly columnon the DOD. He is not a friend of the military, and he is following the story about friendly fire. Karen (King) Fisher goes to him saying she thinks her husband was killed by a friendly over in Jalalabad. She had talked to “Orange” who denied everything, so she came to Gino to pursue it.

 

                                           Links graphic

J.T. Ellison's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's J.T. Ellison Page

Stop You're Killing Me's J.T. Ellison Page

 

Top of Page link

 

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J. T. Ellison - No One Knows

J T Ellison Book Safe_No One Knows

 Cast of Characters

Joshua Hamilton – the dark-haired, blue-eyed husband of Aubrey Hamilton, he is a doctor who has disappeared during a bachelor/bachelorette party at a hotel in Nashville TN. The story opens with Josh being legally declared dead – something his mother has pursued in her attempt to keep her daughter-in-law from getting a hefty life insurance settlement on Josh.

Aubrey Hamilton – is a Montessori school teacher and she and Josh have known and loved each other since childhood. Aubrey’s childhood was particularly traumatic, and Josh’s mother made it very clear she dislikes Aubrey intensely. Aubrey is deeply distraught that she must believe that Josh is dead.

Linda Pierce – the head of the Montessori school, she is Aubrey’s mother’s good friend who stood by Aubrey when the police arrest Aubrey for Josh’s murder when her juvenile record and the $5 million dollar life insurance policy come to light.

Daisy Hamilton – is Josh’s highly possessive mother. She felt Aubrey’s adopted mother, Marie Trenton, looked down on her, which added to her dislike of Aubrey. Her main problem with Aubrey is her hold on Josh. Very few women are friends of Daisy, who has been married multiple times. Ed Hardsten had been Josh’s father – and an abusive husband. We later learn her first husband was a soldier, but the baby she had was with a man named Martin Edwards. She’s a semi-closet drinker who married Tom Hamilton for security and to have a decent father for Josh. She has never loved him.

Arlo Tonturian – the lawyer in the DA’s office who is best friends with both Josh and Aubrey. He’s the one who tried to find Josh at the hotel, and later, is the one Aubrey turns to when she learns about the drug dealer Derek Allen, and what involvement Allen might have had with Josh.

Meghan Lassiter – is Aubrey’s best friend and the owner of the local coffee shop, Frothy Joe’s. She has also been Aubrey’s confidant and is, in her own way, as much a mystery as Aubrey is. Her exact background is a mystery, about which she tells many, sly stories.

 Chase Boden – is the fair-haired, brown-eyed stranger Aubrey mistakes for Josh. He reminds both Aubrey and Daisy of Josh – and Aubrey feels the same unusual zing of attraction for him that she had with Josh. Her impulsive move to stop him outside his cab, gives Chase a chance to talk with her. A chance he’d wanted even before he met her.

Tyler  – Aubrey’s foster-brother growing up, he is an ex-con and drug user who periodically shows up for money, but also seems to care about her, at least a bit. He has been watching her, and her growing relationship with Chase, and avoiding telling her about a key encounter he had where he said more about Josh than he should have. He’s also very interested in the life insurance policy and when it will come due.

Daniel Cutter – the ex-husband of Meghan, who just happens to be a P.I. He agrees to check into whether or not there is a connection between Derek Allen and Josh.

Robert Boden – Chase’s adopted father, he married Chase’s mom after her first husband walked out on her.

 

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for No One Knows

Ellison Weimarinar "Winston" What is the name of Josh and Aubrey's beloved Weimariner?

Winston!

 

Ellison Oak Tree What else is significant about Josh and Aubrey's oak tree in Dragon Park?

It has a secret hollow in one branch where they leave letters and other things for each other...

 

Ellison_OprylandHotel What is the name of the hotel where Josh disappears?

The Opryland Hotel.

 

Ellison_pearl ring What is the significance of the pearl ring?

Daisy claims that Aubrey broke into Daisy's house to steal it when Daisy comes home to see Josh and Aubrey fooling around.

 

 

Links graphic

J.T. Ellison's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's J.T. Ellison Page

Stop You're Killing Me's J.T. Ellison Page

 

Top of Page link

 

 

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Tana French - In The Woods

Author Tana French with Book Cover graphic

Cast of Characters

Adam Robert Ryan – a young detective in the Dublin police’s Murder Squad, he’s handling one of his first major cases – one with deeply personal issues tied to it from a crime that occurred during his childhood. He stands out from other members because his accent is more English due to his boarding school background. As the main narrator of the story, we learn much about his vulnerabilities, concerns, and the degree to which his past haunts his present.

Germaine (Jamie) Elinor Rowan   – together with Adam and Peter Joseph Savage, they were the

Cassie Maddox – Rob’s partner on the Murder Squad, they have unmatched teamwork in the squad, and as friends. Both have their secrets however, and we only learn things about Cassie from what they are willing to share with each other. With her background experience and study of psychology, she’s been the department’s de facto “profiler”. She is only the 4th woman they’ve had in the Murder squad.

Sam O’Neill – a fellow detective in the Murder squad, he becomes part of their team when it is assigned the “Operation Vestal “case. Sam is “a stocky, cheerful, unflappable guy from Galway who is somewhat naïve in his political and investigative beliefs. His uncle Redmond O’Neill is a successful, mid-level politician.

Quigley – the “wackiest [on] the squad” a “cretin” who is always looking to impress guys further up the line.

Tom Costello – the grizzled veteran of the Murder squad, he’s the lead on many cases.

Superintendent O’Kelly – head of the Murder Squad, he is a tough mix of professional cop and upholder of the status quo. He dislikes giving “Operation Vestal” to two rookie detectives, especially as the case grows. He is unaware that Rob has a critical connection to a possibly related case.                                                            

Ian Hunt – the older archeologist on the site where Katy Devlin is found dead. He is the Site Director for the dig – which is hoping against hope to save the dig from upcoming plans to put a highway through it.

Mark Hanly – the senior archeologist under Hunt, he is the most impassioned about saving the site from the planned highway. He also tends to come out to the site at night and sleep there. He is alibied by a fellow member of the archeology team, Melanie Jackson, with whom he is sleeping.

Cooper – the forensic pathologist for the Murder squad.

Damien Donnelly – the youngest go-fer on the archeology team, he & Mel are the ones who found Katy’s body. Rob takes a dislike to his “short brown curls and sweet, frank freckled boy-band face.” He particularly disgusted with Damien’s helpless demeanor.

Sophie Miller – one of the crime-scene techs, she is Rob’s favorite. He and Cassie owe her a drink for help in a previous case. She’s the one to tell Rob more about the scene where Katy is found -- & that it is not the primary crime scene.

Charlie – formerly a closer friend of Rob’s, he is one of the very few to know Rob’s true identity.

Katy Devlin – the twelve year old victim who was about to fulfill her dream of attending the Royal Ballet school and becoming a professional ballerina. Her twin sister Jessica, has had both physical and mental illnesses, and is most often looked after by their older sister, Rosalind. The post-mortem shows that Katy was sexually assaulted with an object after death. Their mother Margaret, is “fuzzy” and not really able to cope with either Jessica’s situation or Katy’s death.

Jonathan Devlin – the girls’ father, he is the main force behind “Move the Motorway” – the group trying to stop the highway from coming through the woods at Knocknaree. He knows, once the detectives see his daughter Jessica, that they’ve gotten a positive ID on the dead girl being Katy. As the detective look further into his background, Rob realizes Jonathan played a dark role in his early life as Adam. 

Rosalind Devlin – the older daughter, she is tall, slim, and pretty. For Rob, she has “a vital, electric presence that filled the room.”  She has a “newsreader accent that didn’t match Jonathan and Margaret’s soft, small-town working class”. She and Jessica had stayed with their Aunt Vera, Jonathan’s sister, the night Katy died.

Simone Cameron – Katy’s ballet instructor, she verifies that Katy had real talent, was “serieuse”, and deserved to go to the Royal Ballet. There are newspaper shots of Katy and a fund that went across the country to help send her there. Simone also found it odd that Katy stated that she would not be sick again (& miss her second chance at going) and that she did stop getting sick.

Heather Quinn – Rob’s roommate “a civil servant with a little-girl voice that always sounds as though she’s about to burst into tears.” Physically, she is Rob’s type: “five foot nothing, tiny build, big blue eyes, hair down to her arse” – but they have a quietly contentious relationship which he attributes to her” array of neuroses”.

Kiernan & McCabe – are the officers who handled the older case involving Peter, Jamie and Adam. Looking through their notes, Rob learns that as a teenager, Jonathan Devlin used to hang with two other questionable teens: Cathal Mills & Shane Waters. Mrs. Fitzgerald is one witness who recalled these teens hanging about the wood “courting”. This eventually leads Rob to Sandra Scully, whom he and his childhood friends witnessed being raped by at least one of the teens.

 

Links graphic

Tana French's Website

Fantastic Fiction's Tana French Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Tana French Page

Munchausen Syndrome -- the disorder that Rob & Cassie at first think Katy, and later her mother or sister may have had that would cause Katy to be ill. If others were causing Katy to be ill, it would be called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.

The (British) Royal Ballet School - the is the ballet school that Katy wanted so badly to go to.

Where is Knocknaree, Ireland anyway? Click here!

Trinity College, Dublin - where Cassie went to school.

Sandymount - Cassie has a studio flat in a Georgian house here.

Leixlip - the town Rob's parent moved to after Peter and Jamie disappeared and Rob was at boarding school.

Garda Síochána College - where most of the Murder Squad (including Cassie and Rob) got their police training.

Want to know more about the names of characters in Shakespeare's plays? Click here!

 

 

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told

And here are the Quiz questions (and answers) for In The Woods by Tana French.

Please note some answers may be potential spoilers!!

bloody sneakers from In The WoodsWhat fact are we told about the blood-filled trainers that Adam Ryan wore as a child?

That the blood was not his.

 

Shakespeare's Rosalind sitting under tree graphic Which figure in English Literature did Jonathan Devlin get the names for his children from?

Shakespeare

BONUS Q: 

Which Shakespearian plays do the Devlin children’s names come from?

Rosalind: As You Like It

Jessica: Merchant of Venice, Shylock’s daughter

Katharine: Love's Labour's Lost; Queen Katharine in Henry VIII & Henry V

 

The man in the track suit graphic Who saw the man in the sweat suit around the crime scene?

Initially, Damien, but Jessica (with Rosalind's "persuasion") says she saw him too.

 

Iris Bronze Age altar graphic What was Katy’s body on within the dig?

A Bronze Age altar.

 

White Vespa graphic What does Rob call Cassie’s Vespa?

The Golf Cart

 

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Andrew Grant - Run

Tasha Alexander and Andrew Grant

Cast of Characters 

Marc Bowman – main protagonist of the story, he’s a highly successful analytical software consultant who has inexplicably been let go from his latest job working for troubled company AmeriTel.

Mr. Roger LeBrock – the CEO of AmeriTel who had brought Marc in to resolve a major financial software issue for them. Roger is very concerned about the company’s pending bandwidth bid. The whole future of the company is riding on it.

Carolyn Bowman – Marc’s wife, a ten year veteran of AmeriTel. Marc has believed until now that their marriage is rock solid, and that Carolyn will support his decisions regarding the flashdrive(s) he has from AmeriTel.

Troye Liptak – Marc’s art dealer and friend who owns the TL Gallery, where Marc has purchased some of his favorite painting, which include original Lichtensteins.

Simon Wakefield – the Chief Operating Officer at AmeriTel who ordered the security officer to stop Marc when he entered the building on the day of his firing. He also is the one who informed Roger that Marc had downloaded a mass of proprietary data, and they couldn’t find where he’d copied it to (indicating it was probably on a memory stick in Marc’s possession) anywhere on the office computers or memory sticks.

Detectives Hayes & Wagner – the two are local police officers who come to Marc’s house after he reports the burglary to 911. They are underwhelmed with Marc’s situation and critical of the evidence he’s unwittingly destroyed.

Jordan McKenna – a tall man in his mid-forties, he’s the agent who first stops Marc when he goes out for pizza and gets boxed in by McKenna and his cohorts. McKenna shows Marc his badge: U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He shows Marc that Marc’s home has been bugged. Between them, the bug & McKenna, Marc realizes there’s more than missing AmeriTel data going on.                                                               

Karl Weimann – First appears in the story in a photo with Carolyn taken by McKenna’s agents. He’s a professional rival of Marc’s, which is only one reason Marc hates seeing them together. Marc had helped Karl’s wife Renee to get a job that Carolyn wanted, but Marc needed her to keep earning her corporate salary so he could fund his first big software product.

Agent Daniel Peever – the second agent from Homeland Security who is after Marc because he had access to ARGUS access node – the largest national security database the world has even known. As the story progresses, Marc comes to question which agent Peever or McKenna is really working for Homeland Security.

Otto Schmidt & his wife – an elderly couple who inadvertently help Marc to escape police at one point, and to get to Troye’s gallery.

Agent Brooking – the Homeland Security agent who informs Marc about the damage he’s done to some Homeland agents, and worse yet, that they believe he put together the virus that is on his machine, not AmeriTel’s, that could be targeting a major DC location.

Michael Millan – AmeriTel’s CFO, who may have revealed corporate information on a throwaway email account.

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for Run

Graphic Crime Quiz for Run by Andrew Grant

 

Swiss Army Knife keychain   What does Marc think is the reason why Carolyn gave him this Swiss army knife keychain?

He thinks she gave it to him as a ploy to see if he has the memory sticks on his current keychain.

 

  Marc’s art gallery friend goes by the name Troye Liptak. What is his real first name?

His first name is Brian.

 

Mac Computer  What trick does Marc pull using the Mac computer to escape his pursuers at Brian’s apartment?

He uses the closed camera security footage to make it look like he’s outside in the parking lot.

 

Links graphic

Andrew Grant's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Andrew Grant Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Andrew Grant Page 

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Andrew Gross - No Way Back

Author Gross with No Way Back cover

Cast of Characters

Sam Orthwein, Ned Taylor, and Ana Lasser – the three college students who take a break to head across the Mexican border to go to Agualzula. They are killed by Lupe in Culiacán, at his uncle’s order -- along with a couple who was also in a white Jeep just ahead of them. The couple turn out to have been U.S. government agents.

Wendy Stansi Gould – one of the main characters, she stumbles into more than she bargained for when she almost sleeps with a handsome stranger named Curtis Kitchner. The subsequent scene sets her up for appearing to have murdered her husband Dave Gould. The only clue she has to why first Curtis, and then Dave are killed is the brief statement the Homeland Security agent makes while killing Curtis: “This is for Gillian”. Their two children Neil & Amy Gould are Wendy’s step-children and an argument over them was what led to her going to the bar where she met Curtis.

Curtis Kitchner – the man who Wendy meets in a bar and charms with his piano music into almost sleeping with him. He is a freelance journalist who has a picture in his phone of a petite black-haired woman in a hospital bed with just the letter “L” on the photo. Later in the story Wendy makes contact with his mother Elaine Kitchner.

Ray Hruseff – the Homeland Security agent who kills Curtis Kitchner. He had previously worked for the DEA out of the agency’s El Paso office.

Pam – Wendy’s friend who was supposed to meet her at the bar where she connects with Curtis.

Jamie & Taylor Bachman – the children that Lauritzia Velez takes care of as their live-in nanny.

Lauritzia Velez – in addition to being the Bachman children’s nanny, she’s a student at the local community college hoping to go into retail merchandising. She is hiding a number of dangerous secrets relating to her native country of Mexico, and the drugs and gang violence she has known there.

Harold Bachman – a real estate lawyer who is senior partner in his law firm, and who deeply loves his wife and family. He supports his wife’s efforts to help Lauritzia any way he can.

Roxanne Bachman   – a well-to-do wife, who has honest commitments to the charities she’s been involved with, but nothing like the one she has to Lauritzia – especially after the nanny saves her children’s lives while putting herself at risk. Roxanne is determined to save Lauritzia from both the government, which may deport her, and the criminals who would do far worse.

Vincent Juarte – runs the Juarte cartel in southern Mexico. Also known as ‘El Oso’, the Bear, his cartel is one of the biggest in the country.

Eduardo Cano – Juarte’s brutal enforcer also known as ‘El Pirate’ and Jose Maria Rivera. He was once part of a gang called Los Zetas, the Zs who were once part of the Mexican armed forces. His first real charge for Lauritzia’s father Oscar Velez, was for Oscar and his nephew Lupe to kill the people in Culiacán. When this goes wrong, and Oscar turns state’s evidence against Cano to U.S. agents, Cano takes revenge by killing Oscar’s family members one by one.

Alton Dokes – the Senior Homeland Security agent involved with both finding Wendy, and the Zeta gang issues.

Joe Esterhaus  – the retired head of Nassau County Police’s Crime Unit, he was friends with her father & took her under his wing. He tries to help her turn herself in safely, & looks for evidence to support her story of what happened at her house in Pelham where Dave died.

Sabrina Stein – has been the head of the DEA’s office in El Paso, as well as the government’s covert action unit there called EPIC. Her agents had been the target of the hit in Culiacán. She’s now working for the Justice Department as assistant attorney general for drug enforcement policy.

Robert Lasser – father of the college girl who died in the hit in Culiacán. Wendy searches for him and what answers he may hold about possible connections between Culiacán and the dead students. His henchman Emmit is tough on Wendy when she tries to talk to Lasser.

 

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Andrew Gross' Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Andrew Gross Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Andrew Gross Page

 

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Carolyn Haines - Them Bones

Carolyn Haines with "Them Bones" cover

Cast Of Characters: Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Sarah Booth Delaneyheroine of this, and the other novels in this series. When we meet her, she is “the last of the Delaneys, a thirty-three-year-old, unwed, unemployed failure.” She’s also desperate to save her family’s 1860s home, Dahlia House. This leads her to discussing her life and situation with Jittyher great-great-grandmother’s nanny who, “though she died in 1904 at a ripe old age, she has evoked some ghostly privilege and returned in her prime”.

It also leads her to contemplate, with Jitty’s encouragement, the kidnapping of her fellow Daddy’s Girl, Tinkie Bellcase Richmond’s Yorkie, Chablis. Tinkie is living the expected life of a Daddy’s Girl, but there’s something about her, that has kept her friends with Sarah Booth.

Tinkie wants Sarah Booth to find out the truth about the “dark man from her past”, Hamilton Garrett, who may be returning from Europe to his family’s estate, Knob Hill, site of family tragedy in the past. How deeply involved was Hamilton in past events?

Avery Bellcase – Tinkie’s father, and one of the board of directors for the Bank in Zinnia that Sarah Booth has been hoping will give her a loan.

Madame Tomeeka – the local fortune teller, she is also Tammy Odom, a casual friend of the Delaneys. She’s African American and has had a rough life as a single mother. Her daughter Claire is friends with Sarah Booth, and Claire has recently had a little girl she’s named Dahlia. Tammy knows many of the secrets kept in all the social circles of Zinnia – but sticks to offering oblique advice as Madame Tomeeka.

Oscar Richmond – Tinkie’s well-to-do husband.

Harold Erkwell – the banker who works side by side with Tinkie’s father. He is interested in having a personal arrangement with Sara Booth that would allow her to keep Dahlia House.

Cecily Dee Falcon – the sex-changed, society columnist for the Zinnia Dispatch who loves the Danishes and dishing high society gossip that Sara Booth could use – and bring back to Cece. Maneuvered by Sarah Booth, she shares the known details about the deaths of Hamilton and his sister Sylvia’s parents. Sylvia had to be institutionalized following the tragedy, and handsome Hamilton left for Europe. The Garretts have the reputation for being “landed, wealthy, and hot-blooded”.

Hamilton (Guy) Garrett the Fourth – the present Hamilton’s father, was killed in a hunting accident in a dove field. Rumor has it that not only was Hamilton the Fourth was killed by his wife, Veronica Hampton Garrett, but that Hamilton the Fifth killed his mother at his sister Sylvia’s urging. Veronica had a lover, and wanted to be free of her husband. She was killed not long after him in a car “accident” where the brake line had been cut. 

Delo Wiley – the owner of the cornfield where Hamilton the Fourth was found dead. Delo had gone into the field when Mr. Guy hadn’t come in from the field with the other hunters. He tells Sarah Booth the participants in the hunt: Isaac Carter who arranged the hunt, Camden Wells, Lyle Bedford, Asa Grant and Myles Lee. The death was ruled accidental by the coroner, Fel Harper and Sheriff Pasco Walters backed this up by also ruling it an accidental death.

Amos Henry – the gardener that Hamilton the Fifth abruptly pays off. Amos tells Sarah Booth that “Mr. Guy wasn’t no hunter”.

Millie Roberts – owner of Millie’s café, one of the centers of gossip in town. She too, strongly disliked Veronica and had feelings for Mr. Guy. Millie’s brother Billie is the town’s mechanic, and works on everyone’s automobiles. Her younger sister Janice worked for Billie the summer that Veronica died in the car wreck.

Sheriff Coleman Peters – the son of sharecroppers who worked on the Bellcase plantation, Sara Booth has known him since he played football at their high school were he was “a big boy who did his duty without flinching.” He becomes aware of Sarah Booth’s interest in the Garrett case when she comes to the office to look at Pascoe Walters’ report on the case. The deputy, Gordon Walters, son of Pascoe, aggressively warns Sarah Booth to back off her “book” project.

Kincaid Maxwell – the Daddy’s Girl who hosts a Southern Country party and had an arrangement to use one of Delo’s camps to have an affair with Isaac Carter. Carter then reveals the real reason that his fellow “hunters” had gone to the dove field with Mr. Guy.

 

Graphic Crime Quiz graphic 

Graphic Crime Quiz: Them Bones by Carolyn Haines

Lalique Hair Combs  What is the significance of Veronica’s Lalique butterfly hair combs?

They were missing from the body after the car wreck. 

Ashley from GWTW graphic for Southern Gents  What does Sarah Booth call the male counterparts to the Daddy’s Girls?

The Buddy Club “They were the movers and shakers of the Delta, the men who controlled the money and married the Daddy’s Girls”.

 

the black Lincoln Town Car graphic  Who was the driver of the big Town car that took Sylvia to Delo’s cornfield?

Millie drove it.

 

Moonshine Waterford Glasses!  What does Sara Booth serve Harold in her mother’s Waterford crystal glass?

Some of the moonshine stored in her basement.

 

Bag of Money graphic  What happens to the half million dollars that is supposed to be buried in Delo’s cornfield?

Nothing. The money is a ruse to reveal the true murderers.

 

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Carolyn Haines' Web Page 

Fantastic Fiction's Carolyn Haines Web Page 

Stop You're Killimg Me's Carolyn Haines Web Page 

Wikipedia's article on the Mississippi Delta (with map!) 

"How to Build an Awesome Dove Field" 

 

MAF members with Them Bones treats!

MAF members toast CeCe, Sarah and their awesome author, Carolyn Haines -- with Danishes!

 

 
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Sophie Hannah - Monogram Murders

Cast of Characters

Jennie – a mysterious young woman with fair hair, a pale brown coat, and a darker brown hat, who bursts into Pleasant’s Coffee House who is simultaneously scared for her life, and stating that she deserves to die.

Hercule Poirot   – the world-famous Belgian detective. He is now “retired” and staying at a boarding house across the park from his apartment as a vacation for his little grey cells – and those that still come to him for cases. He takes note of Jennie, and is very concerned about saving her before it is too late.

Edward Catchpool – Poirot’s young friend, a Scotland Yard detective who is also staying at the same house as Poirot. We hear the story from his point of view. He is the one who brings Poirot into the murders at the Bloxham Hotel where two women and a man are dead – with a monogramed cuff link in each of their mouths. He also finds out that all three victims are (or have been) residents of Great Holling.

Fee Spring – the waitress with the fly-away hair who is very observant and blunt. She can’t quite bring to mind what she observed with Jennie in the coffee house, but she is able to tell Poirot Jennie’s first name, and that “she works for a lady with a big house. Lives in. Comes right across town” & that Jennie has made a concerted effort to “talk like she’s a lady herself”.

Mrs. Blanche Unsworth – the fussy owner of the very “feminine” flounce-bedecked boarding house where Poirot & Catchpool are staying.

Mr. Luca Lazzari –. The “helpful, startlingly enthusiastic” manager of the Bloxham Hotel. While he is very concerned about the hotel’s reputation, he is adamant that all of his staff are blameless, and that they all cooperate with Poirot and Catchpool in any way they can. He reveals the names of the victims: Mrs. Harriet Sippel (Rm. 121) Miss Ida Gransbury (Rm. 317) and Mr. Richard Negus (Rm. 238).                                                              

Mr. John Goode – the clerk at the hotel Lazzari called “the most dependable man of [his] entire acquaintance”. He is also praised for his memory with guest names and faces.

Henry Negus – the brother of murder victim, Richard Negus, who was “not the man he once was” and who is rapidly depleting his inheritance while living with Henry and Henry’s wife in Devon.

Rafal Bobak – the “stout, bald man [who] …looked to be around fifty and had the jowlish tendency and mournful eyes of a basset hound”, he is the waiter who delivered the “afternoon tea” to the three victims, who had gathered in Ida Gransbury’s room (317). He later recalls some vital conversation that helps to solve the case.

Mr. Thomas Brignell  – a junior clerk at the hotel, he informs Poirot that he saw Richard Negus & talked to him at half past seven outside the hotel’s dining room. This indicates Negus left Room 317 only 15 minutes after tea had been served. He is also the one who gives Negus his glass of sherry.

Mr. Samuel Kidd – a boilermaker wearing a “dirt-marked shirt with the missing button, and the partly shaven face… he plainly had trouble using a razor. The evidence suggested that he had started to shave, cut himself badly, and abandoned the enterprise.” Kidd mockingly imitates Poirot’s accent and speech, while relating that shortly after eight on the night of the murders, he witnessed a woman run out of the hotel, panting and looking frightful. She dropped two gold-colored keys that he saw long enough to tell they “had numbers on ‘em … One hundred and summat … the other, It was three hundred and summat”. He also believes he’s seen the lady somewhere before…

Ida Gransbury – through Henry Negus, we learn that she was once, years ago, the fiancé of his murdered brother. They broke up in 1913. Ida was seen to be a very self-righteous woman.

Richard Negus – the murdered man was Henry’s older brother, formerly a successful, practicing attorney. According to Henry, he had a brilliant mind, was meticulous, and everyone deferred to him. After leaving Great Holling in 1913, he turned withdrawn and dour, and began drinking heavily. Only in recent days had he seemed to “perk up” somewhat.

Mr. Victor Meakin – the mean-streaked owner of the King’s Head in Great Holling who almost makes it impossible for Catchpool to find out anything about the murder victims. He adds to the highly negative impression Catchpool has of Great Hollings.

Harriet Sippel  – reputed to have been a kindly, happy person at the time of her marriage, with the unexpected death of her husband she was left a very young widow, who became more and more bitter and “spiteful and sanctimonious” in slandering other people. She was supported in this by Ida Gransbury, particularly after Richard Negus ended their engagement & left town.

Patrick James Ive – the good vicar of Holy Saints church in Great Holling who came to be wrongly accused of spiritual impropriety and more. Both his wife Frances and he committed suicide.

Margaret Ernst – the wife of the recently deceased vicar, Charles Ernst. They both attempted to repair the damage done to Patrick’s reputation, which they believe was purely vicious gossip on the part of the servant girl who first spoke of it, with flames added by Harriet, Ida, and Richard. She watches over their gravestone and supports Dr. Flowerday, who knew them well, in his view of Patrick and Frances Ive. She is also able to identify the servant girl.

Nancy Ducane – a celebrated artist, Samuel Kidd sees her picture in the newspaper and goes to Poirot to let him know that she’s the woman he saw fleeing the hotel. Her much older husband William was headmaster at the local school in Great Holling. When he died in 1912, she was still very young and visited the vicar, Patrick often. This led to the accusation made by the Ive’s servant girl, and eventually to Patrick & Frances’ deaths.

Walter Stoakley – the former Classicist and Master at Cambridge who introduced Patrick, his protégé, to his daughter Frances, and who had arranged for the servant girl there to work for Patrick and Frances in Great Holling. He now spends his life drinking in the King’s Head.

Lady Louisa Wallace – the friend and patroness of Nancy Ducane whose husband, St. John, is a fellow artist, but “an appalling snob”. He is a zoological and botanical artist who “paints plants and fish”. Together, they are able to provide an alibi for Nancy on the evening of the murder, since she was at their home from six to nearly ten o’clock.

Stanley Beer – the Scotland Yard Constable who assists Catchpool.

Dorcas – the new and clumsy maid working for Lady Louisa.

 

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Sophie Hannah's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Sophie Hannah Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Sophie Hannah Page

Agatha Christie Limited's "Agatha Christie" Web Site - The Monogram Murders page

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Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train

 

Paula Hawkins with The Girl on the Train graphic

Cast of Characters

Rachel Watson – the main character who is an alcoholic and unemployed divorcee who is in denial about all three things, most especially that her marriage is over. This is despite the fact that her husband Tom Watson has remarried and is the father of a baby girl. Her lack of a job hasn’t kept her from taking the same trains to work and home that she used when she was working, which is how she sees the incident that precipitates the major events of the novel.

Jason & Jess – Rachel’s names for Megan Hipwell and Scott Hipwell, whom she sees as a “perfect, golden couple”. Megan is another major character and readers spend a good amount of time seeing the story from her perspective as well. She is a former “wild child” who was involved with an older man as a teen, managed an art gallery until recently, and is now a stay-at-home mom married to Scott. Scott is “dark-haired, well built, strong, protective, kind. He has a great laugh.” “Jess”/Megan is “one of those tiny, bird-women, a beauty, pale-skinned with blond hair cropped short.” Rachel learns her illusion is far from real – just before Megan disappears.

Tom Watson – had an affair with his and Rachel’s real estate agent, Anna. He was tired of trying to deal with Rachel’s drinking and the negative effect it was having on his job and home life. He fell in love with Anna, divorced Rachel. Tom and Anna recently had a baby girl Evie and want to move on with their lives (while living in the same house that Tom and Rachel did). But Rachel isn’t letting them, and Tom still has concerns about her that anger Anna.

Cathy – She and Rachel were friends at university. She happened to have a spare room that Rachel thought would suit her temporarily after the divorce. Rachel has been there 2 years. Both Cathy and her boyfriend Damien are getting sick of putting up with Rachel and her drinking. Cathy also does not know that Rachel was fired from her job, and is just sticking to the same train schedule she had when she was working, still going into London.

Dr. Kamal Abdic – the therapist that first Megan, and then Rachel go to see. Megan describes him as ‘mid-thirties, although he looks very young with his incredible dark honey skin. He has hand she could imagine on her, long and delicate fingers, she can almost feel on her skin’. He later comes under suspicion for Megan’s disappearance.

Tara Epstein – Megan’s older (“around 40”) friend who covers for her with Scott when Megan is out places she doesn’t want her husband to know about. She is certain that Scott would never hurt Megan. Megan was supposed to have been staying with her the night she disappeared. 

 

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told for The Girl on the Train

 Hawkins_TrainWindow What shocking thing does Rachel see from the train?

She sees Jess/Megan kissing a dark-haired man who isn’t Meagan’s husband.

 Hawkins_PileOfClothes What is the significance of the pile of clothes Rachel sees (with something blue in it) by the tracks?

She’s actually remembering the blue dress that Anna was wearing, & was mixing it up with seeing the red top and jeans that Megan was wearing before she disappeared.

 

Hawkins_BritishCellPhone  Who left a message on the mobile phone Anna finds in Tom’s workout bag?

Megan.

 

Hawkins_RedHariedMan  What is the name – or significance – of the “red-haired man”?

His name is Andy, and he is the one element that Rachel remembers from what happened at the train station the day Megan disappeared. He tells Rachel that she seemed upset when her ”bloke” drove off with a woman in his car.

 

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Paula Hawkins' Website

Fantastic Fiction's Paula Hawkins page

Stop You're Killing Me's Paula Hawkins page

Paula Hawkins’s Journey to ‘The Girl on the Train’New York Times 1-30-2015

New York Times Book Review for "The Girl on the Train"

NRP's Book Review for "The Girl on the Train"

Henry Miller's Letter to Anais Nin that Tom quotes in "The Girl on the Train" ("Don't expect me to be sane...")

 

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Author Hillerman with Blessing Way cover

Anne Hillerman - Spider Woman's Daughter

Cast of Characters!

Joe Leaphorn – a legendary Navajo Police lieutenant, now retired. He is shot outside the restaurant where he has just had breakfast with a group of his fellow cops.

Bernadette (Bernie) Manuelito  –  the main protagonist, also a Navajo Police officer, who is married to Jim Chee, a Navajo police man who was mentored by Leaphorn. 

Captain Howard Largo – the boss that both Jim Chee and Bernie report to in the Navajo Police. He keeps trying to put Bernie on leave after the shooting. 

Officer Harold Bigman – tries to keep on-lookers back from the crime scene, and assists in other ways as the story progresses, particularly as Bernie’s contact at Window Rock.

Agent Jerry Cordova – the main FBI agent working with Chee, and Bernie (whom he takes quite an interest in) to find the shooter.

Louisa Bourebonette – the white woman anthropologist living with Leaphorn. They’ve been involved with each other for quite some time. She has appeared in previous novels. In this one, she seems to have disappeared right before the shooting.

Bernie’s Mama – a highly respected Navajo weaver, she is arthritic now, and needs caretaking that Bernie’s alcoholic, younger sister Darleen seems increasingly unable to provide. Bernie is also not impressed with “Stoop Boy” a.k.a. Charley Zah, the guy Darleen is partying with. Mrs. Darkwater, nearby neighbor, also helps look out for Bernie’s Mama.

Mrs. Gloria Benally – the Navajo woman we meet when she’s rolling her groceries out of Bashas to her car – which has just been impounded to be checked for evidence that is was used by the shooter. She lets police Officer Wheeler a tough time when he keeps her from going to the car.

Jackson Benally – Mrs. Benally’s son who drops his mom’s car at Bashas on his way to a local college in Gallup that he attends.

Leonard (Lizard) Nez – A young Navajo friend of Jackson Benally with a checkered background, the police have trouble trying to find him, and Jackson refuses to be helpful.

Dr. John Collingsworth – the head of the AIRC (American Indian Resource Center) in Santa Fe, he had commissioned Leaphorn to do some research into the appraisal of the recently acquired McManus Foundation pottery holdings from a private collector in Asia. He is disparaging of Leaphorn for not turning in his report, until he learns Joe is in the hospital.

Dr. Moxsley  – the doctor in charge of Joe Leaphorn at the Santa Fe hospital. He identifies Collingsworth as a Ph.D. and director of the AIRC.

Mark Yazzie  – the Navajo gardener/worker at the AIRC who meets both Bernie and Chee.

Dr. Maxie Davis – the attractive, blond, assistant director at the AIRC, she is obsessed with her pottery research and the exciting plans for the new gallery for the McManus foundation donations.

Marjorie Rockwell – Dr. Collingsworth & the department’s secretary.

Notah & Garrison Tsosie – brothers who are self-taught Navajo jewelry makers working in silver. Chee buys earrings made by Garrison while talking to him about Notah’s feelings toward Leaphorn, the officer who got him put in jail. Garrison sometimes uses Jackson Benally’s (mother’s!) car.

Michelle Abernethy – the FBI hypnotist who helps Bernie to remember the shooter is wearing a sand-cast silver bracelet.

Randall – the former fiancée of Maxie Davis who keeps his remains in a Navajo cylinder urn.

Rocko Delbert – the former Navajo officer who works for the New Mexico museum system who tells Bernie and Chee about EFB Appraisals owner, Ellie Friedman-Bernal. EFB is the company who did the appraisal of the McManus foundation objects.

Karen Dundee – the park visitor who tells Bernie and Chee about the two people she saw having a physical confrontation in the canyon.

Slim Jacobs – the owner/manager of the Double X Ranch, he is very well acquainted with Ellie. He also shares information about both Jackson Benally and Leonard Nez. Jackson works part time for him.

Reverend Rodriguez – the hospital chaplain who works with Chee to have a healing ceremony for Leaphorn.

 

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Anne Hillerman's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Anne Hillerman Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Anne Hillerman Page

 

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Author Hillerman with Blessing Way cover

Tony Hillerman - The Blessing Way

Cast of Characters!

Luis Horseman – young Navajo man who is wanted by the police. He hides in the Lukachukai Mountains – where someone – or something – wants him to leave.

Joe Leaphorn  – the “Blue Policeman” who works in the Law & Order Building, he is looking for Luis, and hoping that an old friend, Bergen will finally come back to the Reservation for his witchcraft research. He and his wife Emma, have enjoyed arguing the basis for the Navajo Origin Myth.

Bergen McKee – together with his academic colleague Dr. J. Canfield, for both of them to continue their research. Both teach anthropology at the University of New Mexico. Bergen hasn’t been back since his wife left him.

Ellen Leon – the young woman looking for her fiancé, Jimmy W. Hall,  a Ph.D. electrical engineer who is testing gadgets somewhere on the Reservation, possibly in the Lukachukais mountains. She is hoping either Bergen or Canfield can help her to find him.

Old Man Shoemaker – the Navajo who owns a trading post where Leaphorn and Bergen meet up, and where Joe is asking after Horseman. It is also where Joe and Bergen run into a Big Navajo who is looking for a new hat.

Big Navajo – the Navajo Wolf – a type of witch who can transform into a wolf. He’s been spotted by sheepherders in the mountains, and that sheep are being killed as a result.

Joseph Begay – the Navajo who finds a body in Teastah Wash.

Old Woman Gray Rocks – lives in a Hogan in the foothills of the Lukachukais and talks to Bergen about Navajo Wolves and witches. She’s the first to speak of the Wolf as an outsider. She also lets him know that Horseman has cousins in the area.

Billy Nez – A younger brother of Horseman’s, he’s the one who went to let Luis know that the man Luis attacked, has survived. He is also the Scalp Carrier – the one who took the black hat.

Charlie Tsosie – one of those who’ve been bothered by the Navajo witch, his family is holds an Enemy Way ceremony to rid them of the witch. Holding the ceremony is evidence that they don’t think Horseman was a witch.

Sandoval  – the old Navajo Singer who, together with a Hand Trembler, conducts the Enemy Way for the Tsosies. When Leaphorn sees the symbolic “scalp” is a black hat, he realizes that the Big Navajo is the Navajo Wolf/witch.

Eddie Poher – the blond man who is working with the Navajo Wolf and an unknown man.

George Jackson – also works with Poher and the unknown man.

Dr. Green – the chair of Bergen & Canfield’s department. Bergen tells his captors that he and Green stay in touch while he’s in the field.

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for The Blessing Way

And here are the questions (and answers) for the Cast of Characters graphics for The Blessing Way.

Please note some answers may be potential spoilers!!

 

Concha Head Band  Who owned the silver concho headband?

A: George Jackson, a.k.a., the Navajo witch

Indian Frog FetishWhat did Bergen say was the frog fetish supposed to do for the person who had it?

 

A: Bergen mistakenly said it would protect the person from witches. Dr. Canfield had it.

Anasazi Cliff Dwelling  What key fact did Bergen know about the cliff dwellings that his captors did not?

A: Bergen knows that the Anasazi put a hidden pathway to the surface in the dwellings so they wouldn’t be totally reliant on the ladders to get out.

Pocket Knife  How was Bergen able to hold on to his pocket knife after he is captured?

 

A: The big Navajo didn’t search his shirt pocket – it was “a ridiculous place to put a pocket knife”.

 

Picture of a ProclamationWhat did Bergen’s certificate proclaim him to be?

 

A: As the Monster Slayer he was “conceived” out of wedlock, and therefore a Bastard.

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Tony Hillerman Page on Wikipedia

Fantastic Fiction's Tony Hillerman Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Tony Hillerman Page

 

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Craig Johnson with The Cold Dish cover

Craig Johnson - The Cold Dish

 

Walt Longmire – a Vietnam vet who is thinking about retiring as the sheriff of Wyoming’s Absaroka County. He is still dealing with the death of his wife Martha four years ago. His daughter Cady is a lawyer working in Philadelphia.

Ruby   – the tall, slim, wise-cracking receptionist/dispatcher who “keeps the riffraff out of the office” – and tries to manage Walt as well as the office.

Victoria Moretti – Walt’s Deputy, Vic is brash, foul-mouthed and highly qualified & competent as a police officer. She comes from a family of cops, was highly regarded in Philadelphia, and only came to Wyoming when her husband Glen got a job there. Walt is hoping she’ll take over as sheriff when he retires.

Melissa Little Bird – the young Cheyenne teen who was raped by Cody Pritchard, Jacob and George Esper (fraternal twins) and Bryan Keller. She has fetal alcohol syndrome. Her high school English teacher, Mary Roebling got her to talk to Walt about it. Many in town and all of the Northern Reservation, were highly disappointed with the light sentencing they got, including Walt. She is currently living with her Aunt Arbutus.

Henry Standing Bear – Walt’s best friend who is also a Vietnam Vet. He was lethally capable as a soldier, but now owns & runs the Red Pony bar, and tries to get Walt to come out of his depression by making him food, and nudging him into running. Henry is very popular with the ladies, and is a cousin of Melissa Little Bird. Walt likes him as much as he can’t stand Henry’s truck.

Dena Many Camps – Once a protégé of Henry’s at billiards, she is now a professional bound for a big game in Vegas. She tends bar for Henry when he isn’t there, and though she is much younger, she is very interested in Henry himself.

Vonnie Hayes – is “old school Wyoming”, her grandfather had a spread of 30,000 acres. When her father committed suicide, she went to school in the east, and stayed there for a number of years. An accomplished sculptress, she came back to care for her mother, & since Walt’s wife’s death, his daughter Cady has tried to fix them up. Walt is now considering the possibility…

Roger Russell – the town electrician, he is also interested in Vonnie – and is on Omar’s short list for sharpshooters.

Cody Pritchard – the ringleader of the boys who raped Melissa, he was the least repentant at the sentencing, making statements that further angered the local Indian population. He is the first victim in the story. T.J. Sherwin, director of the Division of Criminal Investigation’s lab, Search & Rescue leader & Deputy Jim Ferguson (Ferg), and Vic are the first on the scene.

(Brian)Turk Connally  – owner of a fancy Trans Am, he is also one of Walt’s deputies – and wants Walt’s job, even though Walt considers him the least adequate for the job. He only hired him as a favor to Turk’s great-uncle Lucian, the former sheriff and Walt’s friend.

Lucian Connally – in addition to being the former sheriff, Lucian served in the Army Air Corps, and managed to drive himself in subzero temperatures to the hospital where he lost the leg. Now living at the Durant Home of Assisted Living, he’s still very interested in helping out on cases, and beating Walt to a pulp playing chess.

Dorothy Caldwell – yet another of the women in Walt’s life – she keeps him supplied with coffee and food at her diner in Durant, the Busy Bee – also known for its hive of gossip.

Jules Belden – the man Turk put in their jail for urinating on him and his car.

Lonnie Little Bird – Melissa’s father who is a diabetic with both legs amputated, yet still finds ways to get around – and is an expert shot who owns a Sharp rifle.

Omar Rhoades  – the “big dog of outfitters along the Bighorns”, his ranch is “about half the size of Rhode Island”. Walt is well acquainted with him and his estranged wife Myra” who’ve attempted to kill each other over the years. She is currently living apart. Not only is he an expert shot, he is very knowledgeable about the older, historic guns and ammo. And he has a Neiman Marcus helicopter!

Bryan Keller  – the former football hero and student involved in the rape. While he didn’t participate, he didn’t try to stop anything either. His parents, Jim and Barbara have been at odds over him ever since; and Jim Keller has gone out hunting – even though he doesn’t hunt.

Jacob and George Esper – the fraternal twins who raped Melissa Little Bird. There’s a strong likely-hood that Cody Pritchard’s killer is also after them. They haven’t been found since Cody died, and their parents haven’t been traceable either. Late in the story Bryan is able to tell Walt that George likes to fish at Lost Twin Lake. While Walt & Henry find George, he becomes something of an escape artist.

Artie Small Song – also a member of Omar’s short list of sharpshooters, he is one of the reservation Indians who was upset with the trial verdict. A visit to his house reveals he is also a closet militia-ist.

Al Monroe – the owner of the cabin across the lake from where Jacob Esper’s body is found. Although he is a borderline alcoholic(4.2 blood alcohol), he is positive about the time he heard the shot and saw enough of the probable killer, to say they have long hair “to the shoulders”, was wearing insulated overalls, and that the weapon was “long”.

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

 

Please note some answers may be potential spoilers!!

Walt's Truck  What name does Walt’s police car have? 

The Silver Bullet, or just Bullet.

 

Size Nine Hiking Boot  What is the brand name & size of the boots they suspect the killer wears? 

Vasques. Size 9. 

 

Cheyenne Rifle Scabbard  What is the name of the pattern on the antique Cheyenne beaded rifle scabbard?

Dead Man’s Body

 

Henry Standing Bear  What name does Lucian use instead of Standing Bear for Henry?

Ladies Wear

 

Henry's T-Bird graphic  Tie-breaker: What is the name of Henry’s T-bird? '

Lola

 

 

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Craig Johnson's Website

Fantastic Fiction's Craig Johnson Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Craig Johnson Page

Lisle Library's Longmire DVDs!

 

Mystery Scene Longmire Cover 2015  Lisle Library subscribes to this, and has this issue. It is the Autmn 2015 issue, Vol. 31, #4 pp. 24-29. You can go to the Reference desk and ask for it. Back issues can be checked out. Enjoy!

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Julia Keller Akilling in the Hills  graphic

Cast of Characters: A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller Just Added!

Carla Elkinsthe main protagonist’s teenage daughter, she is in the Salty Dawg diner when the three old men are gunned down. She and her mother are at odds with each other, which leads Carla to withhold some critical information about the case, and to decide that she wants to live with her dad, Sam Elkins, Bell’s ex.

Belfa (Bell) Elkins  the main character, her childhood was a nightmare and ought to have led her to stay away from Acker’s Gap, West Virginia, but her burning passion for doing whatever she can as the county prosecutor to improve the lives of its rural citizens has led her back. She is particularly militant about stopping the burgeoning flow of prescription drug abuse.

Lonnie Prince – Carla’s slacker boyfriend who has taken her to drinking parties where there are also prescription drugs being passed around.

Deputy Charles Mathers – a “wide man with slicked-back hair, a perpetual frosting of swear on his bright pink forehead, and a small dimple in his chin that looked like the half-moon print of a baker’s thumbnail pressed randomly in a ball of dough.” He’s addicted to self-help books and is not without ambition.

Rhonda Lovejoy – one of Bell’s two employees, she is Bell’s assistant and almost complete opposite. She is from a very long-standing family in Acker’s Gap and her connections are possibly the only reason she still has a job.

Albie Sheets – the subject of the complex case Bell is working on when the shooting occurs. He is a mentally challenged man who she is deciding whether to indict for the murder of six year old Tyler Bevins.  His sister Deanna and mother Lori are adamant that he didn’t know what he was doing.

Sheriff Nick Fogelsong – Bell’s boss and the man who took looked after her as a child until foster services arrived when her family’s trailer burnt to the ground. He is a big, grizzled man who, like Bell, has been fighting the influx of drugs to their town. His wife Mary Sue has recently been receiving treatment for depression. Bell knows she can learn a lot from him about administering justice in a place like Acker’s Gap.

Dorothy Burdette (Dot) – is presumed to be an old high school friend of Bell’s – except Bell didn’t have any friends when she was in school in Acker’s Gap. She’s a VP at the local Mountaineer Community Bank. She loves being on top of the town’s gossip and her family has some power in town politics. Her brother Sammy, is one of three Raythune County commissioners as well as a proud representative of the Mountaintop Mutual Insurance Company.

Daniel (Dean) Streeter, Paul (Shorty) McClurg, Ralph (Lee) Rader – the three old men who are shot in the diner. Both the Sheriff and Bell are puzzled why any of them would be targeted by the killer. Streeter is the former high school drivers ed teacher, and Rader is a vehement opponent to drugs. Shorty is the man that Lee called before they died.

Tom and Ruthie Cox – Bell’s nearest neighbors and two of her few close friends. Tom is a local veterinarian, who works out of his house, and Ruthie is a semi-retired physician and cancer survivor. She’s the one who reminds Bell that Dean Streeter’s daughter was in Ruthie’s cancer survivor support group until she passed away six months ago.

Charlie (Chill) Sowards – a thin, youngish man with a scraggly beard that does not cover his acne, and tiny (pig) eyes. He has delusions of grandeur over the crime he has committed, and the others he plans to do, once he’s gotten his orders from “the boss”.

Hickey (Hick) Leonard – formerly a fellow candidate for the county prosecutor’s job, Hick now works for Bell as an assistant prosecutor. He’s also the person who pushed hard for Bell to hire Rhonda as the other assistant.

Shirley Dolan – the older sister Bell never talks about – even with her daughter. Shirley is in prison and doesn’t communicate with Bell. Their mother left them and their father, Donnie Dolan was an abusive father.

Serena Crumpler – the lawyer defending Albie Sheets.

Linda & Bob Bevins – the parents of the six year old murder victim, Tyler.

Eddie Briscoe – Lonnie’s friend who hosted the party that Lonnie took Carla to.

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for A Killing in the Hills

Graphic Crime Quiz: A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller

  What is the name of the diner that Belle and the locals go to?

Ike’s. The last non-chain eatery in town.

  What do locals put on the casserole dishes they take to people in crisis?

An index card with heating instructions, and their name so they’ll get the dish back.

  What is the significance of The Red Badge of Courage in this story?

Henry Fleming is the main character in the book – and the name the killer uses at the motel where he uses the same gun to kill a prostitute.

 

 What is significant about the green garden hose play in this story?

It is a red herring not the real cause of death.

 

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Julia Keller's Web Site

Fantastic Fiction's Julia Keller Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Julia Keller Page

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Cast of Characters 

Frank(ie) Drum – the  narrator and main character who we meet as an adult in his 40s, but who tells his story from the perspective of his 13 year old self, relating the life-changing events that affected his family, his community, and himself.  One of his delights is peeking through the fence at neighbors Avis and Edna Sweeney’s laundry line where he can easily eye her bosom” like the prow of an aircraft carrier”. He later learns information about them he wishes he didn’t know.

Bobby Cole  “a sweet,-looking kid …had eyes that seemed full of dreaming…a small kid, a simple child, no match at all for the diesel-fed drive of a Union Pacific locomotive. He is the first death Frankie encounters that summer.

Jake Drum – is Frankie’s younger brother who suffers from having a pronounced stutter. He is keenly observant as a result of his tendency to stay on the fringe of events. He is also the only person other than her brother that Lise Brandt seems to see as her friend.

Nathan Drum – the boys’ father and the minister at their church, as well as two other small churches in the area. He could have become a lawyer – and their mother, Ruth, seems very disappointed that he followed a calling to the church instead. Being in the war (WWII) changed him in ways he will never speak of.

Gus – a former soldier who’s known Norman since the war, he tends to get drunk and end up in jail. He does odd jobs for both the church and other businesses, and the two boys are quite close to him, & consider him family. They also love getting rides in and on his Indian Chief motorbike.

Morris Engdahl – from the moment he’s introduced, it is plain that he’s “a bad sort. Black hair slicked in a ducktail…fond of black leather jackets.” He and Gus are in jail because of the fight they’ve had. He is a bully, who makes fun of Jake, insults their sister and father, and comes to threaten Frankie later in the story. He’s a natural suspect when Ariel disappears as well.

Doyle – one of the local cops, he never seems to be referred to as Office Doyle. He’s sort of a friend of Gus’, but is not an appealing person – especially as Frankie sees him. He’s not above bullying himself, as well as gossiping and throwing punches.

Ariel Drum – the boys’ older sister who had recently graduated from high school and is slated to go to Juilliard. She is very talented musically, both as an organist and composer. She has been studying with local musical legend, Emil Brandt, who long ago was engaged to Ariel’s mother. Lately she’s been talking about not going to Juilliard, and she’s been seen leaving the house late at night.

Ruth Drum – mother of Ariel, Frankie and Jake, she was once a very promising singer and still has a beautiful voice. She conducts the local choir and is intensely proud of Ariel and her musical talent. She has less attention for the boys, and her relationship with their father is rocky.

Warren Redstone – the mysterious Sioux uncle of their friend Danny O’Keefe who has recently come to live with Danny’s family. He also has a lean-to near the railroad trestle and riverbank where Bobby Cole was found. He is there when Frankie and Jake realize there’s a dead man nearby. There is a strong prejudice against Indians in New Bremen and beyond.

Karl Brandt – the golden boy of the well-to-do Brandt family, and he is Axel and Julia’s only child. His father owns the local beer company, and is a major employer of the town’s residents. Julia is very class-conscious and resents the fact that Karl is seeing Ariel. Karl and Ariel have always been close, and there’s a definite rumor that they may be talking about marriage.

Mrs. Amelia Klement – a woman “with a strong alto voice. She was [Ruth’s] age and had a son named Peter who tends to sit at church with the boys, and sometimes plays with them. Mr. Travis Klement is a troubled man who has abused both his wife and son in the past.

Emil Brandt – achieved great success in his musical career, especially in Hollywood circles. He is “the best composer and pianist in Minnesota”. Even though he abruptly left Ruth while they were engaged, he and Ruth have managed to stay friends through their love of music, and Ruth’s hopes for Ariel’s career. He has had a disfiguring accident and has gone blind. He lives a reclusive life looked after by his troubled sister, Lise, who is deaf and prone to ear-splitting tantrums – particularly if she is touched. She is completely devoted to her brother and her gardens.

 

 For Ordinary Grace

 

Krueger_glasses_graphic Where do Bobby Cole’s glasses turn up & who has them?

Warren Redstone has them. He claims he just found them, but Frankie & others think he may have killed Bobby.

 

Krueger_Mother Of Pearl Barrettes graphic Where does Frankie find Ariel’s mother of pearl barrette & gold watch near the end of the story?

In the shed at Emil Brandt’s house.

 

krueger_aeschylus graphic Who is the Greek playwright that Frankie’s father quotes?

Aeschylus. The quote involves the “awful grace of God”.

 

Krueger_AirDuct graphic How does a heating duct become a key element in revealing characters’ secrets?

The church’s duct is stuffed with rags that Gus removes to hear what Norman is saying to parishioners in private in the church.

 

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William Kent Krueger's Web Site

Fantastic Fiction's William Kent Krueger Page

Stop You're Killing Me's William Kent Krueger Page

 

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Cast of Characters  

Cat (Caterina) DeLuca – heroine of the story, she’s a 5’10” P.I. with chestnut hair and green eyes who owns her own “Pants On Fire” detective agency, devoted to catching lying, cheating spouses – like her ex, Johnnie Rizzo.

Chance Savino – is the very image of a Man of Mystery. He is introduced as the “lying, cheating bastard” married to Rita Sorvino. Later in the story he’s the bane of Cat’s existence, since no one she talks to will believe he’s not dead.

Cleo Jones – is one of Cat’s clients who not only wants to kill her cheating husband, but join Cat’s agency.

Inga – Cat’s four-footed partner, an “overgrown, energetic beagle” who loves Italian sausage.

Mama DeLuca – the dramatic diva and matriarch of the DeLuca clan, she definitely runs the show, despite the fact all the DeLuca men are cops. She’s determined that Cat give up her “dirty pictures” and become a dispatcher at the police station.

Sophie (DeLuca) – is characterized by Cat as her “wacko, crazy sister”. Known for telling tales, but toeing the line expected of DeLuca women (getting married & having babies) she loves to find fault with Cat.

Papa (Tony) DeLuca – the DeLuca patriarch, a retired Chicago cop who is legend for shot while on duty. By a rookie cop. In the behind. Papa loves to show it to people.

Rocco DeLuca – the eldest of the DeLuca siblings, he is Cat’s favorite. He and his wife Maria, try to support and protect Cat. He’s a well-respected Chicago Detective and has a good partner Jackson, who is “Samoan and built like a government machine. In a world of Fords & Chevys, few argue with a tank.”

Vinnie & Michael DeLuca – Cat’s “meaty” twin brothers, also cops.

Uncle Joey – in his own, semi-legal way, he is a man of mystery. He knows people. And he gets things done.

Rita Savino – is a reporter using this false name to get the goods on one of the questionable leaders in power in Chicago, Eddie Harr. She also volunteered at Kids First, a charity Eddie supports. Cat finds out Rita’s real last name there.

Tino Maroni – “a round bear of a man who gives candy to the neighborhood children and owns Tino’s Deli: his capanota is unrivaled in Chicago – as is Tino’s reputation as a fence, high-stakes gambler, and possible spy.

Larry Harding – the Special Agent at the FBI who very reluctantly sees Cat and denies that Chance is alive. He also denies that the “accident” in which Cat got her concussion and “Chance” died, was a bombing. In short, he too says she’s seeing things.

Eddie Harr – the “fat, bald man” featured in pictures at Kids First that prove he’s one of Chicago’s movers & shakers – who may be involved in something illegal, but no one want to cross him. One of his gang members, A.J. is the tattooed victim of the explosion that caused Cat’s concussion.

Harry Kaplan – Rita’s boss at the newspaper, and a former client of Cat’s. He helps her to leave the newspaper office with Rita’s laptop. He’s the one who led Rita to Cat.

Joe Jr. – Uncle Joey’s computer genius of a son, he helps Cat hack into Rita’s computer.

Father Timothy – the DeLuca seniors’ pastor, “a man who knows all (Cat’s) shit from the confessional”, is often called upon by Mama DeLuca to speak with Cat. He’s a featured speaker at Mama’s Interfering – a.k.a. intervention.

Captain Bob Maxfield – the head of Rocco’s department, he comes down on Cat for compromising an FBI investigation – among other things…

Jack – Cat’s mechanic since she was sixteen, his grease-stained hands are missing a few fingers lost in engines during the years he was drinking. He has a nephew Devlin who Cat went to high school with. Devlin since “did his graduate work in Joliet prison”. Jack’s loan of his pet car Dorothy leads to serious problems for Cat.

Charles Ross – a.k.a., Ratman. He’s the low-life henchman of Eddie Harr who puts the dead rat in Cat’s bed, and has been stalking her since the start of the case.

Tommy – the rookie cop in Rocco’s department who, almost fatally, offers to drive Dorothy home for Cat.

Max Pedersen– the hunky bodyguard hired by Tino to protect Cat. He and Tino have a secret past.

Roger King – the brother of one of Cat’s clients, he hires her to find out if his wife wants to leave him. She wants worse. And Cat thinks he’s perfect for her geeky cousin Ginny.

 For Liar, Liar

Despite what Mama DeLuca says, what actually caused Cat’s concussion?

A: “For Lease” sign.

What brand of soda is Cat’s lipsmacker lipstick?Cut

A: Dr. Pepper

What kind of car is Dorothy?

A: A classic Mustang

How does Cat use the wall-full of the pictures Charlie took of her, to her advantage?

A: She uses them to convince Charlie’s Mom that she’s his girlfriend so she can search his room.

What happened to the diamonds in the end?

A: Most of them went to three research hospitals in Rita’s name -- &  Cat’s earrings from Uncle Joey!

 

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K.J. Larsen's web site

Fantastic Fiction's K. J. Larsen web page

Stop You're Killing Me's K. J. Larsen page

Click HERE to go to information about Bridgeport, Chicago -- where Cat grew up, and where her parents still live!  Map of Bridgeport

Click HERE to go to a savory recipe for Capanota Stuffed Eggplant -- could it be as good as Toni's -- which as we know is "unrivaled in Chiago"?

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Catriona McPherson - Dandy Gilver & A Deadly Measure of Brimstone

 

Image result for catriona mcphersonFrom Catriona: The World of Dandy Gilver, for Brimstone beginners

 

Dandy Gilver  – (née Leston), 43,our heroine, English but living in Scotland for more than half her life. She was brought up by Nanny Palmer, Mademoiselle Toulemonde and the mistresses at her finishing school. Her life was set – but see below.

Hugh Gilver, - 50, Dandy’s husband. Scottish. Hugh was born and will die at Gilverton, in Perthshire, like many of his forefathers and – he hopes – many of his descendants. He improves the land drains and the tree plantations and tolerates Dandy’s career. Just.

Donald Gilver, - 18, Hugh and Dandy’s elder son and Hugh’s heir. Donald is not academic and has taken on the neighbouring estate of Benachally instead of going to university.

Teddy Gilver - 17, Hugh and Dandy’s second son and Hugh’s ‘spare’. Clever, mischievous, amused by his father, devoted to his mother and usually pitched in competition with his brother.

Alec Osborne, - 39, Dandy’s Watson and the other half of the detective agency “Gilver and Osborne: servants of truth.” Dandy and Alec met during what turned into their first case (see After The Armistice Ball). Alec was engaged to Cara Duffy when what started as a jewel theft - the mystery of the Duffy diamonds – turned into a murder with Cara’s death. Alec has not replaced her in the seven years since.

Mr Pallister - 58, the Gilvers’ butler. Pallister is Hugh’s ally in all things and does not approve of Gilver and Osborne.

Mrs Tilling -  61, the Gilvers’ cook. Mrs T is fond of the whole family and does her best to cook less Scottishly for Dandy.

Miss Grant - 40, Dandy’s maid. Grant comes from a theatrical background and loves fashion. She knew about Gilver and Osborne long before Dandy officially told her and she is itching to help.

Bunty - 14, Dandy’s Dalmatian. The dog of her life and her closest friend.

Our Story’s Cast of Characters!

Mrs. Enid Addie – the recently deceased mother of Herbert Addie and Mrs. Jas. Bowie (née Addie) from Edinburgh, whose death at the Laidlaw Hydropathic Establishment in Moffat is the main case Gilver & Osborne investigate in this story.

Dr. Ramsay  – the doctor who signed Mrs. Addie’s death certificate – even though Dr. Laidlaw was present when Mrs. Addie died.

Mrs. Cronin – the “magnificent figure…quite six feet tall in her flat shoes and tremendously ill served as to ligne by her plain white dress…on her head was a confection o fstarched linen, twisted & folded into a fantastical shape”. Dandy speaks of her as “the matron” of the Hydropathy Establishment.

Thomas (Tot) Laidlaw– described by Dandy as having a “sleek, pink face, confident manned and … fruity voice” he forms a great contrast with his sister, the current Dr. Dorothea Laidlaw at the Hydro. She and Alec find him almost immediately to be a questionable character, while his sister “dressed in rather plain tweeds and one of those very soft felt has which look as though a limp lettuce leaf has been laid on one’s head and left to wilt there” is demonstrably committed to her medical research, & keeping the Hydro running.

Regina – the “round little person” who works in the Hydro baths and massage areas – and is worked on by Dandy to get answers about Mrs. Addie’s death.

Sergeant Simpson – the Moffat policeman who was called by Dr. Laidlaw when Mrs. Addie was discovered dead. He is also the first to tell Dandy that according to Dr. Laidlaw Mrs. Addie had suffered a shock: she’d been frightened by a ghost that she saw.

<Madame Molyneaux – one of the leaders of the mediums (including Mrs. Scott) who descend on the Hydro when news of ghost sightings reached her.

Olivia – the “white-face womand with thin pale hair and enormous pale green eyes like gooseberries”. A member of Mrs. Molyneaux group. They lead Dandy to researching local hauntings like Devil’s Beef Tub, Gallow Hill, and the Black Bull Inn were a century previous, either William Burke or William Hare was supposed to have stopped the night.

Loveday Merrick – the Great Personage Dandy meets wearing “a homburg hat as glossy as an otter and an astrakhan coat (Persian lamb) … [carrying an ebony cane that has] an ebony knob … and his tie was yellow satin”. He is almost revered by the spiritualists and has a definite otherworldly purpose in coming to the Hydro.

Gilchrist  – Hugh’s factor (man of business) who Dandy involves in getting central heating for Gilverton and Benachally, the Gilvers’ two estates.

 

 

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Catriona McPherson's Web Page

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Stop You're Killing Me's Catriona McPherson Page

 

 

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Jenny Milchman - Cover of Snow

Nora Hamilton – Widow of Brendan, a cop in the small Adirondack town of Wedeskyull who appears to have committed suicide by hanging. What would make a good man do a very bad thing?

Teggie – Nora’s sister and aspiring ballet dancer. She loved Brendan and speaks her mind. She loves and supports Nora, but finds her a bit weak, unable to face harsh issues.

Club Mitchell – Brendan’s partner on the police force, he’s not as supportive of Nora as she has assumed he would be. His huge black lab, Weekend, is far more friendly and comforting. His mother Ada lets Nora know that Club’s father Burt, had also been a policeman, and that his death was considered accidental by the police.

Police Chief Vern Weathers – the current generation’s Chief Weathers, he is a bear of a man. Vern’s father Franklin, and his father before him have all been the chief of police in Wedeskyull. He takes this very seriously and will do anything to do what he thinks needs doing to protect his town. In this he is aided by his brother Dave who is also a Wedeskyull cop.

Eileen Hamilton – Brendan’s mother who lives in one of two twin foursquares in town. Her late husband Bill’s sister, Jean, lives in the twin. She is a hard, bitter, woman who doesn’t particularly like Nora -- or Brendan for that matter.

Jean Hamilton– Brendan’s aunt (his father’s sister), a large and loving woman who owns the house that Brendan and Nora live in, and was letting them make small payments on to buy it from her. She has been pretty and slim in the past, but her love of food has made her quite heavy. She and her deceased brother Bill (also a cop) were Brendan’s main source of love.

Ned Kramer – the lanky, red-headed local reporter, he met Nora during the course of the article he wrote about her business. He now wants her to renovate his rather dilapidated Victorian and help her to get answers about her husband’s death.  

Dugger McKenzie – the autistic man who works for Al Meter at Al’s Gas & Service – the place where all police officers and their families take their vehicles for service. Nora meets Dugger when she’s pulled over by Vern for a broken taillight on her way to talk to Donny Brannigan, the pharmacist. He’s a gifted mechanic, and uses rhyming trying to express thoughts concerning troubling aspects of the case.

Gregory “Red” Hamilton – Brendan’s little brother who died as a child.

Officer Tim Lurcquer – he and Club are involved in covering up a death in a shallow grave using equipment from Lenny Paulson, owner of the local concrete company, who is tight with Vern.

Gabriel Deacon – the owner/manager of the Gabriel Deacon Dance Company, he and Teggie are headed for a serious relationship. He is kind and supportive of Nora as well.

Gilbert Landry – the former soldier now working as one of Vern’s cops. Brendan characterized him as “a firecracker, always ready to go off.

Melanie Cooper – approached Nora after a meeting in Troy, NY about her husband John, who has gone missing from Wedeskyull. He had been working at Lenny Paulson’s plant.

The Golden-Haired Young Man in the Stonelickers T-shirt – Dugger takes Nora to the place where he found the young man.

Dick Granger– the relatively new owner of the inn in Cold Kettle where the Stonelickers bar is also located. He puts Nora in touch with Liv Peterson, the grandmother of the boy in the T-shirt.

                                     

 

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for Cover of Snow

And here are the questions (and answers) for the Cast of Characters graphics for Cover of Snow.

Please note some answers may be potential spoilers!!

Rope: Where did Brendan find the rope he used?

A: At his mother’s house in her “special” room.

Two items Bill made had leather covers: one was Brendan’s photo album – what was the other?

A: His secret diary

What was the drug that was in Nora’s glass the night before Brendan died?

A: Sonodrine. A prescription Nora had no idea Brendan had. The red mark on the label has special significance, & leads Nora to question even more what happened on the 16th…

Who do you hear on the tape Duggery gives to Nora?

A: Police chief Vern Weathers, his brother, and his father – who was police chief at the time.

What color are the hockey laces in the story, and how are they used?

A: The red laces are from Brendan’s hockey skates – which Nora never knew he had – and date from his brother’s death. They are used in Brendan’s suicide.

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Jenny's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's List of Jenny's Books

Stop You're Killing Me's Jenny Milchman Page

Jenny writes about "Cover of Snow"

 

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Chris Pavone - The Expats

 

Cast of Characters

 

Kate Moore – formerly Kat or Katherine, she’s changed her name to suit her new expat status in Luxembourg. It isn’t the first time she’s had a different identity – but this time, her husband knows about it. Her secret is central to the plot – in which she discovers, she’s not the only one with a highly charged covert activity.

Dexter Moore – Kate’s husband, an expert in computer system security. He’s been hired to test a bank’s security software in Luxembourg, and his long hours at work becomes contentious with Kate. She’s initially annoyed, but later suspicious of what exactly he is doing. Jake Ben are their two young boys.

Joe – Katherine’s boss – who lets her know there’ll be lots of interviews to go through before she leaves her job in the U.S.

Lorenzo Romero – the first man Katherine ever killed.

Adam – a “squared-off ex-military type” one of “tens of thousands of people over the globe” that her company employs. He is Kate’s final exit interviewer.

Julia Maclean – a fellow expat, her husband also works in finance. She is a blue-eyed blonde in her mid-30s who is pretty but not beautiful, and whose garrulousness takes Kate aback. “The more distinctive a surface personality appeared, the more Kate was convinced that it was a veneer.”

Bill Maclean – Julia’s husband. An “alpha male” who is “one of those experts in everything, a guy who had a favorite Alp resort and Caribbean island and Bordeaux vintage; he’d researched ski bindings and tennis strings, had a preferred British rugby team and cult sixties TV show. Dexter was in awe of him.”

Evan   – another one of Katherine’s interviewers, he is the one to finally ask her about Eduardo Torres.

Hayden – shows up at a clandestine museum meeting with Kate wearing a sport jacket and necktie and pocket square, flannel trousers and suede shoes.  He sports horn-rimmed glasses, carefully groomed silver hair, and could be anywhere between 45 and sixty years old. He offers up bits of trivia for Kate to rate whenever they meet. He is an old co-worker and he has become an important person in Europe. Kate hopes he will help her find out more about the Macleans.

Plain Jane  – one of Kate & Julia’s circle of expat wives, she had probably had an affair with Bill. The Macleans’ relationship comes into question elsewhere in the book when first Bill flirts with Kate and Julia flirts with Dexter.

The Colonel  (Petrovic) – a mysterious player in whatever is going on with Dexter, his contacts, and eventually Kate and the Macleans.

Marlena  – a beautiful young woman somehow involved with Dexter - and the Colonel.

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Anne Perry - The Face of a Stranger

Author Perry with Face of a Stranger Cover

Cast of Characters

 Icons for "The Face of a Stranger"

Victorian Cane ; Nightingale Nurse, Crimea Era; Victorian Pocket Watch; Hansom Cab

Mr. William Monk – We learn about him as he learns about himself. He’s “Peeler” who has lost his memory after a serious carriage accident. Literally everything he knows about himself, he has to learn from others – and he has to prove to his antagonistic boss at Scotland Yard that he is still capable of being a detective.

Mr. Runcorn – the inspector at Scotland Yard who is Monk’s boss. He assigns Monk the difficult case that another officer, Lamb, had been working that is bringing a lot of negative attention to the police for its lack of progress. His hatred for Monk has him dancing at the idea of Monk failing to find the murderer of aristocratic ex-soldier Joscelin Grey.

Mrs. Worley – runs the rooming house at 27 Grafton Street where Monk lives. She does her duty by him, but he can tell they don’t have friendly relationship.

Beth Bannerman – Through a letter at his quarters Monk learns he has a sister in Northumberland. He goes to visit her and her fisherman husband Rob, to see if she can help him fill in the blanks in his life, and to see what memories the area has for him.

Major Joscelin Grey – the violently murdered younger brother of the Lord Shelburne, he survived the Crimea, but with a limp. Generally regarded for his charming manner, his wit was sometimes stinging, but about the worst thing that has been found out about him. He was beaten even after death, most likely with a cane, at his lodgings in Mecklenburg Square. In his mother’s eyes he could do no wrong, and she’s determined to make the police find his killer.

John Evan– the young policeman Runcorn assigns to help Monk. He is inexperienced, but very intelligent, the son of a minister, and quite eager to help Monk.

Grimwade – the porter at the victim’s lodging. He only leaves his post when he is taking visitors up to see tenants. Mrs. Huggins, the cleaning woman there was the one who discovered the body.

Mr. Yeats – a resident at the victim’s lodging who had a visitor during the critical time frame of the murder.

Dowager Lady Fabia Shelburne – the mother of Lovel Grey (Lord Shelburne), Menard Grey, and the victim, Major Joscelin Grey, she is a force to be reckoned with and has powerful political and social connections which she has used to push the police to solve her son’s murder. She has no great liking for either of her two older sons, whom she finds “boring”, or even her daughter-in-law, Love’s wife Rosamond, but she is devastated by losing Joscelin.

Lady Callandra Daviot – the sister of the late Lord Shelburne, she is Lovel, Menard, and Joscelin’s aunt who also lives at Shelburne Hall. She is also friends with Hester Latterly.

Imogen Latterly – the wife of Hester’s older brother Charles. She has been gently raised and a proper wife, but she does pursue a better answer to her father-in-law’s death than her husband wants her to do. She and Hester quite like each other although they are very different women.

Hester Latterly – a striking, independent thinking woman, she’s Charles Latterly’s sister who has just returned from being a nurse in the Crimea. Her eldest brother died in the Crimea, and her father’s disturbing death being followed by her mother’s death has sent her home to help her family. She is courageous, opinionated, and impulsive, and her brother isn’t quite sure what to do with her. She is planning on becoming employed in some nursing capacity – which Lady Callandra supports her in doing.

Mr. & Mrs. Dawlish – they got to know Joscelin when he approached them after he told them about settling their son Edward’s gaming debts after Edward was killed at Inkermann in the Crimea. This incident also led to their distancing themselves from Menard Grey, even though the two had been best friends. The Dawlishes were also interested in an investment idea that Joscelin brought to them.

Zebedee Marner & Mr. Robinson – the moneylender and the investor who were involved with Joscelin’s business ventures.

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Lori Rader-Day - The Black Hour

Lori Rader-Day MAF Folder graphic

Cast of Characters

Dr. Amelia Emmet – a young professor of sociology, she teaches & studies the sociology of crime at a major Chicago university by the lake. We meet her after she was shot by a student she had never met. The student, Leo Lehane, then killed himself, leaving Dr. Emmet trying to overcome the physical pain and restricted movements while struggling with the question: Why her?

Dr. Jim Perry   – the University Dean at Rothbert University with “hamster-sized eyebrows”, who tried to persuade Amelia to retire.

Dr. Nicholas Doyle – Amelia’s boss, the director of their department – and Amelia’s former lover. They’ve managed to go on professionally with each other, but Doyle has recently married (Nancy), and Amelia is striving to keep a friendly relationship going with him. He remains the biggest supporter of her career.

Dr. Corrine Talbot – Amelia’s best friend, she shares the office with her in Dale Hall that Amelia loves so much. She has been constantly at Amelia’s side since the shooting, but seems more distant now that Amelia is back on campus.

Nathaniel (Nath) Barber – the grad student who wants Amelia to be his advisor. He has a hidden agenda for wanting this – just as Amelia has, in accepting him as her assistant. A loner, he’s trying to connect with other students such as Cara, Julia, and Ryan, whom he meets at the Mill for drinks. While he has an ex-girlfriend Bryn, whom he thinks about quite a bit, he is also drawn to Amelia.

Joe – the bartender at The Mill who had a close relationship with Amelia before she and Doyle got together, and remained friends after. In the aftermath of the shooting, she’s not sure Joe even considers her a friend.

Dr. J. Benjamin Woo – a department peer of Amelia’s, he’s been annoyed that she got tenure at the same time he did, as he’s very disdainful of her state school academic background. Amelia is wary about accepting Nathaniel as her assistant, because Dr. Woo is the person who sent Nath to Amelia.                                                             

Dr. Alberta Joss  – the older, veteran sociology professor who has frequently published books, she’s the one who first gets Amelia to recognize that Melly does have a new project: solving the whydunit of her shooting.

Phillip Carrington-Wells – the lead in the Office of Psychological Services for the university. He shows deep interest, and concern, for both Amelia and Nath. They, in turn, are very interested in what they can learn from him and his student assistants. Trudie, Win, and Zach are all part of the (unofficially called) “suicide watch” on campus.

Kendall – Nath’s roommate who frequently criticizes just about anything Nath is doing, wearing, saying… He particularly loathes the photo from the St. Valentine’s Day massacre that Nath has on their bulletin board.

James Baker  – the plump former roommate of Leonard Lehane. Nath hopes to learn more about Leo from James, and in an unexpected way, he does.

Rory McDaniel – a local news reporter, he is trying to move beyond the poorly paid local paper – and initially hopes getting the real story from Amelia – or indirectly through Nath. Later, he seems genuinely interested in Amelia herself.

Win Harlan – not only is Win a member of Phillip’s suicide watch team, and the scion of a wealthy family, he’s related to the founder of the school, and has a boat he plans to sail with his friend Dutch in the University’s Night Sail event. As his interest in Nath grows, he urges Nath to go sailing with the two of them.

Mrs. Lehane – Leonard Lehane’s mother. She too is trying to make sense of the whole shooting and death of her son. As with so many others, she has felt that Amelia knows more than she has said.

 

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told

The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day

Sailboat graphic Barbeque graphic "Leo" leaning grapjic  Hourglass graphic

  1. What did Win say to Dutch that resulted in Nath going overboard? 
  2. What tasty treat did Amelia cook up on the grill?
  3. What memory came to Amelia when she saw the picture of Leo that his mother keeps?
  4. What is “the Black Hour”?

Please note some answers may be potential spoilers!!

Answers:

  1. “Jibe” –which swung the boom at Nath & knocked him overboard.
  2. Her manuscript for her book: Silent Witness: The Sociology of Violence in the American Midwest
  3. She remembers Leo standing outside the office door at Dale Hall before the day he shot her.
  4. The time in one’s life that is darkest to survive: how long one stays “locked in the black room”.

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Lori Rader-Day's Web Site

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Hank Phillippi Ryan - Say No More

Author Ryan with Say No Morecover

Cast of Characters: Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Jane Rylandour heroine, an investigative reporter, is shifting from on the scene TV reporting on Channel 2 news, by working on a documentary on the state of sexual assault and support efforts for victims on college campuses. What she sees at the opening accident scene, puts her back on the front lines once again.

Fiola Morrello  Jane’s new producer who is perhaps overly committed to the documentary they are making. She’s only been in Boston for a week. She is also the driver when Jane sees the car hit the delivery truck.

Jake Brogan – our hero, and a noted homicide detective in the Boston PD. He and Jane have moved a significant step closer in their relationship.

Grady McWhirter Houlihan – a quite young man who “casually attends high school” & is Jake’s informant. He’s now panicking about what Clooney Sholto, the local crime boss, and his organization may do to him. He’s convinced they’re after him. Sholto is “more reclusive than Howard Hughes and nastier than Whitey Bulger.” Sholto cemented an inner-neighborhood war by marrying the flamboyant Violet O’Baron.

Paul DeLucca – Jake’s partner and best friend. Lately he has been overly abrupt and distant with Jake. His “teasing” hitting hard. At 47 he’s “moving ever closer to his dream of early retirement, and he has no patience with snitches like Grady.

Marsh Tyson – the Channel 2 news director who put Jane and Fiola together to make the documentary.

Frank McCusker –Assistant District Attorney for DA Santora. He’s a veteran legal insider “with his trademark suspenders and shaved head and imperious attitude. Dealmaker.Tough guy.” Who gets tough with Hank over her account for the accident and who the driver might be.

Avery Morgan – the dead woman in the pool at the Morgan House [1893] in The Reserve “an off-the-official map enclave of blue-blooded affluence.” Uniformed officer, T’shombe (Shom) Pereira who is on the scene is “stand-up, and as close to making detective as anyone on the force.” Avery is a visiting adjunct professor with Adams Bay College in its Drama department.

Kat McMahan – medical examiner with the Boston PD and non-advertised love interest of Detective DeLucca.

Willow Galt – a reclusive young woman, both she and her husband Tom keep to themselves, Willow, in particular, avoids interacting with people. She is very reluctant to say anything about the day Avery died – and what she may have seen from her window overlooking the Morgan house backyard.

Isabel Russo – young woman attending Adams Bay College who is grimly determined to finish her degree and leave the area. She’s an opera singer who has been assaulted, now contemplating participation in the documentary.

Edward Tarrant – Dean of Students at Adams Bay College, married to the school president’s daughter. He’s interviewed by Jane & Fiola for the documentary – and then further interviewed by the police involved in solving Avery’s death. Fond of expensive things and circumventing reports of assault, his disdain for his student assistant, and his relationship with Avery will come back to haunt him.

Trey Welliver – the student who is one of Tarrant’s “helpers”. He lets Edward know the police and ambulance were at Morgan house before the police get to interview him.

Sasha Vogelby – fellow drama adjunct professor, she toadies to Edward Tarrant.

Randolph Hix & Ms. Ovele – the lawyers representing Rourke Devane, the young man who says he drove the Cadillac.

Elaine Whitfield-Sharp – the group leader of SAFE for victims of sexual assault on campus.

Graphic Crime Quiz graphic 

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for Say No More

Image result for green food delivery van

What is the color/name of the delivery van’s company?

Green/Gormay

Image result for criminal sketch

What is one of the things Jane repeats to herself to remember what the driver looks like?

Middle-aged, Caucasian, widow’s peak, grayish hair, pointy cheekbones, thin lips, clean-shaven

Image result for maltese

What is the name of the little dog DeLucca takes home?

Popcorn

Image result for college girl

What novelesque name does Dean Edward Tarrant’s college assistant have?

Manderley

 

Image result for tosca

What name does Isabel Russo give to Jane to call her?

Tosca

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Hank Phillippi Ryan's  Web Page

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Hank Phillippi Ryan - Truth Be Told

Author Ryan with Truth Be Told cover

Cast of Characters

Jane Ryland – the heroine of the story, Jane is an investigative reporter currently working for the Register, a local paper/eNews site based in Boston. Still feeling regrets over losing her TV reporting job, she still pursues big stories with large human impact while seeking the truth.

TJ (Teege) Foy – the Register’s videographer. He’s with Jane filming a number of significant crime scenes. Elliot Sandoval – the construction worker whose house was foreclosed (now an REO – Real Estate Owned house), and whose wife MaryLou is currently pregnant.

Emily-Sue Ordway – the teenager who is the first victim killed in a foreclosed house. (Her parents’ house on Springvale Street.)

Detective Jake Brogan – one of Boston Police Department’s finest. His usual partner, Det. Paul DeLuca is on vacation (with medical examiner Kat McMahan) for most of the story, so Jake is seen mainly on his own. He’s trying to deal with the multiple foreclosed house murders, as well as Boston’s most notorious cold case: the Lilac Sunday case – which has just become hot again, right before the anniversary of the crime. Jake also has personal reasons for wanting to see this old case solved.

Carley Marie Schaefer – the victim in the 20 year-old Lilac Sunday murder case. Her body was found by picnickers at the Arnold Arboretum. Jake’s grandfather, the police commissioner at the time, was obsessed with the case for the rest of his life.

Gordon Thorley – an ex-con who has just confessed to the Lilac Sunday murder.

Detective Branford “Bing” Sherrey – a fellow investigator of Jake’s, Jake considers him to be “a remarkable asshole”. He is the first officer to interview Thorley after the ex-con confesses to the Lilac Sunday murder.

Dr. Nathaniel Frasca – A professional associate of Jake’s, he is now in Washington, DC. Jake goes there to try to verify if Thorley could really be the Lilac Sunday killer.

Victoria Marcotte – Jane’s new boss at the Register, she is less interested in getting the truth, than a big story that will play well on “Multimedia” – her by-word. She’s the one who puts Jane on the feel-good story for the Atlantic & Anchor (A&A) bank.

Lizzie McDivitt – a newly-made customer affairs liaison at A&A, she is passionate about working the numbers to help folks whose houses are about to go into foreclosure. She is also very interested in the bank’s REO manager, Aaron Gianelli who is showing a flattering interest in her. Stephanie Weaver, is her new assistant.

Aaron Gianelli – the handsome man Lizzie is interested in, has a hidden agenda, and is using the bank’s keys to REO properties in ways the bank would strenuously object to. Mr. & Mrs. Iantosca – the desperate couple who are stunned to learn from Lizzie that they’re not going to lose their house. Their file is on Lizzie’s desk when Aaron stops by to flirt with her.

Peter Hardesty – the criminal defense lawyer who invites himself into Jake & DeLuca’s interview with Gordon Thorley after being hired by Doreen Rinker, Thorley’s sister. He’s determined to keep Thorley and later, Sandoval, from being jailed while he works with (& around) Jane to find the truth about the killings. Over time his interest in Jane becomes personal.

Vitucci & Callum – the Boston street cops who guard the Waverly St. crime scene.

Colin Ackerman – A&A’s public relations person, and a cohort of Aaron Gianelli. He’s particularly unhelpful to Jane when she comes to do the paper’s puff-piece on the bank.

Shandra Newbury – the murder victim in the Sandoval’s foreclosed house, she was a real estate agent for Mornay & Weldon.

Brian Turiello – the office manager at Morney and Weldon Realty, he was Shandra Newbury’s boss.

Chrystal Peralta – another reporter at the Register, she originally had the bank “puff-piece” and had interviewed Lizzie McDivitt. She also worked on the Lilac Sunday story at the time the murder occurred.

Maddie Kate Wendell – one of the college-aged renters who live in one of A&A’s foreclosed properties.

Treesa Caramona – a rehab-needy ex-con who is murdered at the property on Moulten Road – also near the Arboretum.

 

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told

 

And here are the questions (and answers) for the Cast of Characters graphics for Truth Be Told.

Please note some answers may be potential spoilers!!

 

Blood-Spattered 2X4Who left the blood-spattered 2 X 4 at the 42 Waverly foreclosed house (where Shandra Newbury, the real estate agent was killed)?

A: Elliot Sandoval, the construction worker who had owned the foreclosed house. Pregnant wife (MaryLou)

 What role does this bunch of keys play in the story? Whose keys are they?

A: These are Aaron’s keys that he chucked at Lizzie – leading her to discover the secret of the foreclosed properties.

Man in Towel graphic Who is The Man in the Towel?

A: Defense attorney Peter Hardesty whose interest in Jane goes beyond working on the cases …

  What significant role does Jane’s totebag play in the story?

A: Jane forgets it in the foreclosed house where someone may be trying to kill her. As a result, she scrambles to find the spare ignition key for her car to get away.

Calico Cat graphic  What is the name of Jane’s cat?

A: Coda, or Codarita. She’s a calico cat.

  Links graphic                             

Hank Phillippi Ryan's  Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Hank Phillippi Ryan Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Hank Phillippi Ryan Page

 

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Hank Phillippi Ryan - What You See

What You See Crime Folder graphic

Cast of Characters!

Det. Jake Brogan – one of the major characters in this series, he has a relationship with Jane Ryland that’s currently flying below the radar as far as the Boston police and Jane’s (former) newspaper have been concerned. As things currently stand, there’s a chance that they might be able to reveal their connection, but Jane is still actively yearning for a news job, particularly on TV. Her temporary gig with Channel 2, puts her squarely in the path of Jake’s latest investigation. He’s on the chaotic scene where a man has been fatally stabbed – right in the middle of Curley Park, a part of the “visitor-magnet Freedom Trail”.

Det. Paul DeLuca   – Jake’s partner on the Boston police force. He is romantically interested in their medical examiner, Kat (Dr. Katherine McMahon). Jane describes her as “one of those Russian dolls in a doll, all dark hair, and red lips and curves.” It took Jane and Kat “a month or so to reach feminine détente, but they were ok now.”

Angie Bartoneri – the sexy detective that Jake almost had a relationship with long ago. Even now, she’s eyeing him, but he’s not sure it’s a friendly eye. She still seems upset that he became a detective before she did. He’s heard she’s hooked up with some computer whiz, and helps out homicide when she isn’t working on white collar crimes.

Marshall (Marsh) Tyson – the director of Channel 2’s news, he’s “all smiles and pinstripes” when he asks her the most dreaded question: “Why did you leave the [Boston] Register?” Jane’s situation with this newspaper is one of the subjects in the previous book in this series, Truth Be Told. Suffice to say, Jane has once again been the “victim of her own damned ethics”. Tyson hires Jane to cover the breaking story in the Faneuil Hall area – which just happens to be the case that Jake has gotten.

Bobby Riaz/Land – the young, would-be news photographer who thinks he just may have taken a career making shot at the crime scene of the actual Curley Park murder (and murderer).

Tenley Siskel – the young college student whose mother helps her get a very boring job at city hall manning a traffic surveillance screen. She also despises her supervisor Ward Dahlstrom, who keeps her from recording the view of the crime scene she sees at her station. She can’t understand his appeal to women, as she thinks he’s a creep. She strikes up a friendship with a slightly older girl named Brileen Finnerty, who she at first mistakes for Lanna, her older sister, who disappeared and was then found dead. Brileen tells Tenley she’s a grad student at Tenley’s college.

Calvin Hewlitt – the red-headed security firm guy who tackles the man in Franklin Alley who Calvin says stabbed the man in the park. As the man is unconscious, the police refer to him as John Doe #2. (The stabbing victim is John Doe #1.) We learn that John Doe #2 may have a tattoo on his forearm, which could clinch him as John Doe #1’s murderer.

Melissa (Lissa) Ryland – Jane’s younger sister whose wedding to rich financier, Danial Fasullo, is coming up on the weekend following the murder. Melissa calls Jane when her soon-to-be stepdaughter has not shown up at Daniel’s ex, Robyn Fasullo Wilhoite’s house. Gracie left school with her stepfather, Lewis Wilhoite, as usual, but no one has heard from them since.                                                                 

Derek Estabrooks – the assignments guy at Channel 2, he’s the one who sends reporters, etc. to the scene of different stories.

Catherine Siskel – Tenley & Lanna’s mom, and Greg Siskel’s wife, she’s also the mayor of Boston’s chief of staff.

Kelli White Riordan – the veteran city’s attorney, who insists on using her middle name to amplify her old-Boston political genealogy. She is working with Catherine Siskel and Ward Dahlstrom on how traffic surveillance footage is handled by Mayor Elihu Holbrooke & the city’s officials.

 

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told  Warning: There May Be Spoilers...!

What You See_Dumpster WhatYouSee_LucyPsych What You See University Inn What You See Quick Shot Camera

Who told the police cadet there was something – or someone – in the dumpster in the alley near the murder scene?

A: Brileen

What is the name of Tenley’s therapist?

A: Dr. Maddux

Where was Gracie hiding in the hotel?

A: The gift shop, behind the candy counter.

What key footage did Jane capture on her Quik-shot camera?

A: Footage of Calvin Hewlitt at Curley Park at the time of the murder.

 

Links graphic

Hank Phillippi Ryan's  Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Hank Phillippi Ryan Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Hank Phillippi Ryan Page

Map of Corey Rd. where Jane Ryland lives Corey Road in Brookline MA -- where Jane Ryland lives (click map for bigger picture link)

 

"Jane Ryland's" Townhouse? Could this be Jane's townhouse? Click the picture to see more of "Jane's place"! (Only Hank could tell us for sure...)

 

  Jake, on the other hand lives in South Boston. Click picture to learn more about this part of the city!

 

Boston City Hall  Boston City Hall -- where Tenley Siskel works the traffic monitors and her mom deals with polls. Click picture to read more about it!

And here's a picture to give you an idea what the room she works in might look like,  Traffic monitors picture

 

Faneuil Hall in Boston Faneuil Hall in Boston --  the knifing takes place in broad daylight just past here, in James Michael Curley Park, when the area was filled with tourists... (Click picture to learn more about it!)

 

James Curley Park  More on the murder site: James Curley Park is available when you click on the picture.

 

 

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Zoe Sharp - The Blood Whisperer

 

Cast of Characters!

http://www.crimescene-forensics.com/Crime_Scene_Forensics/Bloodstains_files/Blood_Spatter_002B.gifhttp://images.fotocommunity.com/photos/sports/horse-sport/a-thoroughbred-in-full-flight-at-the-caulfield-races-in-melbourne-ecb2d6f5-1f03-4926-a650-c7f9d2ee441a.jpghttp://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/12/16/article-2524436-1AD6C034000005DC-214_634x423.jpghttp://media.rightmove.co.uk/1k/667/43300210/667_BAT040334_IMG_00_0003.JPG

Kelly Jacks – Once known as “The Blood Whisperer” for her forensic CSI work, she now works as a crime scene cleaner – the only job she could get after getting out of prison for a crime she’s not even sure she committed. A chance observation at a crime scene cleanup leads her to question the past – and to a new accusation.

Tyrone Douet – young, black, and Kelly’s crime scene cleaning partner, he has seen and lived a rough life, and he appreciates having a good job, and has a “secret” crush on Kelly

Ray McCarron – a retired cop and friend of Kelly’s when she was a cop, he is now her boss at McCarron Specialist Cleaning Service.

Matthew Lytton – A wealthy real estate developer, Lytton has come up through the trades to his present power position. He is the husband of Veronica (Vee), whose death was called a suicide – until Kelly came along. She had been very much a member of the upper class and their marriage has been more of a successful business partnership. Given that, he is still very determined to find out the truth about her death.

Steve Warwick – Lytton’s business partner who is married for the second time to dowdy, meek, Yana. He carries on an affair with an S&M-oriented mistress named Myshka, and is a big spender who makes reckless decisions, but knows his way around the internet. Both men are deeply involved in the Lytton-Warwick Cup – a new thoroughbred racing event that could make or break their company name.

Dmitry Lyzchko– the right-hand man to a noted crime boss, Harry Grogan and co-worker of Viktor, he is also involved in a plot that Myshka has initiated. In addition to being involved with Steve Warwick, she is Harry’s mistress. Dmitiry puts the hurt on Ray, and Tyrone among others.

Harry Grogan – the criminally-connected boss who is also investing in the Lytton-Warwick Cup – and expects his colt to win.

Det. Insp. Vince O’Neill – the main investigator on the current crimes, he develops an interest in Kelly’s previous conviction while sorting out if she’s responsible this time around. He “has dark hair, and a young-but-old face with a nose that had been broken more than once. He carried himself with an aggressive, muscular stance.”

Constables Jacobson & Ferris – the street cops who find the burn victim and more while on patrol.

Chief Superintendent John Quinlan – the chief who is close to retiring, he was involved in the original case involving Kelly Jacks, and he wants to see this one through too.

Frank Allardice – the D.I. who handles the investigation on the first Kelly Jacks case, he’s retired to run three bars and a restaurant in Spain, but comes to England when her name comes up on the current case.

Callum Perry – the murder victim in the first case where Kelly was convicted of killing him. He was involved in the case of a dead prostitute who Kelly was convinced had been murdered.

Tina Olowayo – six-foot tall with blue-black skin and the sinewy muscled build of an athlete, she was Kelly’s friend in prison. Kelly helped her to get her sentence overturned. She lives in Brixton with a white guy named Elvis who is over-interested in the price the streets are saying is on Kelly’s head.

Bob Tate – the CSI who runs the blood work on Kelly’s bag of blood leading to a new clue in the case.

Brian Stubbs – the alcoholic vet who supplies ketamine under the table along with caring for Harry Grogan’s horses.

Erin – Callum Perry’s ex-girlfriend and mother of his daughter – someone is threatening her to keep quiet about what Callum knew about the murdered prostitute in the first Kelly case.

Shula – the waitress at the racecourse who comes to Kelly’s aid.

 

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December, 2014

Yrsa Sigurdardottir - Last Rituals

Last Rituals Graphic Crime Pix

Cast of Characters!

 

Tryggvi – the head caretaker at the University of Iceland. The women who do the cleaning start screaming when the body falls on Professor Gunnar Gestvik.

Professor Gunnar Gestvik – the head of the History department, he’d attended the faculty party to celebrate the cooperative project with a Norwegian university involving a large grant. With this success, he’s contemplating running for vice chancellor.

Harald Guntlieb – the murdered student from Germany who led an odd group of peers who were all interested in witch hunting and its rituals. He came from a very wealthy background, but was not close to anyone except his grandfather, who left him a fortune and his witch hunting collection, and sisters, one of whom was handicapped and died some time ago.

Thora Gudmundsdottir – the heroine of the story, she’s a struggling lawyer and single mother of two: Soley her six year old daughter, and a sixteen year old son, Gylfi. Harald’s mother, Amelia Guntlieb, is determined that Thora find out the truth about her son’s death. Thora speaks German and her former German professor had characterized her to Amelia as “obstinate, firm, and tough” qualities Amelia believes are needed to get past the police’s jailed suspect: Hugi Thorisson, a friend of the deceased who supplied dope to Harald and his circle. Hugi is a childhood friend of another member for the circle: Halldor Kristinsson.

Bella  – the sullen, inept secretary Thora and her business partner, Bragi were forced to hire because she’s the landlord’s daughter who made hiring her a condition of getting their office space.

Halldor Kristinsson – the main friend of Harald with his group of friends. He is studying medicine to be a doctor, while working part-time at a clinic. The other friends in the group who joined Harald’s society, “Malleus Maleficarum” are: Marta Mist Eyjolfsdottir, a goth dressing red-head doing Gender Studies, Brjann Karlsson, a History major like Harald, Andri Thorsson, studying chemistry, and Briet Einarsdottir, a curvy blond with an eye on Halldor, particularly now that Harald is dead. Professor Thorbjorn Olafsson was Harald’s dissertation advisor. Harald was interested in the witch burning in Iceland as compared to it in Germany.

Matthew Reich– initially Thora is annoyed that Amelia Guntlieb also has Matthew investigating the case. He is the head of the Guntlieb family’s security guards and a former Munich police detective. He ‘looks around forty, [sits] straight as a beanpole, with broad shoulders that hide the seat back’ and initially comes across as stiff and formal. He has known the family for many years.

Gudrun – Her husband and she were Harald’s landlord. They lived downstairs, and Harald’s apartment was upstairs.

Maria Einarsdottir – the director of the University of Iceland’s Manuscript Institute, she is very put out with Gunnar and Harald Guntlieb because Harald was the last person to have used a rare Danish manuscript that needs to be returned to the Royal Library in Denmark with the rest of an exhibit in just a few days. She holds Gunnar responsible for it since he’s the head of Harald’s department.

Laura Amaming  – one of the university’s cleaning women who finds traces of blood in the student’s common room, by one of the window’s latches.

Elisa Guntlieb – Harald’s younger sister, the only remaining child out of the four that Amelia and her husband had who is still alive. She’s a highly talented cellist, but her father wants her to go into business so she can eventually take his place. She was very fond of her brother and says she understood him. She confirms that neither of her parents seemed to have time for Harald.

Sigga   – a friend of Gylphi’s, she is involved in his problem.

Hannes  – a doctor, and Thora’s ex-husband. He takes the two children horseback riding even though neither wants to go, and he’s little help with Gylfi’s problem.

Thorgrimur  – the young man at the cathedral in Skalholt. Together with his friend Pall who has encyclopedic knowledge of Icelandic magic symbols and rituals, they shed more light on Harald’s interest in a ritual from an Icelandic book of spells that could account for what happened to Harald’s eyes.

Markus Helgasson  – the Reykjavik police detective Thora and Matthew work with in getting and giving information with the police.

 

                                      

Graphic Crime Quiz Answers for Last Rituals

And here are the questions (and answers) for the Cast of Characters graphics for Last Rituals.

Please note some answers may be potential spoilers!!

 

 

What other name is the book "Malleus Maleficarum" known by?

A: The Witch Hammer

There are three significant things the author tells us about the Hotel Borg: it is the oldest hotel in Reykjavik; it is where Matthew is staying & first meets Thora; and ... ?

A: It is where Matthew & Thora make a conscious decision to sleep together

This tourist is about to go into the caves at Hella -- who lived there?

A: The Irish Monks who preceeded the Vikings

What was significant about Thora finding this in Harald's apartment bathroom?

A: Bunte is a women's magazine - proving that a female had spent time in his apartment with him.

 

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Yrsa Sigurdardottir's Facebook Page

Fantastic Fiction's Yrsa Sigurdardottir Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Yrsa Sigurdardottir Page

 

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Rex Stout - Fer-de_Lance

Rex Stout folder graphic

Cast of Characters  

Archie Goodwin – the narrator of all Nero Wolfe and Archie adventures, we get to know Archie as we hear him relate the story. He lives in Wolfe’s West 35th Street brownstone and acts as Nero’s arms and legs in going after information and suspects. He’s about 6’ tall and has seen his share of brawls and uses his street smarts in trying to keep up with Nero.

Nero Wolfe  – is the very large, eccentric, genius  featured in 33 novels and 39 novellas who is a passionate grower of orchids, and a consumer of large amounts of beer & fine food, who “rarely leaves the brownstone and hopes to never leave it on business” ~ Wolfe Pack web site. His crime-solving skills are unparalleled.

Fred Durkin – is one of Wolfe’s “go-to” hired detectives. It is his wife who has asked him to ask Wolfe to help Maria Maffei, the initial client in the story. She is concerned about the disappearance of her brother Carlo. Durkin assists with uncovering the murderer and helping to protect Anna Fiore. Saul Panzer and Orrie Cather, two other cohorts of Archie and Nero, also help out on this case.

Fritz Brenner – Wolfe’s loyal and “unflappable cook and major domo”. He also steps in to help with cases when Wolfe calls on him.

Carlo Maffei – lives in rooming-house on Sullivan Street where he used his mechanical/jewelry-making skills on a private project. His cutting of an article from the paper and subsequent actions lead Archie to find him murdered.

Anna Fiore – a gawky, “homely kid about twenty with skin like stale dough” she overheard a critical conversation between Carlo and an unknown called just before he disappeared. Wolfe also learns from Anna about Carlo cutting the article from the paper, and that is was about a university professor dying from a heart attack on a local golf course. When Wolfe asks her if she’s ever seen a golf club in Carlo’s room, her response is telling, even though she says nothing.

The landlady, Mrs. Ricci employs and watches over Anna – and she’s not crazy about the way Archie treats either of them. In time we learn that Anna may possess a secret that could either help solve the case, or lead to her death.

Peter Oliver Barstow – the well-liked president of Holland University whose death at the Green Meadow golf club, Wolfe declares, was not from a heart attack, but from a cleverly administered poison. His wife Ellen, who suffers from a neurological condition, thinks she may be the only person who wanted him dead. She offers a $50,000 reward for the identity and punishment of his killer – and enticement and a challenge Wolfe can’t resist.

Lawrence Barstow – the son of the murder victim, he has a potential airplane design business in the works with Manuel Kimball. He initially thinks Wolfe’s claim that his father was murdered is preposterous.

Sarah Barstow – the daughter of the murder victim, she is more inclined to consider what Archie and Wolfe have to say, but is harboring fears for her mother. She is twenty-five, popular, a graduate of Smith and prominent in Westchester society.

E. D. Kimball – a very successful, wealthy grain broker who, together with his son Maneul, was playing golf with the two Barstows when the elder Barstow had the attack and died. He spent twenty years in South America, mostly in the Argentine.

Manuel Kimball – has only recently been living with his father. He grew up in South America, and is very enthused about his airplane venture with Lawrence as he is a talented pilot. He is also very interested in Lawrence’s sister,

Theodore Horstmann – Wolfe’s gardener, responsible for maintaining Nero’s fragile and extensive collection of rare orchids.

Fletcher M. Anderson – the District Attorney for Westchester County in White Plains, where they find Carlo, stabbed to death. His ire and bewilderment with Wolfe begins with Wolfe’s $10,000 bet that if they exhume Peter Barstow, they’ll find proof he was poisoned. His chief assistant, Derwin, is none too crazy about Archie either.

H. R. Corbett – the detective from Anderson’s office who definitely rubs Archie the wrong way; Archie delights in tweaking Corbett whenever he can.

Dr. Nathaniel Bradford – Wolfe questions whether this doctor’s finding (heart attack) on Peter Barstow’s death was a deliberate oversight, or an attempt to cover someone.  

Ben Cook – the chief of police in White Plains – another official who is not enarmoured with Wolfe or Archie, he tries to strong-arm information out of Archie and how Wolfe was able to figure out the poisoning.

Mike Allen – Peter Barstow’s “chunky”, young – and observant caddie. William Riley – the elder Barstow’s caddy who reveals a key fact when Wolfe is questioning the boys about the game that day.

Mrs. T.A. Carter – the woman who saw the plane land in a nearby pasture – just as Archie is trying to verify.

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told For Fer-de-Lance

Stout Graphic Crime Quiz graphic

What creature is a fer-de-lance?

A South American viper/snake.

How does Wolfe kill it? 

With his beer bottle.

What is the significance of the $10 bill with the 4 names on it?  

It proves that Carlo knew Manuel – and vice versa…

What happened to Peter Barstow’s new golf clubs? 

Sarah threw them in the river at Tarrytown.

Why doesn’t their fate matter? 

Because the actual club that killed him was E. D. Kimball’s driver.

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Rext Stout Page on the Wolfe Pack web site

Fantastic Fiction's Page on Rex Stout

Stop You're Killing Me's Rex Stout page

Top of Table link

 

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Victoria Thompson - Murder On Astor Place

Victoria Thompson graphic

Cast of Characters

Sarah (Decker) Brandt – one of the two main characters for both this book and this series, she is a widowed midwife in turn of the (19th) century Manhattan. Estranged daughter of magnate & old Knickerbocker descendant, Felix Decker, she hasn’t been in contact with her parents for year – but this case reopens that door. Her delivery of Mrs. Higgins’ baby girl at the Higgins’ boarding house puts her on the scene when a young girl dies there. She works out of the home in Greenwich Village that she shared with Dr.Thomas Brandt, her deceased husband.

Ham Fisher – the young boarder at Higgins boarding house who fetches Sarah to birth the baby. He’s “a strapping youth with a pockmarked face, a mouthful of bucked teeth”. His involvement with the murdered young woman, Alicia VanDamm, is questionable – but he has flown the scene.

Alicia VanDamm – the 16 year old girl from a very, upper-class, Knickerbocker family, who was 6 months pregnant when she is strangled at the boarding house. Sarah at first mistook her for her older sister Mina VanDamm the night of the murder.

Mrs. Elsworth – Sarah’s busybody elder neighbor, who has an endless list of superstitions, and the cleanest porch in the neighborhood – which she sweeps while spying on her neighbors.

Det. Sergeant Frank Malloy – the other main protagonist in this book and series, we meet him at the boarding house where he’s in charge of the Alicia VanDamm case. He’s annoyed, because solving this case won’t do anything to help advance his career: his main objective in everything he does -- & doesn’t – do. He is reluctantly impressed with Sarah’s ability to get information and privately thinks she’d have been a good detective, is women did such a thing. His motivation for needing to get ahead lies in his desire to ensure a good future for his disabled child, Brian. His mother, Mrs. Malloy, takes care of Brian for him.

Cornelius VanDamm – Alicia’s & Mina’s father. He is a powerful member of the old Knickerbocker families, who uses his money and influence to keep news of Alicia’s baby – and murder – out of the public eye. His wife, Francisca, is a “fragile, birdlike creature” who keeps to her bed and doses herself with morphine, among other things. His older daughter Mina VanDamm, is “large-boned, and tall for a female”. She is more upset about the loss of some family jewelry, and the potential family scandal, than her sister’s murder. She wants Alfred, the family butler, to identify Alicia so her father won’t have to.

Emma Petrovka – an abortionist who is middle-aged and of “substantial girth” who walks with a silver-headed cane. Frank interviews her as part of his follow-up on the curette found in Alicia’s boarding house room.                                                             

Mary Grace Higgins – the 10 year old daughter at the Higgins’ boarding house who saw something important the night Alicia died – but no one has talked to her until Sarah does.

Dolly & Will Yardley – are new parents to a baby girl who Sarah helped to deliver. She asks Will to help with information when he cannot pay for her services. Since she knows he’s a thief, she asks him to help her find Ham Fisher.

Mrs. Hightower – the housekeeper at Greentree – the VanDamm’s country house in Mamaroneck, where Alicia loved to ride her horse, and write in her diary. Mrs. Hightower doesn’t want Malloy in the house, but he finds a way round her, and also speaks to Alicia’s former maid, Lizzie. Lizzie tells him she was kept from waiting on Alicia during her most recent stay at the house. When Malloy meets Harvey, the groom who cared for Alicia as well as her horse, he recognizes Harvey from the pawnbroker’s description.

Sylvester Mattingly – the VanDamm’s lawyer. He is almost old enough to be Alicia’s grandfather, but her father was contemplating marrying her to Mattingly anyway. Mattingly also employed Ham Fisher and is known as a dangerous man to cross. Chief Conlin takes Frank off the case after Malloy’s interview with Mattingly.

Mrs. Elizabeth Decker – Sarah’s mother, who does her best to help Sarah confirm the rumor about Mattingly & Alicia, which helps with healing the rift that has existed between them since Sarah’s sister Maggie, and brother-in-law Peter, tragically died.

Graphic Crime Quiz: Truth Be Told Warning! There May Be Spoilers!

Victorian Baby Photo Victorian medical Tool graphic Victorian Calling Card Marie Antoinette bedroom photo

What is the name of Dolly and Will Yardley’s baby girl?

A: Edith Rose or Rosie

What was the significance of Sara and Frank finding this tool?

A: It’s a curette – a tool used by abortionists – and one proof that Alicia was pregnant.

When Sara presents her calling card to the VanDamm butler, what does she do to it, and what does it signify?

A: She bends the top right corner to indicate she’s calling to pay her respects.

What is the unusual feature to Mrs. VanDamm’s bed?

A: She, like Marie Antoinette, has a fence around her bed.

 

Links graphic

Victoria Thompson's Web Page

Fantastic Fiction's Victoria Thompson Page

Stop You're Killing Me's Victoria Thompson Page

NPR's Interview with the author of Island of Vice: about Teddy Roosevelt's 'Doomer' War on New York Vice     

Link to Island of vice : Theodore Roosevelt's doomed quest to clean up sin-loving New York  Lisle Library has it!

Article on How Calling Cards Were Used by the Victorian Upper Class

Sample Picture of What the VanDamm's "Country House" in Mamaroneck, NY Might Look Like

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