Bookstore Redux

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. A dear niece’s birthday approaches next week. I had a brief moment of panic as I brainstormed a gift that could be easily mailed, and then calmed as I remembered the independent bookstore five minutes away. The Ivy Bookshop has been part of my life—my neighborhood bookstore—since the … Read more

New York City for Tourists, Again!

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Why would anyone travel to the United States’ most visited location during the December holidays? I’m the ‘off the beaten track’ type, so this question crossed my mind several times last weekend. I’d traveled with four good friends who’d once all lived close to each other. Now, one … Read more

When Women and Children Die First

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. On September 16, a 22-year-old woman named Mahsa Jini Amini traveled with her father and brother from Iran’s Kurdistan region to visit Tehran. Mahsa had covered her hair and wore a long black burqa over her body. However, a strolling group of morality police glimpsed trousers they considered … Read more

Diwali, Festival of Lights

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Last week, I had the pleasure of celebrating Diwali, an Indian holiday that threatens to become as well-known in the U.S. as Halloween is now in Asia. Diwali awareness has risen to such a level that Amazon sells Diwali lights, and the New York Times published a Diwali … Read more

Longing for Lakes

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. I’m filing this dispatch from Minnesota, where I’ve arrived early for a mystery convention. The last two Bouchercon gatherings of 2020 and 2021 were virtual, making this year’s gathering in Minneapolis especially tempting to me, not only to see mystery friends but to revisit the beautiful “City of … Read more

How I Edit

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. The longer I spend as a writer, the more the profession teaches me. It’s only recently that I’ve figured out that the more important part of building my novels happens when I’m editing them. That’s not to say I want rather be an editor, rather than a creative … Read more

A Showdown of Peaches

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. I consider myself tolerant of heat. Yet over the last few days, I’ll admit that the air in Baltimore, Maryland, has felt like a poison gas sauna. And it’s not just me. Even Daisy, my energetic Yorkshire terrier, refuses to take a walk. At the same time, the … Read more