by Cynthia Chow
& Clover Tate
This week we have a review of something a little different-a kite shop mystery by Clover Tate aka Angela Sanders. We also have a fun kite related guest post by Clover. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Live and Let Fly, and a link to purchase it from Amazon and an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Live and Let Fly: A Kite Shop Mystery by Clover Tate
Review by Cynthia Chow
After opening her dream shop in Rock Point, Oregon, just the previous summer, Emmy Adler is pinning all of her hopes on the upcoming annual kite festival to boost her through the slow winter. It means competing against Sullivan’s Kites, but Emmy believes that her handcrafted designs are far more artistic than Jack Sullivan’s aerodynamically engineered ones. Emmy and Jack dating one another adds an element of friendly rivalry, but even he doesn’t know just how much Emmy’s business depends on the promotional value of winning. It explains Emmy’s irrational explosion upon seeing Jack’s flirtation with the reality show guest judge, but it’s a jealous reaction Emmy soon regrets. For even though Jack is willing to forgive and forget, it certainly doesn’t look good when the female target of Emmy’s ire turns up dead.
Jasmine Normand had grown up in Rock Point, but it was on the reality dating show Bag That Babe where she gained dubious fame. Her return had attracted both social media and tourists, further dividing the town between residents and the visitors who were forcing change. Jasmine’s death is quickly blamed on the one who most aggressively opposed the influx of newcomers, but Emmy has her doubts. As Emmy becomes desperate to ensure the success of both the festival and her participation in it, she must dodge a tabloid reporter who isn’t above a little extortion (which, he clarifies, is different than straight out blackmail).
This second in the series showcases an enviable setting readers would love to visit, no matter how much long-timers might resent their presence. The contention between residents and tourists is vividly depicted, with business owners wanting the money but not their continual presence. Proving to be an unexpected delight is Emmy’s black sheep sister Sunny, who has dropped out of her liberal college to pursue her dream of accounting. With two parents who are the definition of Reiki-practicing hippies, Sunny’s decision to drop Feminist theater and Fermentation and digestive health will not go down well. In any other instance a klutz-prone, college drop-out sister couch surfing would be irritating, but in this case Sunny proves instrumental both in solving the mystery and saving Emmy’s shop. Readers will want to join Emmy’s family as much as they will want to move to Rock Point, which makes waiting for the next in this series that much more unbearable. Clover Tate’s next kite-themed mystery can’t sail into bookstores soon enough.
Go Fly a Kite
by Clover Tate aka Angela Sanders
How long has it been since you’ve flown a kite? True confession: until I started writing a series of cozy mysteries set in a kite shop, it had been years for me. Then, one spring three years ago, my brother dragged me to the Washington coast with an armload of kites. “You’re writing about kites,” he said. “No more relying on memory.”
The sky was as frothy as a blue chiffon prom dress, and the wind whipped my hair into my eyes. I cast a glance at my brother, then eased an owl-shaped kite into the air. (I mentioned a similar owl kite in Blown Away, and was thrilled to see it made the cover.) Up, up, up the owl climbed.
And all at once I got it. I understood why people fly kites. It’s not just their beauty. Yes, a lovely kite can steal your breath as it undulates in the wind with its tail sailing behind it. Artists who design kites have created everything from floating dragons the size of Cadillacs to flotillas of sparrows. Search the internet for photos and videos of the international kite festival in Cervia, Italy, if you want to see some stunners.
It isn’t the sport of it, either—at least, not for me. Some kite aficionados perform aerial dances or even team kite drills that rival the Blue Angels for precision. Other kite lovers take part in “kite fighting.” Their kites’ lines are coated in crushed glass, and they try to sever the lines of other kites fighting theirs.
No, for me it was the zen of watching the kite shimmy in the wind and feeling the steady pressure of the line. It was meditative. It was relaxing. A little bit of myself was up there with the owl, far above the beach and the drama of traffic, bills, and deadlines. I was hooked.
If you want to resurrect your childhood love of kites, I recommend you start with a classic diamond-shaped kite. They’re inexpensive and relatively easy to handle. If you find you love flying kites, you might want to try a sport kite—broad kites shaped more like bats—and experiment with swooping and other maneuvers.
Make sure you take your kite somewhere far from power lines and trees. This is one reason the beach is such a terrific place to fly kites (another reason being the wind off of the ocean). Lots of towns have kite clubs that even host indoor kite flying during the winter with specially made small kites. You might even want to try your hand at designing your own kite.
I’ll never be without a kite now. My advice? When someone tells you to “go fly a kite,” forget the insult and take it as a suggestion for a great way to pass the afternoon. You won’t be sorry.
To enter to win a copy of Live and let Fly, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “fly,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 3, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section.
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