Saturday, December 31, 2016
We have a lot of fun at Mystery Playground - cooking up mysterious crafts, reading and reviewing novels, mixing drinks and matching them with books but it truly takes a team to get this done every day.
First of all, I couldn't get this done without my partner in crime, the fabulous Kerry Hammond. Not only is she great at reviewing books, she's fun at parties AND an amazing friend.
I'd like to thank Dee Dee Roe for all of her help in wrangling our Major Crimes coverage. Thanks to her I was able to interview so many wonderful people from the show this year, including: Kearran Giovanni (Detective Amy Sykes), Tony Denison (Lt. Andy Flynn), Phillip Keene (Buzz), Michael Paul Chan (Lt. Mike Tao), Director Stacey K. Black, Ransford Doherty (CI Kendall), and Costume Designer Greg Lavoi.
Next up I'd like to thank the Silicon Valley based crafty crew - Janet Kuchler and Pat Hernas. These two put up with a lot of crazy craft ideas, and what you guys don't see is the crafts that fail... Yes, we have those too and sometimes it takes several tries to get something right.
Sharon Long, reviewer extraordinaire, also deserves a big thank you! It's so much easier to just read a book, than review it. Sharon tackles each book with aplomb.
Friday, December 30, 2016
It's the last Friday of 2016, so what better time to recap the whole wonderful year of Drinks with Reads. I'd like to thank Kerry Hammond for all of her wonderful support in helping making this feature a reality. I'd also like to thank our first ever Drinks with Reads guest poster, Catriona McPherson, for her constant support. Most of all, I'd like to thank every single guest author brave enough to mix beverages and try things out to perfect them for our audience.
We had some wonderful books matched with the perfect drink this year, so sit back and enjoy!
1 - Drinks with Reads Smoothies Round Up
8 - Don Bruns, JAMAICA BLUE
15 - Evelyn David, MIND OVER MURDER
22 - Harlan Coben, SIX YEARS
29 - Cathy Ace, THE CASE OF THE MISSING MORRIS DANCER
5 - David Putnam, THE SQUANDERED
12 - Kerry Hammond, YEATS IS DEAD
19 - Lyndee Walker, COVER SHOT
26 - Paul D Marks, VORTEX
4 - Kerry Hammond, MURDER AT THE BRIGHTWELL
11- Jeri Westerson, SILENCE OF STONES
18 - Carlene O'Neil, ONE FOOT IN THE GRAPE
25 - Bonnie MacBird, ART IN THE BLOOD
1- Drinks with Crime Poetry from the FIVE-TWO
8 - Edith Maxwell, DELIVERING THE TRUTH
15 - Cathy Ace, THE CORPSE WITH THE GARNET FACE
22 - Tammy Kaehler, RED FLAGS
29 - TR Ragan, FURIOUS
6 - Janet Todd, A MAN OF GENIUS
13 - Nadine Nettman, DECANTING MURDER
20 - Tracy Keily, KILLER COCKTAIL
27 - Laura Brennan, A DEATH ALONG THE RIVER FLEET by Susanna Calkins
3 - Grant Bywaters, THE RED STORM
10 - Gayle Leeson, CALAMITY CAFE
17- Tonya Kappes, FIXIN TO DIE
24 - Kerry Hammond, DARK ROOMS by Lili Anolik
1 - Gordon Chaplin, PARAISO
8 - Alice Loweecey, NUN BUT THE BRAVE
15 - Terrence McCauley, A MURDER OF CROWS
22 - Laura Brennan, MURDER MOST HOWL by Krista Davis
29 - Terrie Farley Moran, READ TO DEATH
5 - Tessa Arlen, DEATH SITS DOWN TO DINNER
12 - Lisa Alber, WHISPERS IN THE MIST
19 - BA Paris, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
26 - Art Taylor, ELLERY QUEEN MYSTERY MAGAZINE
2 - Drinks with TV: MAJOR CRIMES
9 - Jeffrey Siger, SANTORINI CAESARS
16 - Bouchercon Anthology, BLOOD ON THE BAYOU
23 - Ellen Byron, BODY ON THE BAYOU
30 - Mark Edwards, THE DEVIL'S WORK
7 - Laura Childs & Terrie Farley Moran, CREPE FACTOR
14 - Matthew FitzSimmons, POISONFEATHER
21 - Jodi McIssac, BURY THE LIVING
28 - Cathy Ace, THE CORPSE WITH THE RUBY LIPS
4 - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, LIVING SPECTRES
11 - Meg Ellison, BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE
18 - Mathew B.J. Delany, BLACK RAIN
24 - Peter James, LOVE YOU DEAD
2 - Laura Childs, EGG DROP DEAD
9 - Christopher Mari & Jeremy K. Brown, OCEAN OF STORMS
16 - CHRISTMAS MIRACLE by Deborah Lacy
23 - Elizabeth Edmonds, FROZEN LAKE
Thursday, December 29, 2016
It's been a fabulous year of being crafty and here's the evidence of it - an appendix of all of our 2016 crafts. Phew. That's a lot of crafting!
First of all, I'd like to thank all of our wonderful guest crafters - Dru Ann Love, Laura K. Curtis, Ellen Byron, Mary Putnam, Amanda Flower, Trina Devanney, Laura Bradford, Ingrid Willis, Janet Kuchler and Lorraine Masonheimer. We certainly wouldn't be able to pull this off without the help of so many creative and crafty people.
Here is a survey of the beautiful work they did this year...
As always, Kerry Hammond was making fabulous things all year. Here are her posts:
And I did a few too:
Thank you everyone for a wonderful year of crafting. You can find the 2015 crafting appendix here.
If you would like to make a mysterious or bookish craft for a Mystery Playground Crafty Thursdays post in 2017, send a private message to Deborah Lacy on the Mystery Playground Facebook Page.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
This is the last entry in our series of favorite books from 2016. Here are my three favorite books of the year:
1) The Wrong Side of Goodbye, by Michael Connolly
A book with both Harry Bosch and The Lincoln Lawyer can't go wrong, even as things get rougher and rougher for Bosch in the two cases he's chasing. Of course both cases start chasing him back.
2) The Travelers by Chris Pavone
Switches on switches are the hallmark of this thriller. It's easy to read and hard to put down. The story is being made into a movie.
3) Ruler of the Night by David Morrell
It's 1800s London and Thomas DeQuincey, the man known as the Opium Eater is solving crimes with the nascent Scotland Yard and his forward thinking daughter who has the guts to wear bloomers. This is the third book in the Thomas DeQuincey series. If you haven't read the first two you absolutely must start with Murder as a Fine Art.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Yes! Set those DVRs. BBC Sherlock is back with a three-part run, with the first episode airing on most PBS stations on January 1. The first episode is called The Six Thatchers and John and Mary are preparing for parenthood.
Here is the preview:
Monday, December 26, 2016
The Denver-based book club Crime & Beyond just read a book by one of their favorite authors, John Hart. Kerry Hammond is here to tell us what the club thought about the book.
This month Crime & Beyond met to discuss John Hart’s latest book Redemption Road. Hart is one of our favorite authors and we have read and discussed almost every book he has written. His books never fail to create a wonderful book club discussion and we were not disappointed with his latest.
Redemption Road was a story about, well, redemption. But whose redemption, you might ask. Well, therein lay the discussion. The book’s Amazon description is as follows: Imagine: A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother. A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting. After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen…This is a town on the brink. This is Redemption Road.
There is no doubt that Hart is an excellent writer, and our club members gave his latest book extremely high scores. Many times you read a book that has a great plot but uninteresting characters, or vice versa. Hart is able to not only make his characters come alive on the page, but he writes an extremely suspenseful plot that keeps the reader turning each page until the wee hours.
As much as Hart’s books have a sense of place, we noticed that the setting in Redemption Road seemed slightly less important in the scheme of things. It really could have been any small town USA, the characters and situation were what mattered—the setting holding a secondary position.
Next month we will be discussing Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger.