The Price of a Meal

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Someone who’s part of my inner circle is working on a novel. He made a richly detailed first draft and is engaged in getting feedback from a few trusted friends. Two early readers of his book commented the story had too many references to food. One even suggested … Read more

The Angst of Small Dogs

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Daisy, what do you think? Less than 40 miles from here, some big dogs moved into a big house. Two German Shepherds. The old one, at age 12, is a fellow named Champ, and the younger one, Major, is two. Major had been left by his previous owner … Read more

A Meditation on Boundaries

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. “Breaking Boundaries” is an expression that is usually meant to show freedom—crashing through a fence that prohibits expression. But there’s another side to boundaries. And that’s “Holding Boundaries.” The first boundary I recall is a low brick wall that marked the edge of the front garden of my … Read more

The Unraveling Myth of Johns Hopkins

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Have you heard? Another historic myth is being pulled apart like a sweater with moth holes. Johns Hopkins, the great Baltimore businessman and founder of a university and hospital, wasn’t quite the social reformer that history told us. Recently, Hopkins historians shared news that he was a slave owner, rather … Read more

Holiday Novels for 2020

I’ve made a short list of recommended gift fiction that include some great historical and international novels. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia—In the 1950s, a Mexico City debutante travels visits a grand estate in the mountains and falls under a malevolent spell. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi—a young Ghanaian-American woman searches for religious and medical … Read more

A Second Home

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Have you ever frequented a bookstore so often it became a second home? From the moment in childhood that my parents permitted me to walk to our neighborhood bookstore, I’ve engaged in this kind of squatting. From Micawber’s Books in St. Paul, to long-gone independents in Baltimore and … Read more

Politics to Pastry: What Writers Share When They Blog

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. A novelist I greatly admire wrote her last blogpost in September. Catriona McPherson, formerly of the Femmes Fatales, declared that that with the election ahead, so much work needed to be done that she felt it useless to write about “cats and courgettes”—nor did she want to turn her … Read more

What a Wednesday

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. In the early hours of Wednesday November 4, I am running on fumes and bittersweet chocolate. I stayed awake much of Tuesday night, watching and waiting as the votes roll in for the 2020 presidential election. Where was the easy win for Biden that I expected? I voted … Read more