Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sleuth & Scribe Book 1: The Cold Case by Mary Russel NOW AVAILABLE

Wow my third book is already available on my publisher's site!!!

That was fast!

Sleuth & Scribe Book 1: The Cold Case by Mary Russel

Product Details

ISBN: 978-1-4512-3598-2

# Pages: 86 pages

Dimensions: 6x9

Format: Softback

Product Description
"Containing no graphic violence or sex, no profanity, and likeable main characters, the Sleuth & Scribe series is safe for children and fun to read for adults who enjoy cozy mysteries. In 1969, the body of a young woman was found at the bottom of a fire escape. It was Mike Holden's first case. The police, eventually, decided it was an accident but Mike was never convinced it wasn't murder.

Forty years later, an old memory causes Mike to reopen the case. Follow Mike as the Sleuth, Alice as the Scribe, and Mike's dog, Deke as they chase down old leads and historic memories of the Weather Underground, the Vietnam War, and the Peace Corps in Thailand."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Cold Case

         The book cover for my first murder mystery coming soon.

Containing no graphic violence or sex, no profanity, and likable
main characters, the Sleuth & Scribe series is safe for
children and fun to read for adults who enjoy cozy mysteries.
In 1969, the body of a young woman was found at the bottom
of a fire escape. It was Mike Holden’s first case. The police,
eventually, decided it was an accident but Mike was never
convinced it wasn’t murder.
Forty years later, an old memory causes Mike to reopen the
Follow Mike as the Sleuth, Alice as the Scribe, and Mike’s
dog, Deke as they chase down old leads and historic memories
of the Weather Underground, the Vietnam War, and the Peace
Corps in Thailand.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Flickertail & Paint in the Case of the Missing Turkey

Chefs preparing a seafood paella in Playa del ...Image via Wikipedia

A Thanksgiving Caper with Flickertail, the Llama and Paint, the Horse
While Flickertail was visiting Paint, the Feldstein Inn down the road from Paint's barn was overflowing with guests on Thanksgiving. Usually the inn only served breakfast but these guests were chefs and they chose the
Feldstein Inn for their annual Thanksgiving cookoff. Each chef's dish or dessert would be judged and awarded a possible ribbon. The ribbons represented a great deal of prestige which translated into extra business for the winning chefs.

With so many cooks in the kitchen things got a bit chaotic and the turkey was somehow misplaced.

The chefs looked in all the obvious places like the freeezer, the refrigerator, the kitchen counter, the dining room table, the microwave, and the oven with no success.

"Our friends and the judges will be arriving in less than six hours. How can we possibly have Thanksgiving without the turkey?"

"There's a famous horse and llama detective team on the neighbors' farm," said the inn keeper. "I'll go get them."

"Do you think one of the chefs hid the turkey on purpose to sabatoge another chef from winning the ribbon?" Flickertail asked Paint on the way to the Feldstein Inn.

"Well, let's find out."

When the detectives entered the kitchen Paint asked, "Which of you is responsible for preparing the turkey?"

"We all are but Three Feathers, who also dances with turkeys, oversees the turkey preparations."

"Is there a head chef?"

One of the chefs stepped forward. "I am."

"What's your name?"


"OK Bill. Have you finished preparing your dish yet?"


"Fine, then let's talk out here on the porch."

As Bill, Flickertail, and Paint prepared to be seated, Paint noticed an odd odor. "There's a fowl odor in here."

"You mean it smells bad?" asked Bill.

"No, I mean it smells like fowl."

The three of them sniffed every nook and cranny trying to determine where the odor originated.

Flickertail found some bones including the wish bone. "Maybe we should wish for the rest of the turkey to suddenly appear."

Robin Williams appeared as a genie. "I was just sleeping off the tryptophan and I'm in a foul mood. What do you want?"

"Since when do wishbones conjure up genies?"

"Things are tough all over. The genie union can't afford magic lamps anymore. You only get one wish and you cannot wish for more wishes."

"What happened to the other two?"

"As I said, blame it on the economy."

"Someone or something ate the turkey. We need a 20 pounder."

"Do you want the bird in hand or in the bush?"

"Well, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush so the bird in hand."

"Say abracadbra!"


"Were you expecting hocus pocus? No particular reason. I just like the way it sounds. Besides I'm in charge of this llama and pony show."


The turkey appeared and Robin disappeared.
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Facebook | My Photos - just for fun

Facebook | My Photos - just for fun

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Flickertail and Paint in the Weeping Willow

Sequoia sempervirens in Redwood National ParkImage via Wikipedia

Flickertail the Llama and Paint the Horse were watching TV when they saw an ad for an auto insurance company. It talked about a driver hitting a tree and mentioned how to get information from the other driver.
“I’m blaming the tree,” said Flickertail. “It should have barked out a warning.”
“At the very least, it should have planted itself in a different location,” agreed Paint.
“What kind of a vehicle do you suppose the tree was driving?”
“I don’t know but it had a trunk.”
“Maybe it was a Subaru Forester.”
“I’ll bet the other driver was a Forest Ranger.”
“It did happen in a National Forest Park.”
“Do you think the tree suffered from any broken limbs?”
“I think the tree should be charged with inattentive standing.”
“The tree was ticketed with paper from a former cousin who happened to be hit on Woodlawn Drive.”
“I guess the driver couldn’t see the forest for the tree.”
“I hope the tree told the other driver to leaf it alone.”

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Excerpt from Sleuth & Scribe Book 3: The Bed & Breakfast

As Tim became an adult, he understood he didn’t have the wherewithal or desire to own and control a utopia himself. However, he was not about to give up on his dream. Recently, a group of men who had read his books had approached him about donating his money to Ned Williams, a political figure they had groomed to take over the country. Tim was assured his utopia would be realized through Williams.

“What do I get in return?”

“You get to see the fruition of a life long dream.”

Tim wasn’t sure that was enough. “I want to meet this guy, first.”

Ned reminded Tim of a robot. He spoke and acted without emotion.

“So you want to make this country a purely socialist panacea? How do you intend to do that?” asked Tim.

“Actually, we want to go much further than that. We want world socialism, eventually but we’ll begin with the US. We’ll start with the kindergarten through college students first. The schools are already teaching a socialist agenda and we will ramp up that indoctrination. This demographic is easiest to convince because they already believe capitalism is heartless. Also young people, just out of school, tend to be poor and the idea of sharing the wealth appeals to them.”

“What about their parents? How will you reach them?’

“We already have the majority of people under 35 on our side. It’s the people over 35 that will be the hardest to reach. This is the age group most business owners and wealthy people fall into. We all know business owners and the greedy rich lack compassion. We hope we won’t need to take them over by force. We will start by ‘nudging’ them with covert threats. If that doesn’t work, we’ll simply apply executive order to take over and control entire industries. We can do it so stealthily and quickly, they won’t even know what hit them.

And, of course, we don’t have to worry about the elderly. They love their Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. All socialistic programs.

And, we won’t have any problem with financing all of this. Of course, there are people like you who are sympathetic to the cause and willing to donate. There are always the taxpayers. They’ll object to the increase in taxes, but there is really not much they can do about it. We’ll just take the money under the guise of fees or programs that serve a dual purpose of getting more of their money for their own good and of controlling them at the same time. And then there are the organizations we control. People donate to them because they help the poor, the ill, the elderly, and the environment. All good causes but also a front for our agenda of collapsing the present economy to make way for our system.”

Tim interrupted. “Who is this ‘we’ you keep referring to?”

“I have a group of like-minded people who will be helping me to put all of this in place. I have promised them positions as my czars. Some people will say our ideas are radical. But in the end, we’ll convince them. Gradually, we will introduce them to new ideas, by manipulating the facts, until they accept what seemed implausible.”

“You seem pretty sure you are going to win.”

Ned laughed. “Very sure.”

Being aware of the many “fixed” elections in recent years, Tim didn’t feel the need to pursue that line of questioning any further.

“So what’s in it for me?” he asked.

Ned knew he had Tim where he wanted him. He sat back, relaxed, and smiled. Everybody could be bought. You just had to figure out what it took for them to sell their souls. He was pretty sure he had Tim pegged but first he had to appeal to Tim’s vanity.

“I’ve read all of your papers and books on your plans for a socialistic Utopia. I was very impressed with how well thought out they were. We share many of the same goals. Your vision is compatible with mine. I’m capable of helping you to realize everything you want to accomplish but on a much grander scale. I’m also prepared to offer you a position as one of my czars.”

Tim’s eyes lit up and Ned knew he had scored a hit.

“I’ll have my lawyer and my accountant work out all of the details, with transferring funds and writing up a contract.”

When Ned stood, so did Tim. They shook hands and Ned said, “The future of our country and indeed, the entire world depends on visionaries like us. The time is never been better or more advantageous for us to take our positions in this new world we have so carefully planned. Welcome aboard.”
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Hope Chest

American bride in a Contemporary Western Weddi...Image via Wikipedia
A cedar box of dreams
A promise of love and security
Treasured pieces of life

Framed, pressed flowers
High school yearbooks
Hand embroidered linens

Old family photographs
Mom’s wedding dress
A wedding ring quilt

Gathered together for another
To make her home homier
For her to pass on
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Flickertail & Paint in a Halloween Party

Apple bobbingImage via Wikipedia

“Have you decided what kind of a costume you will wear to Mary’s and Tom’s Halloween Party?’ The barnyard was abuzz with the animals’ party plans.

Since G.G. stood for Grey Ghost, she thought it would be appropriate for her to wear a ghost costume but in grey rather than the traditional white. Everyone agreed she would be really scary. She would blend in with the shadows and with her soft cat-feet no one would hear her sneak up on them. She could get so close she could tickle them with her whiskers and purr or meow. “You can bet that’ll make most of the guests scream,” said William, the Turkey.

“Are you going as a turkey?” asked G.G.

“No, too dangerous. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I thought I’d go as a huge rat. Nobody’d eat a rat for Thanksgiving.”

“I would.” G.G. licked her mouth.

“You can’t go as a rat. I’m going as a rat,” said Rollie.

“What kind of a disguise is that? You ARE a rat,” said William.

“Exactly, nobody would ever think I’d go as myself.”

“Your odor will give you away.” G.G. grinned like the Cheshire Cat.

“Are you implying that I stink like a dirty rat?”

“You smell like food to me.”

“Everything smells like food to you.”

“Are you calling me a fat Cat, you bozo! Maybe you should go as a clown, Rollie.”

“Has anyone heard what the house dogs, Cookie and Coco are going as?” asked Paint the Horse.

“Probably humans,” giggled Rollie. “Mary and Tom treat them like human babies.”

“I heard Randy, the Ram and Sheila, the Sheep are going as a couple,” gossiped Gladys, the Goose.

“A couple of what?” asked Rollie.

“She’s going as Little Red Riding Hood and he’s going to dress as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

“Are you going as Mother Goose?” quipped Rollie.

“Why not? I heard Carla the Cow is going as a bull.”

“Hey Flickertail, are you going as a wooly bully? Or maybe the Dali Lama? Oh, I know. I’ll bet you’re going as a Ramma Ramma Ding Dong.” Rollie rolled on the ground with laughter.

Flickertail laughed too. “Maybe I’ll go as a Bahama Llama,” he said.

“You and Paint should go as Sherlock and Dr. Watson,” suggested G.G.

Flickertail shook his head. “Too elementary.”

“What about Poirot and Captain Hastings?” said G.G.

“I rather liked Mrs. Oliver in Halloween Party,” exclaimed Henrietta, the Hen. “If you two go as Poirot and Hastings, I’ll be Mrs. Oliver.”

“What a clever idea!” said Paint. “We could all dress as characters from Halloween Party and reenact it.”

“Who wants to be the teenaged girl who was drowned while she was bobbing for apples in a house called The Apples, because she claimed she saw a murder?”

“Oooh me. I’ll be Joyce,” G.G. volunteered.

“Hastings wasn’t in Halloween Party,” Flickertail pointed out. “You’ll have to be Superintendent Spence, Paint.”

“No problem,” agreed Paint.

 “I’ll be Leopold Reynolds, Joyce’s brother, who was also murdered when he tried to blackmail the killer,” said William the Turkey.

“I want to be Olga. I get to inherit Mrs. Llwellyn Smyth’s money when she adds a codicil and disinherits the Drakes,” said Gladys the Goose.

“You do recall that Olga’s goose is cooked and she never gets to see any of that money, right?” G.G. reminded her.

“I’ll be the forger, Lesley Ferrier, who tries to make it look like Olga forged the codicil,” said Frank the Ferret.”

“I’ll be Rowena Drake,” said Mallory the Duck. “At least, I’ll be one of the few main characters who isn’t killed.”

“I’ll be Michael Garfield. I get to create a magical sunken garden. I’ve always wanted to do something creative with dirt.”  Rollie laughed manically.

“You are a dirty rat, after all.” G.G. shook her head. “I knew it.”

“Is everyone willing to take the time to rehearse until Halloween?” asked Flickertail. 

Everyone agreed and the barnyard was full of props, apples, and animals for the next several days. They all busied themselves building backdrops, while Mary and Tom tried to guess what they were up to. When Mary finally asked Flickertail, he just smiled and said, “You’ll see.”

There was much excitement in the barnyard the night of the Halloween Party. Every animal, including Cookie and Coco, had roles in the play. None of the humans knew what to expect, but afterward everyone in attendance agreed it was a Halloween Party they would never forget. 

Mary made a comment about how many of the characters “bought the farm.” Almost everyone decided to stay away from apples for awhile.

And like Mrs. Oliver, many adopted dates as their new favorite snack, at least temporarily.
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