It’s Fantastico!


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Or a true reader! Yep, here we go! Another post full of my fandoms and all for your enjoyment.

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The Cat Who Series

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The Cat Who…Series is one of my favorite book series. It all started in sixth grade when I was looking in the library and trying to figure out what books to get. I was roaming the stacks when my friend Paul pointed out The Cat Who…Series. He knew I liked cats and mysteries and told me he thought I would enjoy this series. I agreed to think about it, as at first his description sounded kind of weird.

A year later I was at a different school and hadn’t really thought of Paul or the books, until I spotted them at the library. I decided to check them out and read The Cat Who Saw Red, which is actually the fourth book in the series. All it took was that one, and I was hooked. Lillian Jackson Braun is one amazing writer.

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So we have Jim “Qwill” Qwilleran, an amazing reporter who had become an alcoholic and lost it all.
In the first book The Cat Who Read Backwards, he has overcome this addiction and trying to get back into work. He gets a job on The Daily Fluxion doing the last thing he’d expect, covering the art beat. You see The Daily Fluxion‘s art critic has caused a lot of problems, so by adding an art feature writer, they hope to remedy feelings. Qwill actually ends up renting an apartment from the art critic and befriending his highly intelligent cat, Kao K’o Kung or Koko. In which he discovers:

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When his landlord is murdered, Qwill finds himself investigating as to who killed him. And getting some unlikely help from Koko. Koko does some catly things that point out important clues, which makes Qwill wonder is Koko solving crime? Or just being a cat?

Holiday in Handcuffs thinking hmm not sure

The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, propels Qwill into the interior design world in which he not only finds himself writing about it, but investigating the death of a designer. He also gets a friend for Koko, Freya also known as Yum Yum. In The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Qwill moves to Junktown to write about “junkers” or antiques; along with investigating the death of a dealer. Nobody knows why, but after this book Braun decided to stop writing for 18 years. She came back in 1986 with The Cat Who Saw Red. In this Qwill is a food critic and investigating the disappearance of an old friend. With her next book, The Cat Who Played Brahms, we see the series take a complete turn. In this Qwill is invited up north to visit Mooseville by an old family friend, and ends up investigating two murders. He also recieves a huge inheritance that includes billions and most of the town, but only can be there if he maintains that residence for five years. He decides to live there and the rest of the series covers the colorful characters of small town Moose County, along with Qwill solving many more murders.

Now for me, the series ends at The Cat Who Talked Turkey. There are three books that follow that: The Cat Who Went Bananas, The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell, and The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers; but they are not written as well as the others and left with a lot of loose ends.

In fact I loved this series so much I shared it with my family. My mother and I loved the characters and the food described in them that we created another blog, The Cat Who Wrote A Blog, that recreates the food from each book. Check out my sister blog on all the great recipes and try them for yourself.

For more on The Cat Who…Series, go to Heaven on Earth

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Death on Demand Series

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I was first introduced into this series when I was in a thrift store and looking through the books. I spotted one called Deadly Valentine. I started looking at the back and the inside to see what it was about and how it read when I noticed the author’s name on the front page.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

I thought no way, it has to be a carbon copy. But it wasn’t!!! It was an actual autograph by the author!

Finally something GOOD!

For 50¢. Heck ya! So I bought it and read it immediately.

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It’s been a life-long affliction

Annie Darling is from Texas, but moved to New York to become an actress. When that didn’t work out as well as she hoped, she moved to Broward’s Rock, an island off South Carolina; where her uncle has a store that sells mysteries, Death on Demand. Her uncle is murdered and Annie inherits everything. Soon her placid life gets a tumble when her ex-boyfriend, the rich and adorable Max Darling comes to town to be with her and she finds herself the number one suspect in the murder of author Elliot Morgan. The rest of the series has the adorable couple becoming a crime solving duo.

Death on Demand: Author Elliot Morgan is killed and the police’s number one suspect? Annie Laurence. With help from her boyfriend Max Darling, Annie solves Morgan’s murder along with what really happened to her uncle.

Design for Death: Annie is asked to stage a murder for the Historical Society of Chastain, South Carolina. It turns out that she doesn’t have to stage it after all, as someone has commited a real murder.

Something Wicked: Annie and Max are delighted to be in the town play of Arsenic and Old Lace. But when one of the cast is killed, and Max is declared the main suspect, the two forget the play and hatch a plot to catch a killer.

Honeymoon with Murder: Annie and Max have finally tied the knot! However, their happiness is short lived as a dead body is found and Annie’s best friend and coworker, Ingrid Jones, is not only the prime suspect, but missing!

A Little Class on Murder: Annie is asked to give a class on female mystery writers at Chastain Community College. While there she finds out that the college isn’t as pristine as she thought: as a school newspaper scandal, two violent deaths, a suicide, and many more secrets coming to light. Annie and Max are on the case again.

Deadly Valentine: My entry into Death on Demand. In this book it is Valentine’s Day and all should be well…except for a voluptuous, promiscuous, neighbor. As the Darlings attend the neighbor’s masquerade, a night that should end in love but ends in death. Annie and Max are set on finding the killer and proving Max’s mother, Laurel, innocent.

The Christie Caper: If you are an Agatha Christie fan you will LOVE this book. To celebrate Christie’s 100th birthday, Annie plans a week long celebration with treasure hunts, trivia, etc. But when Neil Bledsoe, most hated book critic, shows up; things go far from what Annie planned.

Southern Ghost: Annie and Max get involved in a missing person’s case and find much more then they expected. Could the Southern gentry Tarrant family be trying to cover up a forty-year old murder?

Mint Julep Murder: Annie and Max are attending the annual Dixie Book Festival. A publisher with a tell-all-book is murdered, leaving Annie and Max as the prime suspects!

Yankee Doodle Dead: It’s the Fourth of July, and instead of celebrating America’s birthday they find themselves investigating the death of Brigadier General Charlton “Bud” Hatch.

White Elephant Dead: The Women of Broward’s Rock are planning their annual White Elephant sale. To make this year truly the best, one of the members blackmails five prominent people of the town to donate extremely valuable items. When she turns up dead, the main suspect is Annie’s best friend and customer, Henny Brawley. Will Annie be able to prove her innocence?

Sugarplum Dead: When millionare Rita Dumaney Ladson gathers her family together to discuss her will, she shocks them all with her plans to lead everything to the new age Evermore Foundation. All her relatives are furious, but which one is angry enough to kill? Unfortunately for Annie, the prime suspect is her father. The may have had their issues in the past, but can those be put aside?

April Fool Dead: Annie is planning a wonderful signing party with author Emma Clyde, but someone is taking April Fool’s Day a little too far and playing some not so funny pranks. Soon after s teacher and student are murdered; with Annie being the main suspect.

Engaged to Die: Everything seems to be going well in Broward’s Rock. Annie and Max are still very happily married, Annie’s new assistant Chloe is in love, and wealthy widow Virginia Neville is about to get married again. This blissful still is broken as Virginia’s family is furious at her being “conned” by a charlatan; Chloe’s boyfriend turns out to be the same man engaged to Virginia, and the lothario is found murdered. All the evidence points to Chloe as the murderer, and pits the Darlings against each other with Max working for the police and Annie for Chloe.

Murder Walks the Plank: Annie is excited for her murder-mystery cruise that includes dressing up as your favorite sleuth and loads of mysterious fun! However, the fun is quickly tainted as real bodies begin piling up. It’s up to Annie, Max, Henny, Emma, and Laurel to once again save the day!

Death of the Party: In the vibe of 10 Little Indians, the Darlings find themselves hired to solve a cold case crime. A year ago, Britt Barlow’s brother-in-law, Jeremiah Addison, was in her opinion murdered. She invites all who were there at the time and the Darlings to figure out who the killer is. Soon the butler is missing, the only way off the island has disappeared, and the whole group is trapped with a killer.

Dead Days of Summer: Annie is worried sick. Her husband Max went to meet a client and has disappeared. Things start looking grim when they find his abandoned car…with the body of a women nearby and the murder weapon in the trunk. Thing look very bad for Max, but Annie is on the case and prepared to prove his innocence.

Death Walked In: Max receives a call from a woman telling him she’s hidden something valuable in the old antebellum house the Darlings are restoring. When Annie hears of it she rushes over to ask the woman more, only to discover her shot and dying. This propels the two in to a treasure hunt and quest for a murderer.

Dare to Die: Annie meets a girl named Iris Tilford and invites her to a party the Darlings are throwing.Unbeknownst to her, Iris is from Broward’s Rock and someone is not happy at her return.

Laughed ‘Til He Died: When a teacher of the youth recreation center is thought to be guilty of murder, the Darling set out to prove she didn’t do it.

Dead by Midnight: A suicide has everyone in Broward’s Rock sad, but for Annie Darling she thinks there is more to it…MURDER!

Death Comes Silently: It’s winter time, which means without tourists Annie has a lot more downtime. She starts working at the local charity shop. When Emma Clyde comes out with a new novel, Annie plans a signing party and has fellow volunteer Gretchen Burkholt fill in for her. Gretchen harasses Annie the whole time of the signing saying she has “important news”.  Annie finally goes to check on her and hear her news, when she finds her body.

Dead, White, and Blue: The Darlings are looking forward to a calmer Fourth of July, but no luck. This year the most hated woman, Shell Hurst, is found dead and the Darlings get on the case.

BookAddict

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8 Simple Rules

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8 Simple Rules was based on a book in which a father detailed his rules for dating his teenage daughters.

The rules are:

  1. Use your hands on my daughter and you’ll lose them after.
  2. You make her cry, I make you cry.
  3. Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health.
  4. Bring her home late, there’s no next date.
  5. If you pull into my driveway and honk, you better be dropping off a package because you’re sure not picking anything up (Alternative rule #5: Only delivery men honk. Dates ring the doorbell. Once.)
  6. No complaining while you’re waiting for her. If you’re bored, change my oil.
  7. If your pants hang off your hips, I’ll gladly secure them with my staple gun.
  8. Dates must be in crowded public places. You want romance? Read a book.

They then turned it into a hilarious TV show. Paul Hennessy (John Ritter) is a sports writer, protective father, and loving family man. His wife is Cate and she is a nurse. The two have three kids: Bridget the eldest is beautiful and only cares about fashion, looks, and boys; Kerry, suffers from insecurities about her looks and is the smart, studious one; and Rory is adorable and a sports nut. With each episode we balance comedy and drama as they deal with real life issues. During season 3, John Ritter went to the hospital as he was feeling sick, and ended up dying. It was extremely sad to lose him as an actor and person. To honor him they wrote his death in as the death of the father and had to bring in two actors who were still unable to fill his shoes. We then get David Spade as the mom’s child-in-man’s-body cousin, and James Garner as Cate’s father and a crotchety old man.

I love the whole series but I have to say one of my all-time favorite episodes were the ones with Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who I had a major crush on growing up. Loved him, and loved everything he’s in.

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The Highlander

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So The Highlander is a TV show based off a film of the same name. Unlike the film, the show follows the immortal Duncan MacLeod, of the clan MacLeod, from the 16th century and living in the ’90s. Immortals are people who can not be killed in regular ways. No one knows why or how, but they just seem to be born, yet cannot have children. People discover they are immortal when they are involved in something that should kill them, but doesn’t. Immortals can only be killed by fellow immortals, and this done by cutting off the head. When one immortal kills the other, they obtain all their skills in something called “the Quickening”, which makes them even stronger. In the end, there can only be one.

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Now Duncan is unlike most immortals, as he doesn’t go around killing others for their powers but just tries to live a normal life. He is Scottish and orginally from the 16th century, but as he is immortal has moved around all over the globe, with each episode giving us a flashback. He also befriends Richie Ryan, a recently discovered immortal, and teaches him how to fight and protect his neck. The series is awesome, the characters great, and the theme song is done by Queen. How can this show not be a winner?

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The Hunger Games

Go here to see who you are

Go here to see who you are

So when this book series first came out, I wasn’t that into it. You see I’m on pre-release program from several publishers, which send me notices about books that are going to be released. I read the little summary and wasn’t that interested in the books as it sounded like something that had been done before.

All my friends were really into it though, but you all know that just because everyone else is into something, doesn’t mean I’ll jump on board. When the first movie came out I had four people offer to take me to see it, my friend Jodie (a hardcore fan that went opening night), Alan, Harry, and John. But still I said no and wouldn’t go.

No thank you

I didn’t watch the first one until my ex-boyfriend Michael and friend Elaine finally convinced me. I thought it was pretty good, but had yet to become a real fan. I went and saw Catching Fire which I loved because of Peeta, he’s my fav.

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This summer that all changed. You see I have a kindle and Amazon was doing a free trial of their Kindle Fire program, which sucks, but they had all three books that could be borrowed for free. I decided to read them and was HOOKED. I started reading one and couldn’t stop.

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It’s a good thing I had them all or else I would have gone crazy. That’s one of the nice things about going into a series after the hype. You don’t have wait forever for the printing of the pieces.

So Katniss?

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I thought she was pretty cool and tough. It would have been nice to see more character growth, but I understand how she tried her best to stay focused on helping her family and form as few detachments as possible. I loved how in books one and two we get a lot of background info as to how her life was like in District 12.

Peeta?

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I LOVE Peeta! I think he is the best guy ever!!!!

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In book one we never really know whether Peeta is good or bad. We hear all these stories he shares and his feelings for Katniss, but as Katniss doesn’t really know him, so we don’t. The second book is the one in which we all fell in love with him. When I read that book I wanted Peeta to be real.

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He is just so kind, caring, sweet, and utter perfection!!!! When Katniss saw how he would gladly die for her and really saw how much he cared, she fell in love with him. She might not have realized it immediately, but she did. The third book was so hard, as I missed the old Peeta. Watching the movie was utter heartbreak as well.

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Now contrary to other fans, I actually really liked how she ended the series (which I won’t give away) and I think they should keep it exactly how it is.

So I loved the books and the movies, and you should definitely give them all a view.

For more on The Hunger Games, go to Peeta Please!

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Kinsey Millhone Mysteries

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This all started with a library book sale. You see a picked up an old Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine collection for super cheap. In each magazine they list out all kinds of great mystery books they recommend you read. I noticed a few titles like Grievous Sin (Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus) by Faye Kellerman, and J is for Judgement by Sue Grafton. The next time I went to a book sale, what did I happen to find there? Grievous Sin and J is for Judgement. I bought them and a bunch of others, and took them home happily.

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I read Grievous Sin but didn’t really enjoy it, mostly I think because it was book six in the series and I hadn’t read the first five. When I moved on to reading J is for Judgement, I decided I should start at the beginning, which I did, and was completely hooked!

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So Kinsey Millhone is a female private detective living in the ’80s, in Santa Theresa (Santa Barbara), CA. She used to be a cop, but found that her problems with authority made it not the best fit for her. She’s been married twice; first husband was a cop supposedly gone dirty; the second a musician that cheated on her and got into drugs. Her parents died when she was little, leaving her to be raised by her hard-nosed, tough, single, Aunt Gin. This lead her to live a life of quiet solitude (minus the exes) and to be just like Gin. She lives in a garage-turned apartment, her best friends being Henry Pitts, her landlord and nonagenarian; and Rosie, a brash, loud, bossy Hungarian restaurant owner.

It is a truly great series. Another interesting tidbit, Sue Grafton started writing these books in the ’80s, but of course times in books move slower than in our time (like Narnia) so the newer books are technically historical fiction. Anyways…

A is for Alibi: We are introduced to Kinsey Millhone and her life as a PI. In this book Nikki Fife has just been released after serving 8 years for murdering her husband. She hires Kinsey to find the real murderer, and Kinsey sets on the cold trail, finding it red hot.

B is for Burglar: In this Kinsey is hired to find Beverly Danziger’s sister Elaine Boldt, who has gone missing and is needed to sign some important documents. What Kinsey finds is a much darker reason she can’t be found.

C is for Corpse: In this Kinsey Millhone meets sweet, innocent, Bobby Callahan. At least that is how he is now. He was almost killed in a car accident and now has a clouded memory. Bobby hires her to find out who is blackmailing him and why. And she better find out before whoever tried to kill Bobby strikes again.

D is for Deadbeat: This one I didn’t enjoy as much, but it wasn’t horrible. A man hires Kinsey to track down a person and deliver a check to someone. Kinsey agrees for a fee, but quickly finds that check bouncing. She starts her search for the “deadbeat: only to find him in the morgue.

E is for Evidence: Kinsey is prepared to spend the holidays alone as usual, but this year sees a huge stray from that plan. Instead she gets a $5000 deposit in her bank account from unknown sources, an accusation of insurance fraud, bombs, and the return of an ex-husband.

F is for Fugitive: Seventeen years ago Jean Timberlake was found strangled on the beach. Everyone believed it was her boyfriend Bailey Fowler who did it. He was convicted and imprisoned, but ended up fleeing. Now he has been found and Fowler’s father wants Kinsey to prove his son’s innocence.

G is for Gumshoe: Kinsey finds herself on a hit list and in need of a bodyguard. Can any body sing “I Will Always Love You“?

H is for Homicide: When Kinsey’s good friend Parnell Perkins is killed, she starts to investigate one of his marked files on a Bibianna Diaz, and finds herself deep undercover in an insurance fraud ring.

I is for Innocent: When millionaire Isabelle was murdered, everyone assumed her soon to be ex-husband David Barney killed her. Unfortunately for them, he was acquitted. Now Isabelle’s first husband, Kenneth Voight, is suing Barney in a civil suit to take away his millions. When Kinsey’s PI friend and mentor is killed, Kinsey finds herself in the middle of a very sticky case.

J is for Judgement: The book that started it all, but ironically one of my least favorite books in the series. In this William Jaffe, presumed dead, may have been spotted alive and well in Mexico. The insurance company that just paid his widow wants their $500,000 in insurance benefits back and hire Kinsey to find Jaffe.

K is for Killer: Janice Kepler is a grieving mother who wants answers as to why her daughter Lorna was murdered. She hires Kinsey who investigates the life of Lorna, who finds there was much more than meets the eye to this beauty queen.

L is for Lawlessness: This is my least favorite of the series. In this book Kinsey is asked to find proof of a friend’s grandfather’s service in the military. What she finds are complications that send her all the way to Kentucky.

M is for Malice: The head of the Malek family and Malek construction passes away, and his will leaves a surprise. The brother that all thought was cut out of the will, actually wasn’t, and Kinsey is out to find him. She hears horror stories of the awful person he was, but when she meets him finds a completely changed one. She brings him home for a reunion…and unfortunately his death. Now she is set on avenging him by finding his killer.

N is for Noose: Tom Newquist was a great cop, but an older out of shape one. So it wasn’t that big of a surprise when he had a heart attack. The only one who doesn’t believe it is his widow, Selma, who hires Kinsey to discover who murdered him. What Kinsey finds is much more than she could ever have imagined.

O is for Outlaw: Kinsey gets a call about a person having bought a salvaged box from a storage center, that had her name on it. He sells it to her, and Kinsey finds much more than she dreamed about her Aunt Gin and more on her first husband. When her first husband is killed she starts investigating, and learning more than she could have dreamed.

P is for Peril: Dr. Dowan Purcell has disappered and no one knows where he is. His ex-wife Fiona believes him to be alive and hires Kinsey to find him. His current wife, Crystal, thinks he is dead. Kinsey starts searching and finds a much bigger case along the way.

Q is for Quarry: This book is a little different as it is based on a real case. In the 1970s there was a Jane Doe found, and Grafton was giving the ability to look at the police files. Her story is loosely based on the event, and of course with the murder solved in the book. The police have yet to solve that actual case, and for ever book purchased, a percentage is given to the fund that is still trying to reunite the body with her family. In this book, Kinsey teams up with retired police Chief Con Dolan; and Sheriff Stacey Oliphant. Their search into the cold case leads them on a long and winding trail as they try to figure out identity and motive.

R is for Ricochet: In this Kinsey Millhone is hired to babysit Reba Lafferty. Reba was a rich girl, apple of her father’s eye, who has just been released from prison for embezzlement, having taken the rap for her boyfriend/boss. Kinsey thinks it will be easy, but she is quickly proved wrong as Reba has much more in mind then “girl time.”

S is for Silence: This book is the beginning of a shift for Grafton. In this novel, Kinsey is hired to find the mother of friend. Problem? The mother, Violet, disappered thirty-five years ago. In between the accounts of Kinsey’s investigations, Grafton includes chapters from the past in the point of view of other characters. It is amazingly done and extremely well written.

T is for Trespass: This is one of the creepest books I have ever read. In this Kinsey hires a caretaker for a neighbor, Gus, who has suffered from a bad fall. She thinks that is all there is to it…except the woman she hired is a sociopath. Using a stolen identity, “Solana Rojas”, starts abusing Gus and taking everything of worth. This book switches from Kinsey’s point of view to Solana; telling the story in a new and frightening way.

U is for Undertow: This book takes this movement into switching point of views to an even higher level. In this Michael Sutton hires Kinsey to look into a startling, recently come back to him memory. He remembers two “pirates” burying “treasure”, of which he now believes may be the murdered body of a kidnapped girl who disappeared around that time. As Kinsey begins investigating, we not only have her point of view, but the past and present point of views of the other major players.

V is for Vengeance: Kinsey decides to treat herself to some new underwear and ends up stopping a shoplifter. This chance encounter gets her neck deep into the mafia, loan sharks, and a huge shoplifting adn merchandise moving ring.

W is for Wasted: A homeless John Doe is found dead on the beach with Kinsey’s business card. As she starts investigating into his death, she discovers that they are more connected than she could ever have guessed.

X, Y, Z are yet to come, but you bet I can’t wait to read them!

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Fangirlfinishedreadingwhattodonow

Ahh, the life of a fangirl

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For Part 6 go to Fandom Love

And Stay Tuned for Part 8

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For more book love, go to Heaven on Earth

For more quizzes, go to Where Were Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For more fav quotes, go to Perfectly Imperfect

For more of my favorite songs, go to Five to Nine 

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