“The Ice Princess,” by Camilla Lackberg

In a Scandinavian seaside village, Alex, is discovered dead in her bathtub, and it is icky. That’s right, I said, icky. This is not a pretty story. The Ice Princess is a dark story with dark characters.

Detective Patrik Hedstrom was my favorite character. He wasn’t perfect, however, I thought the author did a good job creating a detective who knew how to investigate and wouldn’t quit until he solved the crime. He was placed in uncomfortable situations, faced individuals who committed shocking crimes and managed to remain human and likable in the midst of it all.

Erica, is a writer, and was Alex’s childhood best friend. Erica does her own investigation during the course of the story while dealing with problems of her own. As the mystery progresses, Erica and Patrik work together and uncover shocking information about Alex and the people who live in this small, seaside village.

This story grabbed my attention and held it. However, reader be warned, there is profanity in the story, the crime scenes are described in some messy detail and there is moderately described sex.

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“Murder Trims the Tree,” by Deb Baker

So, recently I discovered I needed to read a good comedy, a book that will cause spontaneous laughter. I need Gertie Johnson! I was going to wait until the holiday season to read “Murder Trims the Tree.” However, I knew Gertie was a guaranteed laugh, so, I read this Christmas novella. I was not disappointed. What a hoot!

Gertie and company, Kitty and Cora Mae, are ordered by the court to do community service. So, in the dead of winter, in the U.P. they head for the local assisted living facility to fulfill the court ordered directive.

I was not disappointed. Oh my goodness! Gertie and her friends are quite the characters. Read all the Gertie Johnson Mysteries. Read them in order. LOL!

http://www.deb-baker.blogspot.com

 

 

Tales From the Wilderness

vacation2014 021 Of course, after we saw the mama moose and baby moose in the Big Horn Mountains, I was telling everyone I met about our amazing sighting! So, we are driving through Spearfish Canyon – at lunchtime. Rick stopped at an Inn for lunch. It was a nice Inn, with a woodsy, cabin atmosphere. We had a good view of Spearfish Canyon, as we sat at a table by the window. After taking our order, I was showing the waitress’s my picture of mama moose and baby moose. One waitress sighed. The second waitress gazed at my photo and commented on what a good picture it was of a horse and a pig. That’s right –  she did say – a horse and a pig!

I laughed. I looked up at the waitress and said, “That’s a mama moose and her baby moose! We saw them at our campsite in the Big Horn Mountains.”

She responded laughing loudly, “That’s a moose! I thought it was a pig and a horse! Oh my! that is so embarrassing! We don’t have moose around here! I need to look at some pictures of moose!”

Rick and I and the waitress were laughing so hard, we attracted attention. The waitress fled laughing with a red face.

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Do you have a Little Free Library?

FreeLittleLibrary 017 FreeLittleLibrary 010 FreeLittleLibrary 007 I am surprised at myself! This Little Free Library has been such a blessing in my life, including the couple who built it and placed it in this location, why oh why, didn’t I mention it before? This library has been in our neighborhood at least a year – maybe, a couple of months longer than a year. This summer it has been loaded with kids books. Our son and his wife have a foster daughter – well, this little free library has provided her with many enjoyable books! I highly encourage anyone – build one in your neighborhood. FUN! http://www.LittleFreeLibrary.org

 

Tales From the Wilderness

While we were exploring the Big Horn Mountains, which is blanketed in colorful wildflowers of purple, yellow and white, several people we spoke with recommended we visit “Crazy Woman Canyon.” We learned there are two different stories – as to why the woman was crazy. I will try my best to tell the stories accurately.

1.) A Native American village was attacked and wiped out. One woman survived the horrible experience. She never left the area and she went crazy because of the killing. She lived in the canyon for the rest of her life.

2.) A family of settlers – husband, wife, and two children were attacked by the Sioux. The husband and kids were scalped. In a fit of rage, the woman picked up a tomahawk and killed four of the Sioux braves. After the killings, she refused to leave the area. Later a trapper found her. He buried the bodies and tried to convince her to leave the area, she refused. So, he built her a cabin, decapitated the four dead Sioux and placed their heads on poles in the four major directions around the cabin. No one bothered her because of the heads on the poles. She remained in the cabin for the rest of her life.

This cold, crisp mountain stream is in Crazy Woman Canyon. A family was camping next to the stream when we visited. The woman told us the fishing was good in the stream. Her children had caught some fish. Tiny was there sweet and friendly dog.

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“Murder Begins at Home,” by Deb Baker.

Oh my goodness! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Gertie Johnson is a piece of work! If you want eccentric, crazy antics, zany, mixed in with good mysteries along with tromping through the U.P. Michigan, than Gertie Johnson is your woman!

When an older man – victim of a stroke – is missing, Gertie, Kitty and Cora Mae are on the job! They are ready for action and adventure. You can count on these three friends to get the job done. Laugh out loud funny!!!

http://www.deb-baker.blogspot.com

 

“Lucy Maud and Me” by Mary Frances Coady

Good morning. I liked “Lucy Maud and Me!” In 1942, 12 year old Laura, boards a train and travels from Rocky Falls to Toronto to visit her Grandfather. This author did such a great job describing the hustle and bustle of a big city in 1942. I was right there with Laura as she absorbed the sights and sounds of Toronto. Laura soon discovers there is a mysterious woman in the neighborhood. Laura learns, this mysterious neighbor, is Lucy Maud Montgomery – the author of “Anne of Green Gables!” And so, the friendship, with Laura’s favorite author begins.

This book was so well written.! This is a story full of pleasure, however, mingled with regret. I’ll be reading it again and again!

http://www.lmmontgomery.ca

http://www.maryfrancescoady.com

 

Tales From the Wilderness

Rick and I visited the Big Horn Mountains this summer on vacation and I will say, it was an experience! It’s beautiful. As we approached this majestic wilderness, I was pleasantly surprised to see snow on the peaks in the higher elevations!

We arrived late in the day, so our exhaustion from our long drive, encouraged us to set up our two person tent and get some sleep – eager to discover the treasures waiting for us the next morning. I woke once in the night to the sounds of a coyote yipping and howling in the distance, otherwise I slept soundly on the mountain floor.

There wasn’t a noise anywhere, the following morning, when I woke to the fresh scent of pine and the cool, crisp mountain air. I kicked the sleeping bag and blankets off and quietly put on my jacket. I grabbed my hat, and as quietly as I could, I unzipped the door to our tent. Rick was soon following me.

Rick was the first one to see her. He tapped me on the should and suggested I look in the direction he pointed. I quickly turned and gazed at a female moose! Oh, how do I describe her? She was big. As big as she was – when she moved, she never made a sound! Although, I am sure she can make noise if she so desired! She was a dark brown to black in color and she was grazing contentedly on the meadow grass across the dirt trail in front of our tent. I quickly grabbed my camera. I wasn’t going to miss this photo opportunity. She was amazing. There were a few campers who awoke before us and they were silently gazing at her. That was the effect she had on us. All we could do was stand silently and stare at her with such a feeling of silent “aaaaaahhhhh.”

With my zoom lens, I silently scanned the meadow and was pleasantly surprised to discover a baby! She was a mama moose! Her baby was delightful. The little dickens ran, jumped, scampered and had great fun playing in the grassy meadow, never straying far from mother.

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“Who’s Body?” by Dorothy L. Sayers.

I am a little behind on my blog, because we have been on vacation, however, I will soon catch up and be on top of things!

This was the first book I have read by Dorothy Sayers, and I am sorry to say, I didn’t like it. I read somewhere, “Who’s Body,” was the first mystery she wrote. I can take that into consideration. I hope her mysteries improved with writing experience.

The story dragged terribly in a few places throughout the book. I nearly quit reading on more than one occasion. I was confused at times, however, I found myself not wanting to re-read the areas that confused me – for clarification. So, I just moved on. She seems so popular and has so many fans, I think I expected more, got less and was disappointed. I really went into this book wanting to enjoy it.

I don’t want to end on a negative, so, I will say I liked Lord Peter Wimsey, Mr. Bunter, Wimsey’s mother and Mr. Parker. Good characters!

 

 

Tales From the Wilderness

Stephen Bly is one of my favorite authors. In Bly’s “Horse Dream Trilogy,” one of his characters is from Ten Sleep, Wyoming. Well, when Rick and I decided to travel to Wyoming for our vacation, I wanted to visit Ten Sleep. We did eat at the “Crazy Woman Cafe and Pub.” I had a pancake and I shared vacation pictures with our waitress. So, at the south end of the Big Horn Mountains sits Ten Sleep, Wyoming. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

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