Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

Those men are not going to stand for Nancy Drew poking her little nose into their affairs.

First saw this when I was staying in Wyoming. I was renting a room from a family and was happy to see they had cable as my family had gotten rid of it years ago. Finally I could watch TCM!

And what did they happen to be showing?  1930s Nancy Drew Marathon!

So Nancy Drew was published in 1930 and became extremely popular. The film rights were bought and movie contract for a few films starring Bonita Granville.

They do get one thing wrong instead of Ned, he is “Ted” Nickerson. Why? Don’t know.

This book is based on the Nancy Drew Mystery The Password to Larkspur Lane with a few changes here and there. That’s enough background:

Nancy Drew is the chairman of the committee presenting Miss Mary Eldridge an award.Mary Eldridge is donating to her old alma mater-$250,000 ($4.4 million in today’s cash). She plans to go and sign the papers at Carson Drew’s (Nancy’s dad) office after they finish this meeting. The money is to go to a swimming pool-the girls vote.

Great choices

The next day wait for Miss Elridge-planning on presenting her with a trophy. But she doesn’t come. She has ran away.

It all so odd.

Suspicious

The lawyer, Mr. Hollister, says that she is a hypochondriac and very eccentric. She does stuff like this all the time. Does she really?

Hmm…

All the ladies become angry that they won’t get their pool and turn on Nancy and Mrs. Eldridge. Nancy thinks something more serious is up and sets on to find her.

Nancy is out driving to Mrs. Elridge and spots something, in her rearview mirror: it is Dr. Spires being kidnapped! She follows the car and tries to get the license plate but it is so muddy all she sees os a “08”. She then gets a blowout and the chase is over.

Ugh

Dr. Spires calls Mr. Drew leaving him a cryptic message and that he needs him to come right away.

When they get there Dr. Spires tells them his story. He was kidnapped and brought to an old house, were he was blindfolded and only saw the inside. Inside was an injured elderly woman being held against her will and he treated her hurt shoulder. They let him go but he saw nothing and knows not how to find them. All he does know is when they came to the gate one of the guards said the word bluebell. They threatened his life if he told but he risks letting Carson know.

When the Drews leave Dr. Spires, two guys are watching them and decide to follow the duo.

The two don’t realize they are being followed and head to the police, the two men knowing that Dr. Spires let the truth out…

Captain Tweedy, (Frank Orth), the police chief, is no real help. Nancy is much smarter than him, and Tweedy feels there is nothing he can work off on.

Sorry, can’t help you. Good-bye.

I love how quick Nancy’s mind it, and how sarcastic she can be. She doesn’t like Captain Tweedy and neither do I.

Nancy and Mr. Drew discover a car is following them and Nancy does evasive measures and tries to follow them, but Mr. Drew essentially “grounds” her from investigating. But will Nancy listen?

Meanwhile, next-door neighbor Ted Nickerson (Frankie Thomas) is practicing for football and runs into Nancy’s yard. Ned Ted’s friend Spud Murphy comes over to speak to Ned as he found a carrier pigeon on his coop, but it isn’t his bird. He wants Ted to announce the pigeon over his radio. Nancy looks at the message and sees that it says “shoulder okay bluebells”

Nancy knows it is important evidence and leaves the bird with Ted for safekeeping while she goes to her father with the new evidence. But Dad doesn’t want her involved anymore-Dr. Spires was badly beaten, and he doesn’t want that to happen to his daughter.

Nancy returns to Ted and wants to take the pigeon to the police, but she isn’t allowed to go alone-per her father. Ted makes a coop in two seconds for the pigeon.

Now I didn’t care for the Ted character. I thought he was just mean and rude, and seemed to just be a big grump. Yuck.

They head out and drop the coop, the pigeon flying out. Ted tries to catch it, but Nancy wants it to fly away as she wants to follow it. She’s tricky. She did it all on purpose.

They follow a pigeon to a house that is described as Dr. Spires said except for watchman. She leaves Ted there to stand watch while she calls for backup. The police arrive, full force and rush the house. But all they find is Mrs. Eldridge business partner. Hmmm….

Hmm…

They all turn on Nancy saying she must have imagined everything. They all head to the coop in the back to find the proof-Nancy’s pigeon. But they can’t find it and just insult her instead.

Everyone leaves, but Mr. Hollister does have the pigeon. He is writing notes and he warns his cohort that the “Drew girl” is up to stuff.

It turns out that these men kidnapped Mrs. Eldridge and want her money to go to them not the school. Mrs. Eldridge tried to get away and they dislocated her shoulder.

Nancy is embarrassed, but goes after Dr. Spires to speak to him. He describes going ovr a bridge and a gravel driveway-he was blindfolded the whole time but knows this from the sounds he heard.

Hmmm….

Nancy realizes they went to the wrong house-Ned pointing out the pigeon was going to deliver a message. If they wanted to see where he came from they should have gone the opposite direction. They run the figures and discover the house should be by Silver Lake-right where Ted is heading the next day for a family trip.

Their musings are interrupted when they see a man trying to break into Nancy’s house-it’s just her father who forgot his key.

They try to open the door, but it won’t. It was barricaded. The look for the housekeeper and she tells them a man with a gun tried to get in earlier so she piled the furniture and hid.

The man is still in the house. He has a gun and holds them all at gunpoint and warns them to stay out of it. He then leaves.

Mr. Carson plans to leave town as they have news of Mrs. Eldridge in a sanitarium in St. Louis. Nancy is shocked as that doesn’t seem right, what about Silver Lake? Nancy invites herself on the Nickerson family trip as her gut is telling her the answer lies at Silver Lake.

Up at the lake three days they have searched and found nothing. Ted wants her to give it up, but Nancy doesn’t want but then gets a note from her father that he found Mrs. Elridge. It’s over.

Nancy spots Mr. Hollister at Silver Lake-even though he is supposed to be with her father in St. Louis. To make it even more intriguing, he jumps into the car that kidnapped Dr. Spires.

They rent a plane and search for the house.To get in Ned dresses up as a nurse and Nancy as an old lady. When they search the home they find Mrs. Elridge. It turns out hat the night before she was to make the donation she became sick. An they took her away in a plan to steal all her money.

They try to drive off to escape but are discovered. All are kidnapped and sent back to the sanitarium.

They stick the kids in the basement and they try to find a way out of their predicament. Ted finds an old X-Ray machine, and he hot-wires it to send out Morse Code.

Meanwhile, Carson Drew is bak and very suspicious of the lawyer as things do not match up with what he had said. He goes to Chief Tweedy when they get the message from Ted.They hurry out and go on their way to find them.

The crew is taking care of loose ends, when they are loading them into the car-Ned knocks into one who drops their gun. Nancy picks it up and shoots at all the guys scaring them off until the police arrive.

Wow. In the end all’s well that end’s well.

I recommend it, and the following films. It is extremely enjoyable.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

For more Nancy Drew, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

For more private detectives, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more kidnapping, go to What Happened to Ally Palmer?: The Good Student (2006)

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A World of Teas

Recently I was given a collection of five teas; A World of Teas by Tea forté. 

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As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes together better than a good book and a delicious tea.

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You guys ready?

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Tea #1: Bombay Chai from Bombay, India

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This tea was spicy with layers of taste. The first thing that popped in my head was the scene from Sense & Sensibility (1995) when Colonel Brandon says the air is full of spices. This made me think that this book was the perfect pairing.

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Its range of spices and many layers make it just like Colonel Brandon.

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At first glance an average soldier, but as you read you see there are many parts to him. Plus it seemed as if it would be something he would drink after his time abroad.

For more on Sense and Sensibility, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

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Tea #2 Moroccan Mint from Morocco

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This tea was refreshing and cool, but also predictable. This was a familiar taste with no real surprises, however that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. For that reason, I choose Death on Demand by Carolyn G. Hart.

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Death on Demand is the beginning of the series and follows amateur private detective and mystery bookstore owner, Annie Laurence, as she tries to figure out which of the many possible suspects killed an annoying, blackmailing, author. She is racing against the clock as if she cannot find the real killer, she will end up being thrown in jail!

While at times it may be predictable the character and stories always leave me coming back for more.

For more on Death on Demand, go to It’s Fantastico!
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Tea #3 African Solstice from South Africa

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So this one started off good, lots of flavor and taste; but then I had the rooibos. I don’t like rooibos, as for me it has a weird aftertaste that I just don’t agree with. Once those came in, this tea was lost on me. The book I thought would be the best pairing is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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Things Fall Apart is the story of Nigerian Okonkwo, an Ibo leader. The book chronicles his life, family culture, and ambitions. An accident causes things to derail for Okonkwo, and he is sent away. While he regroups and plans how to re-achieve his prior success, the British arrive with their influence and missionaries changing the structure of the villages. Will Okonkwo be able to adapt? Or will he fall under the British wheel of “progress”?

Like this African tea, I really enjoyed about two-thirds of the novel. The rooiboss of the the novel, for me, was the ending. I thought it built up perfectly, but ended way to soon, with enough falling action. It is like when you bake a cake and open the oven too soon, causing the cake to fall. That’s how the ending of this book and tea were to me, too soon.

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Tea #4: Sencha from Japan

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This tea at first seems simple and plain, but as you drink it you realize there is a whole lot more going on, and it has an incredible flavor. I finished this tea off first of all the others in the collection.

This actually made me think of two books. The first being Mansfield Park:

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At first glance Mansfield Park seems simple and a lot say it is boring. Fanny is a placid girl, often being the tool of others instead of going after what she wants. However, as you continue reading you see that Fanny has a lot more to her character than meets the eye. She is often passive as she is grateful for being pulled out of a bad situation; but when one tries to force her to do something she really does not want to (marriage to Mr. Crawford, a first class rake) she becomes a will of iron and will not be bent. She completely encompasses the old Japanese proverb of being bamboo, willing to bend with the wind but not break.

The second being Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

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Now I don’t want to spend too much time on this book as I am planning on reviewing it in the winter as part of my 30 Day challenge.

However, Hale is a master crafter as she takes the simple fairy tale of Maid Maleen and turns it into this incredible adventure full of bravery, romance, and supernatural elements.

For more on Mansfield Park, go to Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can’t Lose: Superbowl 50

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Tea #5 Estate Darjeeling from Darjeeling, India.

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I’ve had other Darjeeling but didn’t like them, I thought they were too sweet and didn’t care for them. However, this one was fantastic! It was an amazing surprise.

Originally I thought I would pair this with Emma, but instead I think two other books would be better:

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When I first had read the Jane Austen novels, I had heard of all of them (and seen film adaptions) except these two. Not only had I never heard of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, it appears most fans of Jane Austen also don’t really know much about them. Why is that?

Anyways, when I first read them I was so surprised with how amazingly great they are that they knocked my list of favorites all about. Perfect match with a surprisingly fantastic tea.

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen
For more on Persuasion, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary

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After all:

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For more on tea, go to My Trip to Teavana

For more book-filled posts, go to Post Approved

A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

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Why would they all come back?

So this year I am doing something a bit different. I decided that every Friday this year I will review a TV episode instead of a film. I know it kind of goes against the grain, but I just feel bad for those awesome shows that try to make really creepy Halloween episodes or just have great episodes that fit for this. Their still horror, so they count.

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So this episode is from the TV series, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries. This show came out in the 1970s, the first season alternating every week between the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. The second season saw four crossover episodes, and only three Nancy Drew as the actresses playing her, left the series. Season three was reworked to be just the Hardy Boys. It was a good series while it lasted, I just wish there had been more. If you are interested in watching, all these episodes are currently on youtube, here’s the link if you want to watch this one.

So on to the review:

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At the beginning of every episode we see the Universal logo. I’ve always wondered why they haven’t remade it, I would watch it. But then again they would probably mess it up like they did with Nancy Drew (2007) film.

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So then we have the awesome intro and amazing intro music.

I love the setup, the book covers in the background, and that music. Ooh! It sends shivers up an down my spine and gets me in the mood for a mystery.

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So the first thing we see is a woman, yelling at Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) about knowing who she is and pulling a knife on her!

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But it turns out that it is just a rehearsal for a play they are doing. Yep, they are tearing down the old theater in River Heights, and using the property to build a youth center. It was Nancy’s idea to put on a play Murder in the 4th Act. 

Unlike the book series, Ned and Nancy’s relationship isn’t clearly defined. Are they going out? Or just good friends? He seems more into her than she into him. As much as I like book Ned, I have to be honest and admit I love the idea of Nancy Drew and Frank Hardy, especially in this series. OTP of the TV series.

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Anyways, so Ned is a bit of an egotistical jerk in the TV series than the book, and this episode is no different. He sent some telegrams to some famous actors: Thelma March, Hollywood actress; Alex Richmond, game show host; Danny Day, TV actor, and Seth Taylor, news anchor- and they all agreed to come. Ned thinks it is because of his brilliance, Nancy thinks it is a bit odd. Why would these famous people be willing to give up their time for free to help a youth center?

The woman Nancy was rehearsing with, Janet Mustane (Pippa Scott), used to perform with these people, choosing to remain in River Heights instead of going off to “bigger things”. She does not seem happy about all those people coming back. Wonder why?

suspicious Hmm

Nancy decides to clean up the stage area and make sure that everything is nice for the “famous” people. As she looks around stage, their is a shadowy figure above her on the catwalk.

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No it’s not him, :(. However there is a story that the theater is haunted by “The Phantom”.

Well, whoever or whatever this is, they decide to take down the chandelier and almost get Nancy with it.

Bad Stuff happens when you don't listen

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

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

Nancy was able to get out of the way in time, but starts thinking that something inky is going on. She checks the cord and sees that it isn’t frayed or old, but was cut.

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No one believes her though. So its up to Nancy to figure it out.

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The team split up to check over the theater more thoroughly.

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Nancy heads down into the prop room to see if she can figure out what is bringing everyone back. As she is looking, she finds an old playbill from the orginal opening of the play. And it turns out, all of those who are coming back, including Janet, were in the original performance.

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Weird

Weird

So they all show up, but no one can pay the cab, leaving Ned to foot the bill. How odd. How can such huge entertainment giants have no money? Hmmm….

suspicious Hmm

Something else strange is that they all seem to hate each other.

Hate YOu

If they dislike each other, why would they come back to perform with each others? And stay in the hotel across the alley (Janet’s place) rooming with each other?

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So they start practicing, when Seth decides that he can’t do the scene without a pipe. He heads down to the prop room, but the lights won’t work.

You know what that means. Someones coming after you.

You know what that means. Someone’s coming after you.

But instead of looking for a prop he tries to open the window. While he is doing that, our mystery person or ghost knocks a statue over, trying to hurt him.

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

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

He’s fine, but Nancy wonders if there is more going on. Janet is convinced that the Phantom did it, and everyone else thinks it was just an accident; but Nancy knows that something is not adding up.

suspicious Hmm

She notices the light was unscrewed so it wouldn’t work, and that the window is opened. The window shouldn’t be unlocked as Ned checked it earlier, so Nancy is convinced someone came through there. Seth tells her it is stuck, so no one could get through it.

Wait a second!

Wait a second!

Now how would he know that? He was looking for a prop. He must have tried to open the window, but why?

suspicious Hmm

Later that night Nancy tries to get Ned, her friend George Fayne, and her Dad, Carson Drew to investigate with her to find out what is going on, but no wants to help. None are convinced that there is anything more to it then an old building that is falling apart. In fact Mr. Drew thinks they should move the play somewhere else, as that building is probably too old.

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But Nancy is convinced there is far more to the tale and won’t give up. She notices how all the actors are completely hostile to each other, and there has to be another reason why they would all come that isn’t nostalgia. But what?

The plot thickens

The plot thickens

That night the four visiting actors sneak out of their rooms and head over to the theater. They head down into the prop room and start taking it apart.

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That night, unbeknownst to them, Ned decides to head over and check the place out. You see Ned is very full of himself (I cannot repeat this enough, he is not like that in the book series) and decides that he needs to recheck the light plan as his genius must reflect well on the actors. When he gets there he runs into Julia and Alex disposing of the bricks from the prop room wall.

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This is one of the funniest scenes in the whole episode. Ned asks them what they are doing, and Alex tells him he needs the bricks to make a bed for his back, it is the only thing that can help him sleep. Ned finds it weird, but who is he to question it? He tries to head into the theater, but Julia stops him telling him he needs to go to bed and be well-rested. He says he doesn’t need to because he is young, and then Julia gets offended.

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She yells at him, are you calling me old?

I don't think so

And Ned, like a typical male, knows that it is no time to argue but vamoose.

Run Away

The next day, Nancy discovers the actors all asleep in the dressing room. They wonder what the heck is going on? Ned wakes them up and as they head upstairs to the stage, Ned tells Nancy about everything that happened the night before. Now Nancy is 100%s sure something is up, but what?

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So while they are talking the actors are having their own discussion. They are a bit worried about Nancy as she is always watching them.

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The other thing that is making them act crazy is they are all completely broke. Everyone has been paying a blackmailer for something they haven’t discussed, just yet. They know one of them must be the blackmailer, but which one is doing it?

suspicious Hmm

So they rehearse, and just as they are about to break up for lunch, a light comes crashing down, nearly hitting some people.

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Everyone thinks that it is just another accident in an old theater, but Nancy feels that these accidents are too deliberate. As if someone was purposely attacking the people performing. But which one is doing it?

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So Nancy tries to get Ned and Mr. Carson to back her again, but they still just think all the mishaps are from an old building falling apart, not a saboteur. Ned says that he heard a door shut and he thinks someone might have been there, but wasn’t sure. George disagrees as she thinks it is the Phantom!

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Nancy decides to put together a plan. She gets some phosphoric paint, and starts painting the areas in the prop room to discover who might be this “Phantom” messing with things.

Afterwards, the actors return and she puts her plan into motion. She turns off the lights and has George turn on the blacklight….and it shows that EVERYONE has the paint on them.

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THEY ALL ARE A PART OF IT!!!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

So Nancy overhears them talking and decides there is much more to this story. Time to head to the library and do some research.

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They find the newspaper article and get some answers.

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So Jason Hall went from town to town raising money and investors for the show, promising it would be an amazing thing. In fact he really took River Heights, Nancy’s hometown, for a ride. The play closed before it opened, and it turned out that Jason took off with it all!!!! Or at least that’s what people think because he just disappeared. It turned out that he never had New York critics coming, that he intended to take everyone for a ride. But is that it, or is there more to the story?

suspicious Hmm

She starts thinking about it and everything starts coming together: the disappearance of Jason Hall, they all hate each other, they all are poor, etc. They must have done something to Jason. Someone is blackmailing them and they have no more money left. When they heard that the theater was going to be destroyed they must have decided to come back and clear up whatever evidence  they have before it comes to light with the destruction.

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Nancy thinks she has it figured out, now all she needs is to find the hard evidence to prove her theory.

While they are looking, the actors have been trying very hard to finish what they started. At last they have opened up the wall, and pulled out a sarcophagus. It turns out that Nancy was right. They did kill Jason, they hid the body in the sarcophagus, and sealed up the wall. They have been digging to get it out, so that their crime would not be discovered. And they have finally accomplished it.

When Ned spots them carrying it out, they tell him that Mr. Drew said they could have whatever props they wanted, and Seth wanted this one.

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Nancy sees Ned who tells her about the sarcophagus and Nancy knows instantly, that must be where they put body. She tells her dad, who decides to call in the Sheriff.

As the group is gathered to open it, in walks the Sheriff. He demands to open it and when they do, they discover………………..

come on

Bricks.

Say What

Yes everyone is shocked! What happened? Where is the body?

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Everyone but the actors are sent on home, and they talk amongst themselves. Danny thinks that one of them came back and moved the body, only pretending to help dig it out, but which one did it?

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That night is the performance and the mystery is bothering Nancy. Who is the blackmailer? What happened to Jason? Who has been sabotaging the theater?

The plot thickens

She finally comes to the conclusion that the only solution that fits, is if Jason IS the blackmailer. Think about it: he somehow recovered from whatever they did to think they killed him and has been blackmailing them since. He must also be the person who has been sabotaging the theater. Yes that has to be it! Before she can tell Ned and everyone her cue comes, and she has to go onstage.

She goes onstage, and has to give everyone champagne, as she plays a maid. As she is giving out the glasses, she smells something odd.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Poison!

Spoke too soon

Nancy stops the play, crushing the glasses and keeping everyone from drinking them. She then yells at George to put on the blacklight. As they scan the audience, they spot one man covered in phosphorus paint. They get him.

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They pull off wig, fake glasses, and pretend nose. And discover that it is Jason. He has been alive the whole time.

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Afterwards the crew met up so Nancy can get the whole story.

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It turned out that Jason was a hustler and conman. He took the money for investing in the play and sent it to a private account in the Cayman Islands. He was planning in leaving the actors holding the bag, and having to pay for his crimes. They discovered this and argued with him, Jason fell and hit his head. They thought they killed him, so they buried the body in the wall, like in Edgar Allen Poe’s story The Black Cat. He escaped at one point and began blackmailing them, while the whole time they thought it was one of the five.

With everything done, the actors decide to finally stop bickering and continue in the play until enough money is raised for the youth center. Another case solved by Nancy Drew!

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

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For more Nancy Drew, go to I’m So FANcy!

For more mysteries, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

For more TV series based on books, go to Happily Ever Aftermath: Grimm (2012)

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.

hunger games Peeta

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