Catching Up

I’ve been concentrating on getting the first draft of my mystery novel finished – just one more chapter! – so my blog has been a bit neglected.

Here are a few things I’ve managed to do lately:

The 100 Day Project – Turns out I’m not as consistent as I thought I’d be in making a pair of earrings every day.  I’m constantly catching up but really glad my skills have been retained.  Since there are no hard and fast rules for this project, I’m happy to just be getting it done, whatever way works!


A Trip with Trouble by Diane Kelly – After an amicable divorce, Misty pursued her dream of running a lodge in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  In this second book in the series, the Dangerous Curves motorcycle club roars in for a week of fun rides but when a tragic death occurs in their group, Misty, Rocky, her handsome handyman, Brynn, her Wiccan housekeeper and Patty, the nearby café owner, have their pick of viable suspects.  And, of course, there’s Yeti, Misty’s cat, and Molasses, Rocky’s dog, on the premises.  Gotta have pets in a cozy mystery!

An Extravagant Death by Charles Finch – I’ve been reading the Charles Lenox mysteries since A Beautiful Blue Death in 2008.  Lenox is the second son of an aristocratic family whose decision to become a detective in Victorian England is not a popular one.  But with encouragement from his older brother and his assistance to Scotland Yard and members of the aristocracy themselves, Charles comes into his own as an investigator.  After 13 books in England and one on the high seas, An Extravagant Death brings Lenox to New York City and Newport, Rhode Island, solving the death of an American heiress.  Among the cast of supporting characters are childhood friend Lady Jane, his gentle brother, Edmund, and his school friend turned major domo, Graham.  An excellent series for anyone interested in Victorian history.

Mr. Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer – Dara is a successful modern-day matchmaker and creator of J-Mate, a Jewish dating app.  When her beloved grandmother outs her “perfect Jewish husband” list on Chris’s local TV show, the fun begins when his producer proposes setting Dara up on blind dates to find her perfect match.  Chris, a non-Jewish widower dad, ticks off none of Dara’s boxes but they can’t deny the attraction they feel.  Meltzer’s specialty is writing romances about women with physical or psychological issues with compassion – Dara’s Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a major part of this story and certainly helps to raise awareness while woven into a funny, heartfelt story.


Unprisoned on Hulu – Delroy Lindo and Kerry Washington play a recently paroled man and his distrusting psychologist daughter.  There’s a lot of unpacking of lifelong trauma for each of them and her son is sometimes a bridge for them.  It’s both frustrating and satisfying to see them struggle to work through their individual issues and begin to understand what the other has been through.  Definitely a dramedy, my biggest laugh so far was when Lindo, whose character has been in prison for 17 years, laughs at Washington at a self-check at Target and tells her she’s paying them to do their job.

Will Trent on ABC/Hulu – I’ve never read the books by Karin Slaughter but if this show is anything close to the books, bravo to ABC.  The back story is that Will, played by Ramon Rodriguez, who grew up in foster care with Angie (Erika Christensen) is dyslectic and doesn’t want anyone to know.  He’s an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Angie is a cop on the Atlanta force and his on-again, off-again lover.  Relationships and cases are complicated, with a good supporting cast, especially Will’s boss and Angie’s partner.  And I can’t forget to mention the adorable Betty, the chihuahua Will reluctantly adopted after her owner died.

Alaska Daily on ABC/Hulu – Hilary Swank plays Eileen Fitzgerald, a tough journalist who’s hit a rough patch and takes the only job offered to her – The Daily Alaskan – at the behest of editor Stanley Cornik, played by Jeff Perry.  He wants hard-hitting Eileen to investigate the deaths of native Alaskan girls that are being neglected and going unsolved.  It’s been interesting to watch Eileen take on the challenge and become a part of the eclectic group of reporters at the regional newspaper.


Caitlin Doughty – Ask a Mortician – YouTube

My BFF’s daughter, Tarryn, brought my morbid attention to Ask a Mortician because of an Instagram post about death care books I was reading.  Caitlin is a certified mortician who has been creating content on YouTube for about ten years.  She is both wicked smart and very entertaining.  The range of video’s cover pretty much any topic about death, dying and what happens to our bodies after death that you can think of.

Mostly, I watch with my cat, Raina, but The Husband joins me for historical topics like the Romanov’s, Jesse James and the Kennedy assassination in Dallas, disasters like the SS Eastland and the Edmund Fitzgerald and the cannibal series (the sinking of the Essex, the Donner party and the rugby team that crashed in the Andes). 

Some of my favorites have been about spirit photography from the 1800’s, the human composting process, European ossuaries (churches made of bones), Starvation Heights and the recreation of a Victorian funeral, just to name a few of the dozens I’ve seen.  Caitlin can be silly, using funny voices and props, but she also can be very respectful and calls herself Death Positive.

One of Caitlin’s missions is to educate the public on death care and laws regarding the funeral industry and our understanding of the rights we have regarding our bodies and finances.  She’s also a proponent of green burials and alternatives from traditional death care.  I’ve learned an enormous amount from her and I’m so glad I found her!  Thanks again, Tarryn!

2 thoughts on “Catching Up

  1. Mary, I love that title. I imagine weaving, creative, diversity….. Wonderful!!! Sorry I’m late getting back to you. OMG, my dream last night reminded me. It was a stressful dream: I could not find you!!! It was 😢 sad…. So, I’m so happy that you are there. Love you! Gay

    Liked by 1 person

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