My December Nightstand

My December Nightstand

I am writing this in the spirit of the holiday season. I have clicked on my Kindle in time to all of the holiday music and now have a plethora of books to read. 

I’ve not had the good fortune to read any of Maddie Day’s books before this vacation week, but I’m delighted with my find. You have to check out her A Country Store Mystery series. They’re set in a small town in Indiana and are simply delightful books. Maddie Day is the pseudonym for Edith Maxwell and writes other mysteries called Local Food mysteries and Quaker Midwife mysteries under her own name. Right now, I’m reading Batter Off Dead. It’s fun and well-written.

Another book on my Kindle that I’ve dipped into is Guilty as Cinnamon from the A Spice Shop Mystery series by Leslie Budewitz. This is set in Seattle with a bit of imagination. Pepper Reece, the protagonist, was an HR person until she started her spice shop. Arf is her dog. You have to love a book that has a dog named Arf! Each chapter starts with a bit of information about Seattle or an interesting word (i.e. Pluviophile – tell me if you know what that means. I certainly did not. But, if you live in Seattle, you must be one!).

Generally, I read off my Kindle while sitting in this enormous blue recliner chair in my bedroom. My nightstand is between the chair and my bed. All told, it’s quite comfy and cozy. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that I tend towards adding English manor books to my list of what to read next. I’ve already dipped into Murder in the Wings by Kate P. Adams and Edith Ducie’s Murder at Mountjoy Manor. Both appeal to my Anglophile senses. I turn on the lamp on my nightstand, snuggle into the chair and I’m in my own British fantasy land. It’s great while the weather gets chilly in the evening.

Actually on my nightstand is Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Links. I know that I read this book ages ago, and I’ve seen the Poirot television edition many times, but still, holding it hand and reading Christie’s work one more time is simply delicious. She was the master of plotting and it’s a really, really good read.  I’m also reading the Sherlock Holmes story “The Man with the Twisted Lip.” Apparently, Arthur Conan Doyle rated his own short story (apologies to Doctor Watson who was supposed to have written all of the stories, and we will all toast Queen Victoria this evening!) as one of his lesser creations. Still, I am a Sherlock Holmes aficionado and belong to a scion called The Transfixed Correspondence. The story is still fun. These are not cozy mysteries, although the short stories have many elements of a cozy mystery. I like the idea of visiting another century and meandering through London and its environs with a deerstalker hat on. The Baker Street Irregulars of New York host a special week each year in January. One of these years I’ll go! 

Finally, our club’s other officer, Tahlia, introduced Diana and me to Torquemada’s Cain’s Jawbone. The book is published with its pages out of order, is full of spoonerisms and other word games, and has to be put in order. There are six victims and as many murderers. Diana has visited the Reddit site and shared that people devote wall space to putting the book in order. There are suggestions for special tools to help with one’s organization (whiteboards, highlighters, and string with clips, etc.). Since 1934 only 3 people have solved the book organization and gotten the names of the murderers and victims correct. Last night Diana took the pages from me and spread them all over the dining room table to organize. We, at this writing, are not winners!

Happy holidays to each of you!

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