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.


Sharon Tucker

by Sharon Tucker


Goldy Bear was living in a dream when she fell in love with and married a handsome OB-GYN, looking forward to a life of love, security and comfort. Then to her horror, husband John Richard Korman, devolved into “The Jerk,” prone to rages that devolved into physical abuse. What’s a woman to do when her fairy tale doesn’t come true?

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by Sharon Tucker


As Halloween draws near, a good ghost story is just the thing to read. Of the ghostly tales out there, Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic (1995), Kate Ellis’s Watching the Ghosts (1979) and Paull Gallico’s Too Many Ghosts (1959) appealed to me this fall largely because, of all the ones I looked at, each of these is unusual in style and approach.

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by Sharon Tucker


If I could use magic to modify the hot summer weather that’s back now as September begins, I’d raise my wand at once. However, lacking the skill to conjure weather, instead I’ve avoided thinking about my skyrocketing electric bill by reading three mysteries set in worlds where altering the weather would be but a minor accomplishment. The Shotgun Arcana by R. S. Belcher, Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep, and The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney may vary widely in location and era, but all three take place in worlds where “mundane” flew out the window long ago.

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by Sharon Tucker


The August weather may still be stiflingly hot, but schools everywhere are preparing to gear up for fall and the start of a new school year–exciting times, yes? K-12 students are bracing themselves! University students are excited if they are freshman and blasé if they are upperclassmen. Teachers everywhere will head back to school two weeks early to prepare for the upcoming term, but the rest of us will be footing the bills or limp with relief that we are not footing the bills for books, new clothes and school supplies.

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Spider’s Trap By Jennifer Estep

IN THE July 25 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andFantasy & Fangs,
andSharon Tucker
SECTIONS

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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by Sharon Tucker


Perhaps your summer reading, like mine, involves pulling the venetian blinds mostly closed against the afternoon sun, getting the AC just right and then settling back with a good book, a glass of iced tea and finally settling in to read, going where your author takes you.

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Remembering Ruth Rendell

IN THE June 13 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andSharon Tucker
SECTIONS

by Sharon Tucker


On May 2, 2015, Ruth Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, died at the age of 85, leaving behind a legacy of more than 60 best-selling novels. She had been a Labor Party member of the House of Lords, and sponsor to various charities for housing, children with heart disease, assisted suicide, and the rights of African women.

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by Sharon Tucker


Earth day (April 22) always makes me long to be a flower child again. I want to wear Birkenstocks, put on a patchwork granny dress and to have flowers in my hair—all of which I did daily a number of years ago—except maybe the flowers. I want to spend the day outdoors in a sylvan setting, far away from the city where cars vibrate with rap music, and I want to be in a place where the internet is just a line of code on the breeze.

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by Sharon Tucker


If you read and enjoy thrillers, you are probably familiar with those written about and during the Cold War (roughly between 1947 and 1991). The spy literature this era spawned is still classic and includes authors Ian Fleming, John LeCarre, Len Deighton, Alistair McLean, Frederick Forsythe, and Robert Ludlum, among many others.

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by Sharon Tucker


As this official holiday for lovers (and anti-holiday for singletons) now approaches, are you planning a sumptuous dinner with champagne followed by a molten chocolate extravaganza for dessert? If so, good for you! Celebration of this holiday is highly individual, perhaps never more so than by authors’ writing murder mysteries centered on or around it. So pick up one or more of these Valentine-themed mysteries by Rendell, Meier and McLeish and relax, sit back and enjoy.

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by Sharon Tucker


On November 27 of this past year, Baroness Phyllis Dorothy James of Holland Park passed away at her home in Oxford, England. Although I have not read her at all since she published, Death Comes to Pemberley and for some time before that neglected to read her last few Adam Dalgliesh mysteries, I unexpectedly felt a strong pang of loss. As a result, I have started reading Cover Her Face once more and I now plan carry on reading her books I have missed.

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by Sharon Tucker


If you choose to see the New Year in with amateur sleuths Lord Peter Wimsey, Christine Bennett or professional Edward X. Delaney, count on a body turning up for the holiday. Whether our investigators’ services are requested or they just happen to be in the neighborhood where a body is discovered, each is relentless in pursuit of the truth in his or own fashion. As he tells Harriet Vane when they meet in prison, Lord Peter simply enjoys “investigating things.”

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by Sharon Tucker


Detective novels set in California—particularly San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara (or Santa Teresa) are particularly attractive to us in the rest of the country. What makes them seem out of the ordinary involves both the paradise syndrome of the California that exists only in our imaginations, as well as the schadenfreude we experience as the underside of the great Hollywood dream factory is lovingly detailed in fiction —especially detective fiction.

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by Sharon Tucker



Halloween will be here soon. Even if you haven’t gone trick-or-treating for some time, remember the deliciousness that you felt at this time of year as a child? The beginning of cooler weather in late October takes me back to remembering classrooms festooned with pumpkins, scarecrows and witches, all cunningly cut from construction paper.

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by Sharon Tucker


Inigo Montoya insisted on going “back to the beginning” in The Princess Bride and we get to do just that in Jeri Westerson’s most recent novel, Cup of Blood. Can we be at the seventh volume in the Crispin Guest series already? I began reading the books a little over a year ago, intrigued by the notion of “medieval noir,” and curious as to how the author would make noir traditions work in the time of Richard II. In addition, I hadn’t read a book set in the 14th century since Anya Seton’s Katherine.

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by Sharon Tucker


May 9, 2014 marked the passing of novelist Mary Stewart at the age of 97. I hadn’t read her in quite a few years, but her death saddened me because somehow I felt as if I were saying goodbye to my youth again.

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