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What is the favorite book you remember as a child?
Dr. Seuss’s “500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins” closely followed by “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.”
I’m sure when I was really little, I liked the simpler Dr. Seuss books better, but Bartholomew and his adventures eventually became my favorites.
I also remember liking “Make Way For Ducklings” and “Blueberries For Sal” both of which I found out not too long ago are still in print.
What is your favorite book today?
It’s perhaps strange seeing as I write cozy mysteries, but my all time favorite book is J.R.R.Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” I got my start in writing doing fanfiction stories based on LOTR. My favorite characters are the hobbits and my favorite hobbit is Pippin (Peregrin) Took. I am very much a hobbit myself – without the furry-topped feet.
Tell us about your current book in 10 words.
Crocheting, kidnapping and murder – by hook! Emory’s on the case!
Do you have any bad book habits?
Only with my own books, only in paperbacks, I dog-ear pages. There’s just something special about hardcovers that I would never dog-ear a hardcover book.
E-Reader or print? and why?
Reason #1 is that I can get ebooks for what I used to pay for paperbacks.
Time out to explain. For the last . . . oh . . . more than twenty years, we have lived in small sized towns and the libraries don’t always have what I want in their collections. Interlibrary loan is good, but sometimes I couldn’t keep them long enough, so I bought fairly often. So price was/is a consideration and paperbacks have become expensive.
#2 Because I can get ebooks for so much less, or yes, sometimes our library’s ebook library will have what I want, I’ve been able to try out authors I’m not familiar with that I wouldn’t have tried if the only way to read them was a full priced paperback.
#3 I like to read, actually do most of my reading, while I eat and my Kindle is much easier to use while eating. It doesn’t keep trying to flop closed. I don’t have to keep it open with clothes pins and have to un-pin and re-pin with every page turn.
#4 We have a small home. No attic. No basement. Very limited storage for lots of books. My Kindle holds a good-sized library’s worth in an itty bitty gizmo.
That said, I do still read paperbacks fairly often, but I do like my Kindle.
One book at a time or multiples?
Usually one. If two, they will be different genres or one fiction and one non-fiction.
Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)
I much prefer bookmarks. I make neat little origami ones that fit on the corners of the pages so they don’t stress the binding. I have made templates so I can print my own paper to make them with the Emory Crawford Mysteries ECM logo on them, then I tuck them into reader’s copies of “The Devil’s Music” and “The Devil’s Hook at signings.
But, if I have no bookmark or slip of paper or anything else available, and it’s a paperback, I will dog-ear my page.
Least favorite book you've read this year?
I don’t even remember them. They disappear from my mind. I have enough trouble remembering the titles of books I really like. I read so many.
Mystery – particularly cozies, but I do read police procedurals, forensics and thrillers if they don’t get too gruesomely gory or too much like reading porn. I also like history, well written true crime, and biographies.
Do you loan your books?
I have, yes. I'm terrible at remembering to whom and often never get them back because of it.
On the Twombly College campus, someone is breaking into the dorm rooms of female students leaving things instead of taking things: red colored objects including a red golf ball, a red ribbon and a tiny red stuffed dog.
When a recipient of some of the red objects goes missing and is returned after being told, "You're not her", and the personal assistant turns up dead with Amy Twombly's elegant Bloodwood crochet hook in her eye, things heat up for Emory Crawford and her chemist and forensic scientist husband, Dr. Jebbin Crawford.
Emory, along with the Twombly's Nancy Drew-like daughter, Madison, once more turns to her amateur detective skills and intuition to solve the mysteries.
At about time for lunch break, we heard the upstairs door open and close followed by Tracy and Suzanne pelting down the stairs into the family room.
“Sorry we’re late, Emory,” Tracy puffed.
“Campus security is finally going to do something about it all,” Suzanne gasped out in one breath.
“What?” said the class in Greek chorus unison.
“Slow down now. Take a few deep breaths then tell us what the college is finally doing something about.”
“The red things,” Suzanne began. “The red things that have been appearing in our rooms at Mitchell dorm. It started happening in November, or thereabouts. It even took us a while before any of us said anything to each other.”
“Red things appearing, not taken?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Tracy nodded. “That’s what made it so weird. I mean, breaking in to leave something is so much stranger than breaking in to take something. You know, taking is nearly normal.”
“Totally.” Suzanne shivered at the thought. “But at least now they’re going to come to Mitchell and check out the rooms for scratch marks on the door jambs, finger prints and stuff.”
“Well, I guess we’ll be hearing more about this over our break. I’ve got lunch ready upstairs. Why don’t the rest of you go on up and help yourselves while I get Tracy and Suzanne started on crocheting their afghans.”
The group moved up the stairs, the two boys in the lead. I could hear Amy Twombly grumping as she went.
“I hope lunch is better today. Yesterday I’m positive the bread was stale and Monday the soup was over-cooked.”
I started getting the two girls settled down and learning the pattern. But my brain was not fully on the stitching. The last time something around here got left where it shouldn’t have been it was a strange dried flower arrangement on the welcome table for a conference and soon after, there was a murder.
Buy The Devil’s Hook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Chapters/Indigo.
Buy The Devil’s Music at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters/Indio, or Books-A-Million.
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