Someone is Killing By Copying Old Murders!: Real Murders

Day 11) K is for Killer: Choose a book with a murderer

realmurders

Real Murders (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #1) by Charlaine Harris

So you all know how much I love book sales.

bjksale

Part of the fun is the mystery that you never know what you are going to find at a sale.

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

So one book sale I went to, it was the last day and they were trying to unload everything. It was a dollar a bag so I filled mine up with anything I found that sparked my interest.

neverwentwithoutabookandalwayspickedupmorevictorhugo

I can’t help it, it is an addiction.

BkHoarder

This one struck my eye as it was a mystery, involved a serial killer, and copying “real murders”.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

This was during my “I want to be a behavioral psychologist” phase, before Criminal Minds came out, and I would read anything on the subject. So this idea of someone copying real murders seemed like a hit idea to me.

loveitSupernatural

I enjoyed the book so much, that I reader it at least four times a year. The story is great, the characters fun, the mystery just perfect. It is a fantastic read and so engrossing! I just couldn’t put it down.

4inthemorningreadchapterscan'tstopreading

I was shocked when I discovered that this was the same Harris that wrote the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries. I never would have made that connection as this isn’t as sex generated or full of supernatural characters.

Wow

Wow

And with Hallmark turning this book into a film, one that I can review for Horrorfest if I desire, what better time to choose to review this book?

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Aurora “Roe” Teagarden is in her late twenties and lives a pretty quiet life in Lawrenceton, Georgia. She works as manager for her mother’s condos and as a librarian.

MusicManLibrary

Her best friend moved away recently, and she isn’t seeing anyone romantically. The only other thing she  is really involved in, is the club Real Murders.

midsomermurdersboardfigureoutwriting

A year ago there was a book signing of a true crime novel and several people from Lawrenceton traveled to the city to attend. When they realized they all shared an interest in true crime they created a group that meets once a month to discuss past crimes, try to figure out unsolved cases, and learn about police work or the criminal mind. Each time they meet a different person has a chance to create a program and share with the group.

Yes!

Yes!

Their group consists of Roe: Jane Engle, retired school librarian and substitute, specializing in Victorian murders, particularly Madeline Smith; LeMaster Cane, African-American and interested in the racial killings of the ’60s and ’70s, especially the Zebra murders and Jones-Piagentini shootings; John Queensland, Roe’s mother’s boyfriend, an expert on Lizzie Borden; Sally Allison, newspaper reporter; Perry Allison, Sally’s son, is not quite all there and shows an unhealthy interest in the Hillside Stranglers and the Green River killer; Gifford Doakes and his friend (boyfriend?) Reynaldo, who likes massacres such as St. Valentine’s Day or the Holocaust; Detective Arthur Smith, interested in studying old crimes and seeing how police worked the case; Bankston Waites and his girlfriend Melanie; Benjamin Greer, guy who has tried everything to “belong”; Gerald Wright and his jealous wife Mamie.

batparty

Tonight is Roe’s night to share and she is covering the Wallace case from the 1930s, where William Herbert Wallace was convicted for killing his wife Julia. She is a little nervous and heads over slightly early. This month Mamie is the opener of the VFW hall they rent, followed by Sally who is in charge of refreshments. When Roe gets there she looks around for the others, but instead receives a phone call asking to speak to Julia Wallace.

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

Roe cant find Mamie, but runs into Sally. As more people arrive, Roe finds it even odder they haven’t found Mamie in the building.

strange things are afoot at the circle k

Surprisingly Elizabeth Ann “Lizanne” Buckley, the  most beautiful and easily bored woman in town, comes to the meeting and brings Robin Crusoe, mystery writer.

ChristianSlaterHeatherseyebrowshmmooh

Roe can’t brush off Mamie’s disappearance and starts searching the building for her. As she looks, she comes across her dead body.

screamhouseonhauntedhill

Roe goes into shock over seeing her that way, but notices  the similarities between this and the Wallace case. So eerily similar that someone must have copied it and arranged the body.

OMG gasp

Everyone is subjected to long questioning, with Officer Arthur Smith making plans to meet with Roe the next day and get more information on the Wallace case.

The next day comes and Roe is finally able to give the talk she practiced.

Wallace Herbert Wallace was a Liverpool insurance salesman (like Gerald), and married with no children (just like the Wrights). Wallace had a regular schedule for collecting insurance payments from subscribers to his company and he bring the money home on Tuesdays. Wallace played chess and was entered in the tournament at his local club. There was a chart on the wall detailing when each person would play, one anybody could see.

Wallace didn’t have a phone at home and received a message from another member who had taken a call from a “Qualtrough” to meet him at his house the next evening.

Now the call came when Wallace wasn’t at the club so he could have left it himself at a phone booth down the way. H talks about the message with his friends at the club; is he puzzled or just trying to instill the message in other’s minds?

The next night Wallace goes out to meet Qualtrough. Qualtrough left the address Menlove Gardens East, but no such place exists. Wallace asks many people for help, even a policeman. Is he set on getting the new client or is he just trying to create an alibi?

Wallace returns home but his key won’t work. Julia has bolted the front door for some reason and won’t answer any knocks on the door. A couple who lives next door hears him as he heads in the back to get into the house; Wallace and the couple enter the house and see things out of place.

The box where the insurance money is usually held has been rifled. Wallace checks the house and finds his wife in the parlor, a room rarely used. Julia is lying in front of the gas fire with a raincoat under her, and she has been beaten to death brutally, but not raped; just like Mamie.

There was no real case against Wallace, just a lot of circumstantial evidence and pressure to arrest the killer.

Roe is absolutely disgusted with this killer. They killed Mamie not because she was Mamie or they had an issue with her; something that would be partially understood psychologically, but only because she was an insurance salesman’s wife and childless.

you're evil

And who will be next and which criminal will they be following next? Jack the Ripper? Ed Gein? The Blackburn Baby Killer?

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Later Roe heads to the store and right into Robin Crusoe. Robin is interested in the case, and wants to know more along with getting away from his disheveled house.

While he is there a package comes to Roe, but it is actually for her mother, Aida Teagarden, and sent by Roe’s father. Roe lets her know and she comes right over.  The package is Mrs. See’s chocolate, her favorite!

Chocolate makes everything better

But it is a bit odd that Roe’s father, Aida’s ex, would send her chocolate; and even stranger that it took six days to get from the city, an hour away.

weirdtwilightzone

Aida opens up the container and picks up a caramel filled one, when Roe notices that there is a puncture underneath.

OMG gasp

She stops her mom and they look at all the cream filled ones. They all have punctures.

suspicious Hmm

Arthur and his partner, Lynn Ligget, come to question the group about the event and later it is revealed that the chocolates were poisoned. This murder copies the Botkin Case, as it appears someone is trying to kill all those in the group, or their family, copying real murders.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

Aurora calls a meeting of Real Murders to see if they can figure out who the killer might be, who dislikes any of them? But no one is helpful and the group disbands.

justending

Unfortunately that does not stop the killing, as Benjamin Greer’s boss, potential mayoral candidate is killed in the bathtub, the same way as Marat during the French Revolution.

ouch Hermione

Meanwhile, amidst the killings, Roe has struck the interest of Robin and Arthur. Both men she finds very attractive, and who will win out as the series progresses? (For me I like Robin. Arthur is too egotistical and just expects her to go along with him even though he doesn’t really ask her like he should.)

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

But Roe has more on her mind than love, what murder will be copied next and which of her friends will be the next victim?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

I won’t reveal any more as the ending is great. You will definitely have to check this book out for yourself. What a twist!

midsomermurdersbookweapons

The other thing I like about this is that it isn’t gruesome but very intellectual, with all the past true crime that was researched, it is just fascinating to boot.

loveitSupernatural

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Midnight in Austenland

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Charlaine Harris, go to Life’s A Journey

For more mysteries, go to Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

For more on serial killers, go to The Butcher of Burtonsville High: The Death of the Queen Bee, Bones (2010)

For more Alex Flinn quotes, go to I Don’t Wanna Be in Love (Dance Floor Anthem)

christmas-flowers-banner Today I thought we would go all Southern, as this this book takes place in the South. So we are going to have Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley.

ElvisPresleyDanceDancing

This song was written in 1948 by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson, but didn’t become a popular Christmas Carol until the King recorded it in 1957. What can I say? We love Elvis.

ElvisPresleypandemonium

christmas-flowers-banner

For more on Elvis, go to Fandom Love

For more Christmas Carols, go to I’m the Happiest Girl on Prince Edward Island: Anne of Green Gables

Advertisements

That Face-I’ve Seen Her Before…: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1997)

Let Me Call You SweetheartMaryHggonsClark

That face-I’ve seen her before…

Let Me Call You Sweetheart is based on a book of the same name by Mary Higgins Clark. So first let me say that this is a made-for-Tv film. As you know those can go one of two ways, either they are pretty good:

loveitSupernatural

Or they suck.

This film suck!

This film suck!

This movie is in between. It was pretty good and entertaining, but had a few sluggish and not as well done moments.

So I first came upon this movie by accident. I was working on 2014’s 30 Days of Disney, Songs to Get Over a Heartbreak Series, or Horrorfest III; and while I was working on that I was watching films and TV shows on my phone.

Ren Stevens: What? Honey, you're chased by six mutants, and you just decided to take a shower?

After I would watch one film I would look over the recommended list, and check one of those out too. One such film that I saw was this one. Its mystery was very intriguing that at times I had to stop my other work as I was too distracted.

Ringu Watch TV

Afterwards I found the book in a library book sale and took it home to read.

bjksale

Clark’s book is way better than the film as they cut out key characters and even creepier moments, but if you haven’t read the story then the film is good. It only pales when you have the full version. But let’s get on to the review.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

halloween banner

Let Me Call You SweetheartMaryHggonsClark

So the film starts with Kerry McGrath, assistant attorney general, running late to an appointment at the plastic surgeon. Her daughter, Robin, was recently injured in a car crash when she was visiting her father and he forgot to check her seat belt. Kerry has disliked her ex-husband, Bob Kinellen, ever since he decided to trade in his wife and daughter for the the boss’s daughter (a much younger model); and this little accident has helped heal that.

dislike hate you

Robin’s face was badly scratched, but they’ve been seeing a genius doctor, Dr. Charles Smith, who is phenomenal at plastic surgery.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

While waiting for her daughter, as Dr. Smith always makes them wait and then goes over the appointment time, Kerry sees a familiar face.

Hi!

Hi!

But she can’t figure out where she saw this face.

Hmm...

Hmm…

She checks the sign-in list and spots the name Barbara Tompkins. Unfortunately, it doesn’t ring any bells.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

Kerry goes over that evening to spend time with her “adopted parents”, state senator Jonathan Hoover and his wife Grace, that is a couple she befriended in college when she was away from her family. They having no children, adopted her right back.

Family

Jonathan has used his influence to get Kerry an appointment for judgeship and all she has to do is await until the decision is made.

I'mwaitingPrincessBride

The face is still bothering Kerry, and the next time she takes Robin to her doctor she sees her again. But this time the woman is a Pamela Worth.

weirdtwilightzone

What is going on? This is getting stranger and stranger. Why would the doctor give two people the exact same face?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Later at work she is focused on another case, when one of her coworkers get roses delivered. Then it hits her…

OMG gasp

The Sweetheart case was why the woman looked so familiar. She looks just like Susan Reardon.

strange things are afoot at the circle k

Susan Reardon was a beautiful woman who had men fawning over her everywhere she goes. Everyone loved her and how she looked, well except for one person.

uh-no-gif

Ten years ago Susan Reardon was found murdered in her home, a bunch of sweetheart roses scattered about giving the case the name. Her father was a key witness, giving information about the fights Susan had with her husband Skip, and painting him as evil, controlling, and abusive.

post-32452-this-is-a-fight-gif-we-are-fig-xWvc

Susan was known to be dating other men, which upset Skip. It was an easy open and shut case.

Done and done.

Done and done.

Kerry can’t get over the fact that Susan’s father created two women to be in her mirror image. She starts wondering if there is more to this case.

Gilmore girls creep

However, most people are not very happy with Kerry’s involvement. The attorney general Frank Green, Kerry’s boss, used that case to lock him in his job and now he is trying to move up to mayor. If it turns out he imprisoned the wrong person he can kiss that good-bye.

This is bad

This is bad

Bob, Kerry’s ex, is currently defending James “Jimmy” Weeks. He is a dangerous man known to deal with mobsters. He doesn’t like Kerry investigating as he had a relationship with Susan. He tells Bob that Kerry needs to stop or else she and Robin might have injuries no doctor can fix.

OMG gasp

As Kerry starts investigating, she finds one person who is happy to see her on his side, Geoff Dorso, Skip Reardon’s lawyer.

Geoff came on the case after the trial as he thought everything was done completely wrong. First there were a lot of inconsistencies in the story. Dr. Smith painted Skip as a horribly violent man but no one else ever saw or could confirm it.

Something is not right!

Something is not right!

Skip said that he left a message on the machine, being his alibi, but when the police checked the house the message was stolen. There was also a frame with Susan’s picture in it and a piece of jewelry; both never recovered.

weirdtwilightzone

Skip also shares the relationship between Susan and her father. He was controlling, and obsessed with her and her beauty.

Gilmore girls creep

Kerry is unsure if she wants to pursue the case as it is sure to kiss her appointment  as a judge good-bye, but then something happens that changes everything. She discovers that Susan didn’t look that beautiful all her life. She was average and not very attractive. It wasn’t until after she left her mom and stepdads for her dad that she “became” this beautiful swan. The fact that her father operated on her is weird, but add that to the fact that he has been stalking his patients that he recreated to look like his dead daughter.

That is not right!

That is not right!

Then Kerry is sent threatening notes and Robin is almost attacked, just managing to get away in time.

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

This has really opened a can of worms and cemented for Kerry that Skip isn’t the killer. But if he isn’t, who is?

suspicious Hmm

Now it would be wrong for me to reveal the end if you haven’t read book or seen the film. I figured it out, but even so I thought it was extremely well written and that the final reveal was a true pleasure. You should definitely check this one out for yourself.

halloween banner

To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to The Mad Killer: Dial 1119 (1950)

halloween banner

For more films based on books, go to We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes: Psycho (1960)

For more mysteries, go to A Book Considered Too Dangerous to Keep: The Magician’s Nephew, Midsomer Murders (2008)

The Biggest Bill You Should Be Paying

Boy Meets World Problem

I do have a problem. I can’t stop buying books. Even when I have no room for them.

b00klover

No matter what arguments I make, I end up taking at least one book home.

bksBut hey, what better thing to spend your money on, right?

biggestbill

I wholeheartedly agree!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on C.S. Lewis, go to Simply Fantastic

For more book filled posts, go to I Have a Problem

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Right to Vote

I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)

The Lovely Bones

“My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name: Susie. I was 14 years old, when I was murdered, on December 6, 1973. I was here for a moment. And then I was gone.”

So when this film came out in 2009, I really wanted to see but couldn’t find anyone to come with. Nobody seemed interested, and those that were had already seen it. I decided that I would wait to watch it until after I had read the book it was based on.

So that happened much later than I thought it would. At first everyone wanted to read it so it was hard to get a copy, and then I got busy reading other things.

diewithbooks

Anyways, so last month I went to a library book sale and discovered The Lovely Bones on sale for 50¢. Never being one to turn down a deal I bought it and immediately read it. It was different than I thought it would be as we learn the identity of the murder immediately. It was still a suspenseful book and interesting as we see how Susie Salmon’s disappearance affects her and the rest of her family. The other really interesting thing about this book is it really shows the changes that have come along since the ’70s regarding how police work and the forensics that we have. Not to mention criminal profiling.

So, back to the film. While the book is more of a suspense/horror/drama; but the film is mostly a drama with veins of suspense. The film was pretty good although they had to make a lot of changes. Mostly it had to do with cutting as the book is really long and spans about 10 years. The film only covers about a year-18 months. But the film was pretty good otherwise, and I recommend it.

So as mentioned earlier, Susie Salmon is a fourteen year old girl who gets murdered. At first she is presumed missing, and the police begin to investigate. The film details how her disappearance and lack of closure affect her family-father, mother, sister, brother, and grandma; along with friends and the community.

So this is what made the film great.

excited

Ready?

1. The Artistry/Cinematography

The Lovely Bones Candle Surprised

The film is mostly in wide angle shots and they are set up beautifully. As the film is told in flashbacks or from the viewpoint of the spirit of Susie; it works really well. Not only are the regular shots extremely beautiful; but the scenes of heaven/limbo are extremely amazing and artistic. You really get the feeling that you are in a a place created by a child’s mind (as it is supposed to be what Susie wants).

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

2. Susie

lovely bones Susie Don't look back

Susie is played by Saoirse Ronan and does a really great job at being a fourteen year old kid. She really makes you believe it as she is shy when a boy likes her, sassy and trying to “rebel” against parents, showing she is moving toward becoming more adult, while at the same time still being very much a kid. You really feel for her as she wants to move on to heaven and a better life, but doesn’t want to leave her family or the boy she cared for.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

3. Mark Wahlberg as Jack Salmon

lovely bones Mark Wahlberg smile

Mark Wahlberg plays Jack Salmon the father who we adore and wouldn’t mind having. Jack is a caring father that has a really close bond to his children, often being the one they go to as their mother (Rachel Weisz) resents the life she lives. He has an incredibly close bond with Susie, not only because she is the oldest, but they have a lot in common. In fact, she is the only one who enjoys the model ship building he does. When he loses her, he falls apart trying to discover who the murderer is. He also works overtime trying to be there for his other kids. He never gives up, as he can’t just have his daughter disappear. Even when his wife leaves, he continues trying to care for his family and preserve his daughter’s memory. He faces the issue and problems straight on, while his wife runs away. When his wife comes back, he welcomes her back with open arms as he never stopped loving her. He is an amazing father, and you really feel for him and everything he goes through. What makes this performance even more amazing was that Wahlberg only joined the crew a day before filming actually started, knowing next to nothing about the story.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

4. Stanley Tucci as Mr. Harvey

creep watching lovely bones Stanley tucci

Stanley Tucci deserved his oscar nomination and should have won for his performance.I mean anyone who could go from this

to this:

definitely deserves an Oscar.

Every time we see him chills run up and down my spine, he is soooooooooo creepy.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

You should definitely check this film out.

2009Lovelybones

halloween banner

To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to Keep Clear of the Moor. Beware the Moon

halloween banner

For more film based on a book, go to What Is This Thing?

For more on Mark Wahlberg, go to At the End of the Rainbow

For more of my fav quotes, go to You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?

For more bookish posts, go to Opening With…

A Reader’s Shelf

booksbooks

Some of you may not be aware of this, but Moreland is my pseudonym for this blog. So this little nugget is one I made up myself. 😀

shelves

And this is true. When you love books you just keep getting more and more and stuffing your shelves until they burst.

1939601_10201790873641959_1492962904_n

This is me.

books

This is why I need this in my life

2e784443b4e636a01df496ef0ccea659

To read more book related posts, go to I’m Already There

To read more of my favorite quotes go to A Real Man

I’m Already There

Hoarders

I’m not a couple books away, I’m already there. Because:

1782145_10153854606455296_846416996_n

After all:

bjksaleBecause this is so me:

BuyMore

And people just don’t understand:

95f561621d26e03634a17d12c271402c

For more on my book addiction, go to Can’t Work

For more of my fav quotes, go to My Weekend is Booked