Mama Carrie Makes

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CBR7, The Origins of Sassy Detective

(Cross-post for charity!!)

B is for Burglar and C is for Corpse, books two and three in the Alphabet mystery series by Sue Grafton.
I must say Kinsey Millhone is growing on me. Or at least the writer’s style. These books remind me of the Evanovich series starting Stephanie Plum, which may have been loosely inspired by this series, wink wink.
Spoiler alerts for 30 year old books. You are warned.


In book two, B is for Burglar, Stephanie, er uhm, Kinsey is hired by a woman who needs to track down her sister to sign off on some legal documents. She didn’t realize her sister was missing for six months. Uhuh. And when Kinsey becomes so concerned she suggests filing a missing persons report with the police, the sister adamantly refuses. Uhuh.

Kinsey flies to Florida (Boca Raton) where the missing Elaine usually winters and we meet the other wacky neighbor and the crazy squatter living in the missing woman’s apartment, claiming to have a subletting agreement. Kinsey files a missing persons report back in Santa Teresa and meets a cute new cop Jonah (separated from his wife). We find out that the crazy subletter has disappeared, after thoroughly trashing the Boca apartment. Kinsey discovers that crazy subletter has filed for a driver’s license in Elaine’s name, and shortly thereafter Kinsey’s apartment is burglarized (title shout out!).

The neighbor of the missing woman was murdered and her house was set on fire, right around the same time Elaine was last seen, six months ago. Kinsey starts investigating that crime hoping to get a line on her missing woman, which leads to a grieving widower, altered dental records, switched corpses and ultimately the murder weapon and murderer. The cute cop is not the bad guy, but he does go back to the wife, and our hero solves the case and goes home alone with a beating and bullet wound in her arm.

In book three, C is for Corpse, Kinsey is at the gym rehabilitating when she encounters Bobby, who survived a horrific car accident nine months prior that killed his best friend. He approaches her about investigating the accident, thinking he was forced off the road by someone. Dead best friend’s family thinks Bobby is projecting to avoid the guilt of having killed his best friend.
Bobby is loaded and we meet the dysfunctional family, the creepy shrink, and grow to really like soft-spoken Bobby. So of course he has to die.

This pisses Kinsey off no end. You do not mess with Kinsey’s acquaintances. She discovers a former girlfriend who claims Bobby broke it off because he was seeing someone else. This leads to a cryptic old address book of Bobby’s, connected to a years old murder, connected to an anonymous corpse (title shout out!) in an old hospital, which houses the old murder weapon and is what Bobby found before the original accident. The shrink murdered his wife’s first husband, who discovered she was sleeping around with the shrink. They covered it up to look like a robbery, and Bobby found out.

Kinsey solves the crime and gets her butt kicked again.

I do enjoy these books. I get the audio books from the library and go through them in two or three days. I’m already on H. Stay tuned for more sassy detective!


CBR7, The Beginning of Something

My first book review for Cannonball Read 7, A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton. The first in her Alphabet mysteries series.

A is for Alibi.jpg

Detective and former cop Kinsey Millhone is employed by Nikki Fife after serving her sentence for the murder of her husband eight years prior. She hires Kinsey to find out who really murdered the bastard, a very successful divorce lawyer and philanderer. Her investigation reveals another death eight years ago using the same murder weapon (ground oleander-spiked medication), and leaves a trail of bodies in its wake, natch. Millhone also works for California Fidelity, investigating small claims insurance fraud in exchange for her office space.

I liked this book for the same reasons I like Stephen King and Agatha Christie novels, easy to read, well paced, not too challenging. What suspense there was did not last long, and it really took about 50% of the book to really build up to the tense parts. The main character is not the most engaging or sympathetic, and a bit too self-righteous for my taste, so I wasn’t overly concerned for her safety. First published in 1982, I was a bit distracted by the antiquated technology and predicted the villain quite early, probably because this book was the origin of that particular trope. I do plan to continue the series so I’ll be interested to see how the author incorporates emerging technologies. The series is up to “W” so at the very least it has been successful enough to warrant 22 sequels, which doesn’t automatically mean good books as we all well know.


Once begun half done! I’m excited to go for a my first full Cannonball this year! See you next time.

(Image Source: wikipedia)


Friday Craft, Tarot the Truth

My tarot deck is spooky accurate yo.


(Image Source Unknown)

Of course the tarot was designed so that each card could be applicable in almost any situation. But it’s not about the cards ability to predict the future, it’s about how you interpret the message and apply it to your life now, to either change or improve your situation. To gain new insight into a question you’ve been struggling with, or to see new possibilities you hadn’t considered.

In a recent reading, I used a spread called the Tree of Life, about personal and spiritual growth. The cards showed what I need to learn, my challenge, my guiding card, what will help me, what warning to heed, what to let pass, and the end result of this growth.

I also enjoy reading cards for other people. As I start to describe the card’s meaning, in relation to it’s spot in the layout, the look on their face tells me if we’re getting close to home. Then it becomes a conversation about the many possibilities of action that can be taken in response to the card.

‘What does it mean, and what should I do about it?’

Well Dear Reader, have you had your cards read?


Friday Craft, Library of Craft

My family are regular patrons of our closest two libraries. Before we moved to WA, we were not library users. Now we are total converts. So many books, and they let me take them home!

I could never afford to buy all the crafty books my heart desires. Plus I would feel pretty foolish when I discovered that most were duds. And I can check out crafts that I might not have considered before. Quilling anyone?


Thinky Linkies

These campaigns are, of course, aimed at women. The presumption is that all women plan to be in places where they will be wearing bikinis in the coming months of the Northern Hemisphere, and thus, they must be appropriately ‘prepared.’ This means that their bodies need to be socially acceptable. Most ads are pretty blunt about what acceptable means, you don’t need to read through the lines or anything like that. Acceptable means ‘fit and toned,’ which is a way of saying that your stomach should be flat and arm/leg flab should not bother reporting for duty. It means ‘pleasing to look at, because you are an object.’

-se smith at Meloukhia, “Bikini This

Earlier this week, Rihanna released the video for her song “Man Down” in which her character struggles with the choice to kill her rapist. In Hip Hop and pop culture where rape is glorified and celebrated, this is a welcome intervention. The video reinforces a very basic point: the choice to be sexual and sensual on the dance floor should not be read in any way as consent for future sexual activity. For once, the critique of rape is unambiguous. It is wrong; it is not the woman’s fault; and it should be punished.

-crunktastic at Crunk Feminist Collective “Man Down: On Rihanna, Rape, and Violence

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Read ‘Em

And I Should Know – Great Feminist Mother, Roseanne Barr

Nothing real or truthful makes its way to TV unless you are smart and know how to sneak it in, and I would tell you how I did it, but then I would have to kill you. Based on Two and a Half Men’s success, it seems viewers now prefer their comedy dumb and sexist. Charlie Sheen was the world’s most famous john, and a sitcom was written around him. That just says it all. Doing tons of drugs, smacking prostitutes around, holding a knife up to the head of your wife—sure, that sounds like a dream come true for so many guys out there, but that doesn’t make it right! People do what they can get away with (or figure they can), and Sheen is, in fact, a product of what we call politely the “culture.”

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