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.


She Works For Cheerios: A Therapy Dog Story

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Lee Juslin SECTION

by Lee Juslin



At one hundred and three pounds Bella Moose is a big girl with an even bigger heart. Abandoned as a puppy by some renters who moved out and, despite promising their landlady the puppy had gone with them, left her behind in an empty apartment.

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Death by Tiara: A Jaine Austen Mystery By Laura Levine

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Cynthia Chow SECTION

by Cyntha Chow


If there’s one thing freelance advertising writer Jaine Austen should have learned by now, it’s that her life never goes as expected. When she responds to a Craigslist ad searching for a lyrics writer, she really should have known better than to hope that her client would be Taylor Swift.

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A Short History Of The Hotdog

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Food Fun SECTION

by Margaret Mendel


Sausage, the precursor of the hotdog, has been around for a dog’s age. Finely chopped and highly seasoned meat stored in clean animal intestines became a clever way to preserve and store meat. This food has been around so long that it was even mentioned in Homers Odyssey written in the 9th Century BC. Italy, Portugal, Greece, France, and Germany all have long-standing recipes for sausages.

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The Saving Train: An Animal Rescue Adventure

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Animal Rescue Adventures SECTION

by Wendy Hunter


I suppose if you’re a lonely little dog, stuck in the scary confines of a shelter or rescue, life can seem a bit like starring in an emotional prison movie. You’re with a bunch of crazy critters you don’t know, you’re pretty sure you don’t belong there, the noise level is insane and some varmints just aren’t familiar with the term “personal space.” You didn’t sign up for this. You didn’t ask for 47 roommates. And you certainly didn’t agree to share a bed with a bunch of total strangers. Yuck.

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Sense of Deception & Fatal Fortune By Victoria Laurie

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Mysteryrat's Maze SECTION

by Sandra Murphy


Abby Cooper-Rivers (should she decide to take hubby’s name) has got her work cut out for her. Some of it’s her own fault; even she admits that. Probably she shouldn’t have outed a federal court judge as gay-in open court, no less—just because he said she was a fraud and not really psychic. That got her a contempt-of-court arrest and a night in jail. Due to overcrowding, she’s locked up with a woman who’s been on death row for the last ten years. Skylar Miller was accused and convicted of killing her nine-year-old son. This is her last appeal—and in Texas, if you lose that, the death penalty is in play within hours.

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Downton Tabby By Sparkle Abbey: Review/Guest Post

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Cynthia Chow SECTION

by Cyntha Chow
& Sparkle Abbey


In Laguna Beach, California, registered pets outnumber children, making it the perfect location for Carolina “Caro” Lamont, a pet therapist who counsels problem animals at the request of their often-overindulgent human parents. Although recent events should have Caro accustomed to stumbling across a body or two, she’s unprepared when a trip to drop off her office neighbor’s cat results instead in the discovery of his business partner’s body.

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Sisters in Crime Los Angeles Presents Ladies’ Night Edited by Naomi Hirahara, Katie Thornton, & Jeri Westerson

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Cynthia Chow SECTION

by Cynthia Chow


Beauty is only skin-deep, and that is never more apparent than in this impressive collection of short stories by the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime. This biannual anthology takes readers on a tour that reveals the darkness hiding under the gorgeous veneer of Southern California, where illusions and play-acting are a way of life.

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Exotic: A Mystery Short Story

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Mysteryrat's Maze SECTION

by Debra H. Goldstein


Harvey Johnson glanced around his cell. Affixed to the cement block walls were a bunk bed, mini-toilet, sink and two small shelves. At least, he was the cell’s only occupant. He stretched himself across the top bunk to stake out possession of it. His feet hung off the end of the cot-sized mattress, but he figured that wouldn’t be a problem for long.

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Encore Theatre Co.: The Beating Heart of Tulare

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Sarah Peterson SECTION

by Sarah Peterson



In the thirty-seven years since its inception, Tulare’s Encore Theatre Company has evolved from a summer school program replacement, to the Tulare mainstay that it is today. After funding was cut for a Summer School Theater Program in 1978, teachers and parents who’d been involved in that program decided it was high time for Tulare to establish a permanent outlet for the dramatic arts. Thus the Encore Theatre Company was born.

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Healthy Eating in the Valley: Healthy Food at Manchester Mall

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Healthy Eating in the Valley SECTION

by Tom Sims


Manchester Farmer’s Market is a neighborhood venture, created by neighbors who care about their community and are making a difference every week. Manny and Mary Yanez are those two people and, out of their vision, Manny’s need to do something with his time, and Manchester Mall’s welcome to morning walkers, a great venture was launched.

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Water Witch By Faith Hunter & DB Jackson

FROM THE July 4 ISSUE

IN THE Fantasy & Fangs SECTION

by Lorie Lewis Ham



Water Witch is a short story collaboration between Faith Hunter, who writes the Jane Yellowrock series, and DB Jackson who writes a series featuring thieftaker Ethan Kaille.

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A Flea in Her Ear On Stage at 2nd Space

FROM THE July 1 ISSUE

IN THE Terrance V. Mc Arthur SECTION

by Terrance Mc Arthur


“French farce.” If you don’t know what that means, you can probably figure it out: naughty people doing naughty things, not-so-naughty people being suspected of doing naughty things, mistaken identities, naughty, and not-so-naughty people running around the stage, and lots of slamming doors. Georges Feydeau wrote A Flea in Her Ear in 1907 (the John Mortimer translation is from the 1960s), and its productions have been slamming doors for over 100 years.

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Booneville Retribution: 4th Of July Mystery Short Story

FROM THE July 1 ISSUE

IN THE Mysteryrat's Maze SECTION

by S. Furlong-Bolinger



“You know, my wife, Dawn, just has no sense of humor anymore,” I was telling the guys. We were hanging out at Sid’s Hardware. They offered free coffee and a few of us had gotten into the habit of gathering there in the mornings.

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Inside Out: Movie Review

FROM THE June 29 ISSUE

IN THE Movies SECTION

by Sheryl Wall



Inside Out is an animated Disney/Pixar film about a young girl, Riley, and how she and her family had to move from Minnesota because her dad got a job in San Francisco. Riley is a happy girl who loved her life in Minnesota but the move changes that because she misses her old home and friends.

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The Cat House on the Kings: More TNR & A Bridge Rescue

FROM THE June 27 ISSUE

IN THE Animal Rescue Adventures SECTION

by Jackie Dale



My Selma colony continues to challenge and mystify me. I haven’t seen the original ginger mom cat or her older daughter at all since they all disappeared together. Her son, “Lil’ Boy,” has been around a couple of times. I see her children, the tortie mom whose kittens are tearing through my house like little tiny furry tornadoes. Much to my chagrin, her sister has shown up with two kittens that look very much like her sister’s three. I have been unable to catch the kittens thus far. Unlike the ones I captured earlier, these two are very wary of humans and will have to be trapped. And even more chagrin: there is a new cat there, a large classic tabby.

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As Night Falls By Jenny Milchman: Review/Giveaway/Event

FROM THE June 27 ISSUE

IN THE Marilyn Meredith SECTION

by Marilyn Meredith


This is a true thriller—a real nail biter.
Sandy Tremont seems to have the perfect life: a beautiful home in a remote setting, a husband with an affinity for the outdoors who truly loves her, and a teen daughter. Maybe that relationship isn’t as good as it could be, but we all know how teenagers are.

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