BOOK & BLOG
April 26, 2009
While I’m looking forward to May 5, the release date of DEAD AND GONE, as much as some of you are, I have to tell you that mine is not the only book that will be released that day.
Another book will be on the shelves that day, and I think it’s a very good one. My friend Toni L.P. Kelner will have a new paperback on May 5, and it’s a book I enjoyed from page one until the end. CURSE OF THE KISSING COUSINS is an excellent mystery with a really interesting premise. Tilda, the protagonist, is a free-lance reporter who specializes in “Where are They Now?” articles. She’s an expert in tracing television stars who’ve faded into obscurity, and the account of how she works is fascinating all by itself. In CURSE, Tilda is trying to track the cast of KISSING COUSINS, a kitschy but memorable TV series that has been off the air for many years. Tilda’s especially intent on tracking down the actress who played Tilda’s favorite character, Mercy. But someone doesn’t want Mercy to emerge from obscurity.
Toni’s book was first released by Five Star, an excellent small press, under a different title. Berkley’s edition will give Toni the recognition this very good book deserves. I’ve read the second book in the series, and it’s even better.
Right now I’m reading CURSE THE DAWN, Karen Chance’s latest installment in the adventures of Cassie Palmer. I always enjoy Chance’s books, and CURSE THE DAWN is no exception. Cassie gets into more trouble than my heroines, and in CURSE she ends up in the wrong body . . . and it’s male. This upsetting turnaround is both amusing and weird, and Cassie doesn’t have a quiet moment to understand what’s happening to her life in this frantically paced book.
The Return of the Lizard
When last we left our plucky heroine, she was being terrorized by a phantom lizard in her office. Plucky heroine, of course, is me, and the lizard had wandered in one beautiful afternoon when I’d left the door open a foolish act, as Middle Child pointed out to me after the fact. A large lizard entered, and while Paula was in the book closet and I was standing outside it talking (in other words, business as usual), I saw Lizard and Lizard saw me, upon which Lizard dashed under the squashy purple loveseat everyone hates but me and Oscar the dachshund.
Every time Lizard would emerge and Paula and Middle Child (more accurately, Middle Man) would try to capture Lizard, he/she would dart right back to his hiding place.
Days passed, and I began to assume that Lizard had gotten out of the office or had died . . . in which case, there would be a Lizard corpse under the loveseat. I was content to let nature take its course in this matter, though I was nervous for several days that I would be taken by surprise by Lizard’s attempt to make a break for it.
But I like to live life on the edge, and go for the gusto, and all the other beer ad sentiments. Until Friday, when (as fate would have it) Paula was again at work in the office, and again in the closet (no jokes, please), and I noticed Oscar wrestling with something on the floor.
Yes! It was Lizard! And getting the worst of it, I might add. I was quite proud of Oscar. But despite his best efforts, Lizard again resorted to the loveseat hideaway. Now, Oscar is short, but not that short, and I thought I was in for another weak of suspense. I had reckoned without Paula’s determination and skills. After a few false starts, with an empty book box and a file folder she had captured Lizard, and she deposited him/her outside, where he/she could scamper away. I don’t believe Lizard was in much of a scampering mood, and Paula was not too optimistic about Lizard’s survival. Since the loveseat was pulled out, I took the opportunity to vacuum up the (Lizard) poop and the windowsill, and then we put it back.
I feel much more secure now that I know exactly who’s in my office. I am more impressed with Paula than ever. And I told Oscar he was Very Good Boy. So all is peaceful in the office, and I don’t have to think what a silly person I am any more, to be so rattled by the presence of a lizard. I hope, if Lizard indeed passes away, that his/her ghost doesn’t return to haunt my loveseat.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris