Framing the Dialogue

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A Dark and Stormy Murder

My wife and I traveled to Bermuda this spring.  We went in early spring before peak time on the island to help make the trip more affordable.  My trip was enhanced greatly when I discovered what some noted was the tiny country’s national drink, The Dark and Stormy (Goslings Black Seal Rum and Ginger Beer).  I’m going to have one tonight.  When I see a novel called A Dark and Stormy Murder I just have to read it right?

Disorganized Crime

“Are you saying …” My brain crunched the numbers while I blinked stupidly. “… mobsters took my father?”  Portland did weird better than anyone, except maybe New York, but we didn’t do organized crime of the Italian-American variety. That I knew of.

Disorganized Crime is the first in the “Kat Makris Greek Mafia Novels” and where Kat discovers that there is a link between the Mafia, Greek version, and her family.  As he hadn’t known much about her father’s family she is in for quite a whirlwind when her dad disappears.  A visit from “family members” starts her on a wild ride into her past.

The Rainmaker

So I’m reading The Rainmaker by John Grisham and I think that I’ve read it before…maybe decades ago.  So many facts of the novel felt familiar, but I could not put it together enough to remember details for ultimately what happens in the story.  So on I read.  In this novel we meet a soon-to-be lawyer who’s life is turned upside down just before he graduates law school.  He finds himself with perhaps the case of a lifetime and must pursue justice (or at least a large settlement) while having fairly little as far as resources; both money and help.  In his suit, he is pitted against one of the best lawyers in the city and one who would never hire him.  He is forced to open his own office and go it mostly alone.

Blue Shoes and Happiness

This is another of my bargain finds.  In Blue Shoes and Happiness we meet the members of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and this novel by Alexander McCall Smith is the seventh in the series and finds  Mma Ramotswe “as she sets out with her usual resolve to solve people’s problems, heal their misfortunes, and untangle the mysteries that make life interesting.”   There doesn’t seem to a single, large case in this novel, but rather a series of disconnected storylines.  There is a new, too raw advice columnist in the local paper, a Game Preserve manager feels fear spreading among his workers, and a local doctor may be falsifying blood pressure readings.


I was taking a break from some Saturday chores to call our car dealership to check on the status of some car repairs.  I spent quite a lot on Monday in both time and money only to notice on the drive home that the tire pressure light was on.  I checked the pressures and they were fine, so I called and set up an appointment for today.  While on hold I was scanning the news on Yahoo and noticed an article about the U.N. releasing a report about how bad folks have it in the United States.  You can read the full article here.

Chris Pratt

Not sure how long it will be until the Hollyweird types get to Mr. Pratt, but this speech is very well done. Should be required viewing for a lot of celebrities.

Atlas, Babylon

“Then the sound came, a long, deep, powerful rumble increasing in crescendo until the windows rattled, cups danced in their saucers, and the bar glasses rubbed rims and tinkled in terror. The sound slowly ebbed, then b1959oomed to a fiercer climax, closer.”

Written and released in 1959, Alas, Babylon was one of the first dealing with the aftermath of a nuclear war.  I wasn’t born yet, but I do remember growing up during the Cold War.  Mutually Assured Destruction was a hell of a thing to live with.  Author Pat Frank showed us how a small Florida community dealt with the aftermath of a world nuclear war.  This novel didn’t get into too much of the what/how of the actual bombs, just how this community worked to survive and hoped for the best, but were realists.


I’d read most of Ted Bell’s Alex Hawke novels, but had missed a few the past years.  When I saw Overkill at Sams Club I treated myself to the hardback.  The story had all of the main characters found in the Hawke series and even a famous Russian leader who is obviously bat-shit crazy.  You can probably guess his name.  The premise of the book with an assassination attempt, kidnapping, and general mayhem.  Hawke, of course, is in the middle of things.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Imagine a world where humans are a lower life form saved from the brink of extinction by higher life forms.  Humans are not highly regarded.  That’s the world in the “GC” where we meet the crew of the Wayfarer with a mixed crew of different species and life chaotic and crazy.  In The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet the crew’s job is to bore wormholes between different planets creating a shortcut between different worlds.  A new crew member with deep secrets has to work to fit in to the new crew and to get used to the dangerous work that they all do.