A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
Community - Entertainment - Human Interest


Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


Mary Poppins Presented by CenterStage Clovis

FROM THE July 29 ISSUE

IN THE Terrance V. Mc Arthur SECTION

by Terrance Mc Arthur


“Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Chim-Chim Cheree,” “Step in Time,” “Feed the Birds,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.”
Sounds like there’s another production of Mary Poppins: the Broadway Musical in the Valley, and it’s from the CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre, playing through August 1.

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Dogfight Presented by StageWorks Fresno

FROM THE July 29 ISSUE

IN THE Lorie Lewis Ham SECTION

by Lorie Lewis Ham



You are always guaranteed a high quality show when you see a StageWorks Fresno show, and Dogfight is no exception. The music is amazing and the performances are top notch.

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Ant-Man Movie Review

FROM THE July 27 ISSUE

IN THE Jesus Ibarra SECTION

by Jesus Ibarra


Ant-Man is another good hilarious Marvel movie that actually blew my expectations and continued to lay the groundwork for the hero stuffed Captain America: Civil War coming next May. Centering on Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) an exceptionally good thief who is enlisted by a retired genius scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to steal a new super powered suit that will unleash a secret he tried to bury many years ago. Marvel continues to use its tried and proven formula of taking a film genre and injecting its superheroes in it. Here is a heist film wrapped in super heroics and tied to the larger MCU.

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Spider’s Trap By Jennifer Estep

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Fantasy & Fangs SECTION

by Sharon Tucker



Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series is quite a ride. If you have been with Gin Blanco on the whole trip detailed in the previous 12 novels in the series, then you have seen her begin as a lone assassin in Spider’s Bite and watched as events in it and her succeeding adventures have brought her to the point where Spider’s Trap, number 13, begins.

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The Cat House on the Kings: The Selma Sagas & The Lady With 30 Cats

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Animal Rescue Adventures SECTION

by Jackie Dale




July has been a hot and busy month. As my Selma kitties have slowly returned, I noticed that they’re beginning to do some kind of construction on the adjacent vacant property. They are ripping out concrete and removing trees and brush. I’m worried that they will tear down the bushes where my cats live. I am already scouting out the area to the rear of the store. Should the bushes go, the cats would have to move.

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Scents and Sensibility By Spencer Quinn

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Mysteryrat's Maze SECTION

by Sandra Murphy



Chet is back, and he’s a busy guy! He has to be ready to grab the perp by the pants leg as soon as Bernie gives the signal, which could happen at any time. That’s what they do at the Little Detective Agency, Little being Bernie’s last name. Chet is the 100-pound dog/enforcer who always goes in first to protect Bernie.

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Costuming The Musical Dogfight

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Theatre SECTION

by Mallory Moad



“So why do you want to do this?”
I’m standing in the middle of a storage unit in north Fresno, staring at endless racks crammed with a variety of costumes and for the life of me I can’t remember the answer to that question. The person who presented this query was Joel Abels, Artistic Director of Stageworks Fresno. “This” is designing costumes for an upcoming production of the musical Dogfight.

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Coming Attractions: Busy August Edition

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Coming Attractions! SECTION

by Sunny Frazier


“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” We have lots of entrepreneurs in this month’s mysteries to help keep your hands and mind busy with fun reads!
Jane Steward is organizing a Valentine’s week of activities at her book-themed resort, Storyton Hall. It all goes to hell when Rosamund York, one of the most celebrated authors in attendance, is killed. Rosamund had plenty of enemies: fellow novelists, a former lover, and dozens of angry fans.

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Rainy Day Women By Kay Kendall

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Marilyn Meredith SECTION

by Marilyn Meredith


There is a lot to love in this Austin Starr mystery.
The setting is mainly Vancouver, but also Seattle in 1969 and focuses on the women’s liberation movement which is an integral part of the plot. Having vivid memories of all that went on during the late ‘60s, I have to say Kendall has done a great job weaving all of the emotions of the times into the story.

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Great Food Search: Tacos

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Terrance V. Mc Arthur SECTION

by Terrance Mc Arthur


I grew up on my mother’s Anglo tacos: greasy hamburger crumbles in a break-apart tortilla shell, with shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, and ketchup on top. I know, that’s as far from a true taco as anyone can get, but I want you to understand my starting point for this Great Food Search journey into the world of the taqueria. A taqueria can be a restaurant, or it can be little more than a kitchen, a food truck without wheels. I sampled tacos from several points along the spectrum, and I had a pretty good time of it.

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The Scoop on Santa Cruz Ice Cream

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Christina Morgan Cree SECTION

by Christina Morgan Cree



When I first moved to Santa Cruz, Marianne’s on Ocean was the place to go for locals and the obligatory stop on the way home from a long day in the sand and sun for tourists. That was 30 years ago, and it’s still a hot spot with a line out the door day and night. Joining that wonderful institution is a new breed of ice cream shop.

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Dead Rapunzel By Victoria Houston

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Cynthia Chow SECTION

by Cyntha Chow


Rudd Tomlinson just made the biggest and proudest purchase of artwork in her career; too bad it turns out to be the purchase of her lifetime! Moments after finishing her daily breakfast at the Grizzly Bear Café, Rudd is fatally struck down by a truck. The traumatized driver swears that she was pushed out in front of him, and a dishwasher backs up his testimony.

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Kind of Blue: A Mystery Short Story

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Mysteryrat's Maze SECTION

by Barry H. Wiley



“John, you know why drummers always leave their sticks up front in their car?”
I waited.
“So they always qualify for a handicapped parking place.”
I had to laugh. Jack Smitz (Jax Smacks as he was better known in the jazz crowd) delivered the punch line with solemn mock sincerity, accented by a suitably lifted eyebrow.

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The Master Gardener Vision

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Community SECTION

by Kathy Eide Casas



Brown is the New Green…this familiar reminder is sprouting up all over California as we enter another year of the historic drought. For those who want to remain water-wise but still want to enjoy all the benefits that plants, trees and flowers have to offer, more residential gardeners than ever are turning to the experts who are on hand 24/7, to offer tips, advice and knowledge– The Master Gardeners.

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Vera Stanhope: Detective, Loner, Winner

FROM THE July 25 ISSUE

IN THE Deborah Harter Williams SECTION

by Deborah Harter Williams


Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope is variously described as cranky, driven, overweight and middle-aged, and that’s from the people who love her. Vera is based on the books created by author, Ann Cleeves, and is brought to small screen life by actress Brenda Blethyn.

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The Bomb Maker’s Son By Robert Rotstein

FROM THE July 24 ISSUE

IN THE Cynthia Chow SECTION

by Cyntha Chow


Having previously been attacked in his condo’s underground garage, attorney Parker Stern is prepared for the worst when he’s startled there by a woman with a covered face. For Parker, an actual beating would have been preferable to a visit by his mother Harriet. Now calling herself Quiana Gottshalk, she’s a self-declared elder of the Church of the Sanctified Assembly, a cult that abused and embezzled money from Parker while he was a child actor.

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