Women Detectives

Reading recommendations

The Marlow Murder Club #1

Let’s start with a book NOT written by a woman, after having written the above! What is amazing about this narrative is how well Robert Thorogood “knows” the contemporary women with their quirks; ones with which I can identify  easily not only in myself but in other women! Did he grow up in a matriarchal household? How did he come to be so astute to these gender traits and behaviors, dare I say?  In addition, this is a darn good mystery and one could easily see it made into a PBS series in addition to his work, Death In Paradise. Hint-Hint Masterpiece Mystery.

Lady Cop Makes Trouble (Kopp Sisters #2)

Kopp Sisters series is dear to my heart, as I have two sisters also, and the three of us are close. So, I can easily imagine all these female personalities sharing a household, for one thing despite tiffs and oddities. Each sister loves one another, but presents her individual personality – and a strong one at that! And, who could not love the first woman in any field – especially Deputy Sheriff? The language of this novel is indicative of its setting in both time and place which is no small thing for 1914 in New York.

The Secrets of Wishtide (Laetitia Rodd Mystery #1)

And of course, who does not love an English mystery? The main character, Laetitia Rodd is “no spring chicken” at the age of fifty something especially living in the 19th c. Life has left her in less than stellar circumstances yet she makes not only the best of it, but enhances her widowhood by becoming a detective in Victorian England. Not only does a mystery present a series of challenges to the protagonist, but this time period for a woman in her role is the true measure of her intelligence, wit, and humor. Gotta love her black clothing, too!

Check out books from your PUBLIC LIBRARY whether e-books from online, or print books from on-site.

Anna Roitman – Her Story: Immigration and Love:Book review

Indie Writer

In the author’s Letter to you, dear reader, Allan Bass notes that he takes creative license in writing his grandmother’s historical memoir. Know that he does so employing  a vast amount of in-depth and detailed research. Using family documents, letters, photographs, and ship manifests, Bass crafts a touching story of one young woman who makes her way from Romania to the United States and back again at a time when fascism and antisemitism were spreading throughout Europe. Reading through each chapter gives a glimpse into the 19th century when horse and carriage transported goods and people; when violin playing in the evening gave rise to singing and dancing. 

Both Eastern European village life and 1930s’ New York City life are alive and in sharp contrast as Anna navigates both worlds. Bass introduces facts from each within the story using dialogue. Done in subtle fashion, it gently reminds the reader of the challenges facing those living in the 1930s whether it is the “old country” or the new. For instance, when Anna is in Washington, D.C. negotiating her return to Romania, she must gauge her income tax; accordingly with Mr. Hamilton, a bureaucrat, who states, You earned $300.00 so far this year. The tax bracket for this amount of income is 1%. I wish taxes owed were automatically deducted without relying on people to mail what they owe each quarter (LOC 975).

There is a seamless blend of fact and fiction fashioned with a narrative writing style, among this historical setting that is suggestive of the works by Isaac Bashevis Singer. Singer’s novels and most of his successful short stories are set in the vanished world of Eastern European Jewry, a world he neither sentimentalizes nor romanticizes. (Rosenblum). Bass accomplishes the same; his characters speak for themselves without the need for the author to mitigate or enhance what their lives entailed to garner understanding or empathy of the human condition.

 Rosenblum, Joseph, and Richard A. Hill. “Isaac Bashevis Singer.” Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition, Jan. 2003, pp. 1–2. EBSCOhost, https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lkh&AN=103331CWA30219810000888&site=lrc-plus.

Bass, Allan Ira. Anna Roitman – Her Story: Immigration and Love. KDP, 2022. Ebook.

In the studio

Escaping summer heat

With all the windows closed and no lights on, the muted sunshine fills the studio with refracted light leaking in from the white, cotton drapery. The ceiling fan spins on high, while the floor fan gently tosses cat hair to and fro across bare wooden floors. All is quiet in the late afternoon hours. Shedding cat is resting with paws outstretched on the hand carved chair.  Gentle, classical music sets the background rhythm for tidying up the small studio where I work.

7/22/2022

During the past month I have been working on an artist’s book based upon am image created during the winter while attending on online “pochoir” workshop through Pyramid Atlantic Art Center and  a few sentences written down in one of my somber and reflective moods. My idea seemed brilliant at the time with a plan to create a Japanese accordion fold-out book using studio materials and tools already present. In my mind’s eye, I could see it so very clearly. And that is where it lives today. In fact, when I  undertook said project, all went askew and the book demanded a different presentation.  Respectful of the intuitive and spontaneous in life, I went along and came up with this –

For those interested in the process, I am including a list of materials and reference books:

  • cotton paper envelope liners
  • transparency film paper
  • template for pochoir
  • chalk pastels
  • color ink (The Birmingham Pen Co.)
  • color pencils
  • inkjet printer (archival ink)
  • bookbinding awl, thread & needle
  • Velcro tabs
  • archival glue
  • fabric (Marimekko)

For more on this art work, see A BLUE BUNNY STUDIO.

Ikegami Kojiro. Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions From A Master Craftsman, Weatherhill, 1986. Print
Johnson, Pauline. Creative Bookbinding, Dover Publications, 1990. Print.

Do you need to read one opinion?

Read poetry instead.

Rose of Sharon blooming

SILENCE NOW

These days the silence is immense.

It is there deep down, not to be escaped.

The twittering flight of goldfinches,

The three crows cawing in the distance

Only brush the surface of this silence

Full of mourning, the long drawn-out

Tug and sigh of waters never still –

The ocean out there, and the inner ocean.

p 166

Sarton, May. The Silence Now: New and Uncollected Earlier Poems. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1988. Print.

Poetry from the Porch: Buddha & Me

BUDDHA & ME

My friend is under great stress bearing dis-ease;

Pain felt hour after hour is etched upon her face.

Yet, shared moments, such as this, allow brief respite

From the ever-present assaults; 

From the ever-burgeoning threats.

In the early mornings, let us partake in these encounters if only too brief.

Let our eyes raise upwards to the heavens and gaze upon her trees.

For they lift up the birds whose voices squawk and sing arias.

Let us sit together in silence, if only for the peace. The stillness.

For we soon become a part of this living landscape and find rest.

In the evenings, much in our time together is repeated.  Although now

Dusk slips in. Songbirds in hues of golden yellow alight on tall bursting blossoms;  

They pick at the seeds she provides, strengthening them on their divergent ways

Across miles of deserts and oceans.

My friend is under great stress, but now I feel her pulse slow.

I hear her breath hum its nighttime lullaby. Lowering

my hand, I run my fingertips along her skin to

soothe her tired body.  Like Buddha before me,

I touch the earth to honor our deep friendship.

TH 2022
Written in response to the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling negatively affecting laws to restore a healthy global climate.

Inertia

Summer 2022

I simply cannot get moving this summer. To travel. To gather with friends. Even, to weed the garden.

My art, both writing and visual, have also been bearing the brunt of this inertia. Oh, there is blame to go around, believe me. Age. Politics in U.S. and worldwide. Global warming. COVID still in its own variant ways. Unfortunately, I feel that this inability to move either physically or psychically, lies with my interior self.

Something is brewing. Not something bad, but certainly growing pains of sorts. I ask myself, “How can this be at my age?” I am astounded that my dreams are again vivid and deep; probably prophetic if I had the energy to delve into the symbology.

Instead, I do what is second nature – to pick up a book. I am re-reading one that my sister gave me in 1993 – Women Who Run With the Wolves*. On page 447 of this edition, author, Pinkola  Estés lists women’s ages along with their representations for changing (although she does note that chronological age can be misleading). But, I take her at her word for now; it is a start – acknowledgement of a needed change. It reads for my age, “age of becoming watchwoman/recasting all one has learned.” I shall begin with this question:

In my life, what have I learned after six decades?”

Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., Clarissa. Women Who Run With the Wolves: MytH and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992. Print.