Quirky Stuff

Where my research takes me: baby cages

Internet searches are the oddest things. This time, I wasn’t doing research for the next Concordia Wells mystery (although in another post I’ll have to share with y’all some cool stuff I’ve learned about 1890s East Hampton, Long Island).

This time, I was researching catios.

What is a catio, and what does it have to do with baby cages?

Okay, getting to that.

First, my cat. Tora is a rescue and we care for her as an indoor cat. Not only is it part of the terms of our adoption agreement with the ASPCA, but it’s safer for her. Besides the usual foxes, skunks, raccoons, and other wildlife, we have a colony of feral cats in the woods behind our house and a domesticated cat next door with feline AIDS. Plus our little gal’s only seven and a half pounds fully grown. She’d be outmatched in a fight.

Tora, sitting IN the window ledge, looking at me plaintively. You can see the fur sticking through the screen, LOL.

 

Enjoying the sun.

The problem is, she LOVES being outside. It’s obvious her previous owners who gave her up (pregnant and unvaccinated) let her go out whenever she wanted. In nice weather we bring her out to the backyard in her harness (which she can easily slip out of, even the smallest one we could find), and we give her plenty of inside window perches. She loves both, but we know she’s pining for more. So I started looking at protective outdoor options, including a deep, screened-in window box. These, along with larger, screened enclosures for the outdoors have become known as catios: “cat” + “patio.”

Image via catiospaces.com, where you can purchase plans to build your own.

On to baby cages:

In one of the articles about these window enclosures, it mentioned that similar contraptions were used for babies in the 1930-50s.

Huh? Was that really a thing? I mean, I grew up in an age where moms held their babies in their laps during car rides, seat belts were optional (and air bags? ABS? Lane departure alert? Sci-fi stuff), kids roamed the streets unsupervised until dinnertime, and parents took their kids on chickenpox play dates, so hey, anything’s possible. I did a bit of poking around.

It turns out that, yes, they were used, but not widely, and mostly in high-rise London tenements in the 1930s. (By the way, there’s no evidence of any reported deaths from these things. Whew). Emma Reed in 1922 applied for a patent for her own design.

I’d love to be able to show you the pics, but they are all copyrighted. However, here’s a British Pathe clip about baby cages. Looks like it was filmed in the post-war ’40s or early ’50s, I can’t confirm the date. Be warned, it’s kinda corny, with a gazillion goofy puns:

But why suspend babies in cages out the window in the first place?

I had the same question!

The answer is an intriguing one, and led me back to the time period of my own novels, the 1890s (funny how that happens). In 1894, L. Emmett Holt, MD published The Care and Feeding of Children (reprinted 8 times between 1894 and 1917). He advocated the liberal “airing” of young children to promote good health.

Fresh air is required to renew and purify the blood, and this is just as necessary for health and growth as proper food.

Care and Feeding of Children (Google Books, 1917 edition)

To be fair, nowhere in the book does Dr. Holt suggest hanging babies in cages out the window–his advice was confined to opening windows to air out the nursery and taking babies out in strollers–but you know how people can be…if a little is good, more must be better! And it had to be tough for moms in upper-level apartments (no elevators) to climb down the stairs with baby and stroller in tow.

So here’s a fun story: among the mothers who took Dr. Holt’s advice about infant airing to heart was Eleanor Roosevelt, after the birth of her first child, Anna. Here’s the passage, as recounted in Hazel Rowley’s Franklin and Eleanor: an Extraordinary Marriage (2010):

Wow. Makes growing up in the ’70s seem pretty tame. *wink*

Want to read more?

A Brief and Bizarre History of the Baby Cage

This is Real: The Baby Cage | Apartment Therapy

The Intriguing History of 1930s Baby Cages

 

Ever had an internet search take you in a bizarre direction? What child-rearing fads do you remember? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Kathy

P.S. – we haven’t decided yet about the “catio.” Stay tuned.

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August 30, National Toasted Marshmallow Day

August 30, National Toasted Marshmallow Day
Image courtesy of Nina Hale, creative commons license.

Image courtesy of Nina Hale, creative commons license.

Okay, so it’s a made-up holiday (sponsored by the National Confectioners Association), but what’s not to love about celebrating that iconic summer treat, toasted marshmallows? The history of the marshmallow is pretty cool, too.

Althaea officinalis, illustrated by Leonhard Fuchs. Citation link: http://catalogue.wellcomelibrary.org/record=b1000513

Althaea officinalis, illustrated by Leonhard Fuchs. Citation link: http://catalogue.wellcomelibrary.org/record=b1000513

Marshmallows were originally made from the root of the Marshmallow herb, also known as Althaea officinalis. The Egyptians made candy/cakes from it, mixing the sap with honey and grains. One source says the Egyptians reserved such a treat for the gods and that everyone else was forbidden to eat it, but I have not been able to confirm that with other sources.

The sap of the Marshmallow root was long known to soothe sore throats, and the Greeks and Romans used it medicinally as both a liquid and lozenge. It was the French who finally turned it into a candy in the early 19th century, whipping it to an airy consistency. However, extracting the necessary sap from the Marshmallow plant was time-consuming. Only small, local sweet shops prepared it, mixing small batches by hand.

Our commercially-produced marshmallows bear little resemblance to these earlier confections. Once it was discovered (late 19th century) that gelatin and egg whites could substitute for the consistency provided by the Marshmallow root sap, the marshmallow no longer had Marshmallow in it.

Nonetheless, many people enjoy our modern-day marshmallows, and it’s nice to see that vegan and kosher varieties are now more widely available. An occasional fluffernutter sandwich, rice krispy square, MallowCup, or smores beside a campfire can be a fun treat, right?

Speaking of treats, here’s a recipe for our family’s favorite marshmallow dessert, cookie pizza. Enjoy!

Cookie Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite sugar cookie dough (we use Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie Mix, but you can use the already-prepared 18oz pkg of refrigerated dough)
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups M&Ms
  • 2 cups mini-marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 deg F, or per sugar cookie baking instructions.  Divide dough, and press into 2 ungreased pie pans.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden.  Cool.

 

2. In either a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave, melt chips and sweetened condensed milk until smooth and blended.  Spread over crusts.  Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.

Bake 4 minutes, or until marshmallows are lightly toasted.  Cool and cut into wedges.

 

Want to read more about marshmallows?

NATIONAL TOASTED MARSHMALLOW DAY – August 30 | National Day Calendar

Wikipedia: Marshmallow (includes a video link as to how marshmallow was made from the root)

The History of Marshmallows

Boyer Candies (makers of MalloCups)

 

Do you enjoy toasting marshmallows, or using them in a recipe? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Kathy

Concordia logo FINAL small

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See you in…17 years?

See you in…17 years?

 

Here at K.B. Owen Mysteries, we typically talk about historical culture and the mystery genre, though I do get off-topic from time to time, as life and interesting tidbits of pop culture creep in. Even so, I hardly ever blog about bugs.

My post about pollinators comes close: http://kbowenmysteries.com/posts/its-national-pollinator-week/

But there’s a first for everything, and the 17-year cicada is sort of historical, if you think about it.

Cicada molting. Image from USDA.gov

Cicada molting. I know…eww. Image from USDA.gov

According to the news reports, the “periodical” cicadas will emerge from the ground this spring. Everything about the bug demands notice, from its appearance – buggy red eyes and big, bulgy, two-inch-long winged body – to the loud, collective buzzing of the swarm. The first time I heard them, I thought an alien spaceship had landed. The sound is actually a chorus of males trying to attract females. Sort of the insect version of cat-calling.

Hey, baby, I see you over there on that hydrangea. You are looking mighty FINE today. Why don’t you fly on over here and we’ll have a good time.

Then there is the sheer number of them. Billions, covering areas across Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. Fortunately, they don’t bite/sting people or destroy crops. (Though dogs can get sick tummies when they snack on too many of them).

But the part of this that really intrigues me is the length of their life cycle. 17 years? Wow. The parents of this emerging brood of cicadas (Brood V) mated in 1999. Their offspring have been underground all this time, living off of root sap. When the top 8″ of soil warms to 64 degrees, they synchronously emerge to shed their nymph shells then swarm and mate.

hourglass

17 years is a long time. Do you remember 1999? A lot has happened since then. Here are some things that occurred to me. Back in 1999:

  • This blog didn’t exist (nor did its host, WordPress).
  • My first two sons were 6 and 3 years old, and the youngest hadn’t been born yet.
  • No Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any sort of online social media existed; online interactions were facilitated through CompuServe and AOL, and primarily in email form. Not even the now-defunct MySpace was around yet (officially launched in 2003), nor was Friendster (2002).
  • Everyone was worried about Y2K.
  • We partied like it was “1999.”
  • Amazon was primarily an online book supplier and was just starting to expand into other merchandise.
  • There were no e-readers or e-books; the Kindle was first offered for sale in 2007.
  • There were no USB flashdrives (commercially available in 2000).
  • PayPal was just getting started (1998).
  • Google had just been founded (1998).
  • The online music-sharing site Napster was launched.
  • The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and impeachment proceedings were top stories in American newspapers.
  • The Twin Towers were still standing.

This generation of Brood V cicadas will be waking up to a different world. Many more items could be included in this list – feel free to add them in the comments! I would also love to hear about your experiences with the critters.

owl readingWant to read more about the 17-year cicadas?

Cicada Mania

Periodical Cicadas (wikipedia)

Billions of cicadas will descend upon the northeastern United States (Washington Post)

Cicadas Prepare to Emerge (CNN)

 

Until next time…keep your car windows rolled up! *wink*

~Kathy

 

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The Ides of March: more than the Shakespeare play you read in high school

The Ides of March: more than the Shakespeare play you read in high school

I first heard the phrase “the ides of March” in ninth grade, when we were assigned Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It’s a great play for your average teen, full of intrigue, deceit, betrayal, prophecy, political power, and murder. The soothsayer’s prognostication in the play is now legendary:

Beware the ides of March.

That’s it: short and sweet. Ever notice that most soothsayers in these stories are cryptic old men? A little more information would have been handy for Julius, who was assassinated on the ides of March in 44 B.C.

Death of Caesar, by Karl Theodor von Piloty, 1865. Image via wikimedia commons.

Death of Caesar, by Karl Theodor von Piloty, 1865. Image via wikimedia commons.

How did the old man know? Shakespeare doesn’t say. There were all sorts of divination techniques back then, from ooh to eww. Check out this wikipedia article for the complete list. I like to think it was owl entrails. Just call me old-fashioned. *wink*

Even though we don’t examine entrails (known as extispicy) or watch the peckings of roosters (known as alectromancy) anymore, we continue to look for patterns to make sense of our world. Pattern recognition is hard-wired into us by evolution and has saved us many times in our early survival days. But it’s also tricky. Some patterns are significant, and some are purely coincidental.

I doubt I would have given the ides of March another thought in my lifetime if not for a klutzy mishap in eleventh grade. I broke my ankle on March 15th of that year, slipping on the wet floor in the pool locker room. Even then I didn’t get it, until my mom pointed it out and wrote Beware the Ides of March on my cast. Everyone got a chuckle out of that. I got off easy compared to Caesar, right?

Me and my prom date, 3 months later. I was glad to be out of a cast!

Me and my prom date, less than 3 months later. I was glad to be out of a cast!

In the decades since, I have managed to get through the ides of March unscathed, and those locker rooms got non-slip mats for the floor, so we’re all good.

A few interesting facts about the Ides of March (Idus Martii):

  • The term “ides” referred to the middle of the month, at the time of the full moon. Based on the Romans’ lunar calendar, the ides were on the 13th for most months of the year and on the 15th in March, May, July, and October.
  • The ides, no matter what the month, were considered a holy day dedicated to the Roman god Jupiter, and commemorated by animal sacrifices.
  • By the oldest Roman calendar, March was the first month of the year; therefore, the ides of March was the new year’s first full moon.
  • In Rome, the ides of March was when one settled debts. Kind of like an IRS tax deadline.

You can see that Caesar’s assassins picked a significant day to do the deed. Here we have the death of Caesar linked to sacrifice, the settling of a debt, starting a new year, and a celebration of the Romans’ most important god. Patterns yet again.

The unluckiness of the ides of March doesn’t end with Caesar’s assassination. Here are some ominous things that have happened in history on March 15th:

  • 1889: cyclone in Samoa destroys six U.S. and German warships docked in the harbor at Apia, killing over 200 sailors.
  • 1917: Czar Nicholas II signs the papers to abdicate his throne, turning over his rule to the Bolsheviks. He and his family are imprisoned and executed.
  • 1939: the Nazis seize Czechoslavakia
  • 1952: record rainfall hits La Reunion (an island in the Indian Ocean), dumping over 73 inches in a 24-hour period.
  • 2003: the World Health Organization issues a world-wide health alert for the emerging SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus. Panicked populations across the globe don surgical masks and close schools.

For the rest of the list, check out this Smithsonian Magazine article.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that March 15th is more unlucky than any other day of the year. At least, I hope not. Crutches are a pain in the neck on the stairs.

Happy Ides,

Kathy

 

 

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The Spy Who Stole Tea from China

The Spy Who Stole Tea from China

tea2

With stories in the news lately about hackers from China breaking into corporate computers and stealing proprietary software and information (for example, this 60 Minutes’ feature: The Great Brain Robbery), here’s a little historical gem about Robert Fortune (1812-1880) who accomplished the reverse. The low-tech version.

Image via Wikipedia Commons.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

From 1845-1848, this Scottish botanist managed to acquire China’s closely-guarded tea-growing and production secrets, along with actual plants to transplant in India. For the tea-drinking world, this was a game-changer. Within a short time, China no longer had a monopoly on tea, and Brits had control over the production of their favorite beverage.

Background:

Robert Fortune was working for the Horticultural Society of London and had already traveled to China and learned a great deal about tea production, along with some surprises:
Chinese merchants had been telling their customers for decades that green and black teas came from different plant varieties. Fortune learned that the difference between black and green teas wasn’t the variety of plant, but the method of drying the leaves. He also discovered that the Chinese were dyeing the green tea purchased by the English.

from Three Years Wanderings in the Provinces of Northern China, by Robert Fortune.

He published his discoveries in book entitled Three Years’ Wanderings in the Provinces of China. It drew the attention of the East India Company, which commissioned him to return to China and acquire tea plants for them. In Fortune’s own words:

I was deputed by the Honourable the Court of the Directors (sic) to proceed to China for the purpose of obtaining the finest varieties of the Tea-plant, as well as native manufacturers and implements, for the Government Tea plantations in the Himalayas.

Fortune had no ethical problem with such a request. In his view, plants belonged to the world for everyone’s use.

The Caper:

The Chinese were incredibly secretive (and rightly so, given what did happen) about how their tea was produced. Fortune spent two and half years in China, shaving his head and adopting the attire of a Chinese merchant (read Sarah Rose’s fascinating book, listed below, for more details). It was sometimes a challenge to evade China’s in-port restrictions, which only allowed foreigners to travel one day’s distance from the ports allowed to Europeans by treaty. But Fortune managed to travel to areas few Europeans ever saw.

Here is Fortune’s own account of how he transported the tea plants he collected, using what was called a glazed case, first devised by Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward:

fortune tea2

 

The mission was a rousing success:

Upwards of twenty thousand tea-plants, eight first-rate manufacturers, and a large supply of implements were procured from the finest tea-districts of China, and conveyed in safety to the Himalayas.

Wow, 20,00! And the equipment and experts to successfully start a tea-growing operation in India. Can you imagine?

 

Want to read more?

Fortune, Robert. Three Years Wanderings in the Provinces of China. London: Spottiswoode and Shaw, 1847.

Fortune, Robert. A Journey to the Tea Countries of China; Including Sung-Lo and the Bohea Hills. London: W. Clowes and Sons, 1852.

Rose, Sarah. For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History. New York: Viking Press, 2010.  Click here for Amazon link.

NPR: Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China’s Tea Empire

 

Happy tea drinking,

Kathy

P.S. – Be sure to check out the following post for my giveaway and flash fiction fun! Entry deadline is January 31.

You tell the story!

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State of the Union as spectator sport

State of the Union as spectator sport

Tomorrow night’s State of the Union address will be President Barack Obama’s last, during an election year already rife with divisive and derisive rhetoric. So, how about we have some fun instead? Below is a post from 2015 that surveyed social media responses to that year’s SOTU. It reaffirms my faith in mankind’s intrinsic smart-a$$ery, an important self-preservation skill in any election year.

What’s new this year? Looks like the White House is trying to sit at the cool kids’ table by joining SnapChat.

POTUS snapchat

For you political wonks out there, here are a couple of links to help you get ready:

5 Things to Watch for in Obama’s Final State of the Union (NPR)

From this article, I learned that the following phrases would make great SOTU Bingo spaces (or key words for a drinking game), for those so inclined:

shared prosperity

inclusive growth

gun control

immigration reform

initiatives

long way to go

let’s not let the Republicans take us backward

Everything you need to know about the 2016 State of the Union address (Politico)

My favorite paragraph from this source is the explanation of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s nap last year:

politico Ginsburg

Wow, I never knew Ruth was a party girl! Makes you wonder who else isn’t “100 percent sober” at the event. A tweet of Justice Ginsburg’s sleeping pic is included in the original post below.

Will you be watching the State of the Union address? Will you be tweeting, bingo-ing, or drinking? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Kathy

P.S. – don’t forget to submit your flash fiction tale about the barber shop pole for a free audiobook or ebook! End of January is the deadline. Details here: You Tell the Story!

—————–

Originally posted 21 January 2015:

Today’s post is a bit different from our usual historical and mystery-based themes, and is just for fun. No policies or partisanship here. We want to talk about the stuff that people really care about.

Preparing for the event:

SOTU32

After all, what State of the Union address is complete without a fog machine?

We viewers at home had some preparations to make as well. Bring on the drinking games and Bingo!

Here’s a drinking game that DebateDrinking.com devised for the occasion:

SOTU33

For the rest of the rules, click here. I would add “veto,” “children,” and “community college.”

Vox.com posted this Bingo card:

SOTU1

 

Not sure how you win when everyone’s card is the same, but at least you won’t be falling asleep:

SOTU26

Although some appreciated the Supreme Court Justice’s approach:

SOTU21

Okay, so now we’re ready. Let the pageantry begin.

 

The President Makes an Entrance:

SOTU4

SOTU5

SOTU6

 

Face-Off: the Men Behind the Man

There were tons of tweets about Biden and Boehner.

SOTU30

You know, I can see it….

Boehner’s tan drew a lot of attention:

SOTU7

SOTU9

SOTU28

And what was that silver thing on Boehner’s desk? A couple of theories:

SOTU8

SOTU17

Biden got his share of tweets, too:

SOTU29

SOTU31

 

Sotu34

 

I’d missed Biden’s facial expression during Obama’s off-the-teleprompt zinger. Thank goodness for social media, LOL.

sotu35

 

The Quaker Oats Guy, or Mad-Eye Moody?

Someone else caught the eye of the Twitterverse last night:

SOTU22

SOTU10

sotu36

 

When generations collide: the astronaut on instagram

The President to astronaut Scott Kelly: “Good luck, and post pictures on instagram!”

SOTU14

 

Do they have wifi in space?

Wrapping it up:

There seemed to be a lot of standing ovations. Here’s one reporter’s tally at the end:

SOTU24

At least the Democrats got their aerobic workout for the night.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems strange to see the President signing autographs after the address. To add to the weirdness, he signed a tie last night.

SOTU23

Maybe it will start a trend. But what’s next? Groupies throwing their underthings at the President to sign? *shudder*

 

If you skipped the State of the Union address altogether, here’s one guy’s strategy for catching up:

SOTU25

Hope he’s not part of this teacher’s class today. There may be a quiz:

SOTU27

 

Did you see the State of the Union address last night? Were any naps or drinking games involved? I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Kathy

 

P.S. – 10 more days until the end of the Unseemly Ambition giveaway!

Unseemly Ambition Giveaway

giveawayTora1b

To celebrate the release of my most recent Concordia Wells mystery, Unseemly Ambition, I’m holding a prize giveaway. There’s still time to get your name in!

Click here for easy ways to get your name in the drawing, and a list of prizes!

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You tell the story!

You tell the story!

writerHi everyone! I’ve decided to start off 2016 with something fun and interactive. You all read my stories (thank you!); now I’d love the chance to read yours.

As you may know, much of my primary research comes from the 19th century newspaper archive, Chronicling America. I often stumble upon fun little gems that I didn’t anticipate.

 

Here’s the last line from a newspaper article in The Dalles Daily Chronicle (April 4, 1894). Can you write the story preceding it?

newspaper banner

If you meet a party of eight young men with a barber pole, don’t arrest them. They own it.

Isn’t that a great ending? What do you think happened before that? Let your imagination run wild.

Some guidelines:

  • Just because the original is historical doesn’t mean yours has to be. Set it in any time and place you want.
  • No more than 500 words, and as short as you’d like.
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post.

What will you win?

In addition to the satisfaction of entertaining your audience, each storyteller (up to 30 participants) can select either an ebook from my Concordia Wells mystery series (choose from books 1 through 4), or an audiobook version of book 1 or 2!

Concordia series 1to4

 

 

So, start creating! This will be open until the end of January, when I will post the original story for your amusement. Those 1890s college kids were a mischievous bunch….

What stories have inspired you lately? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Kathy

 

 

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Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood Bombshell…and Inventor

Hedy Lamarr, Hollywood Bombshell…and Inventor

image via wikimedia.org

Since today is Hedy Lamarr’s 101st birthday (thanks for the reminder, Google!), I’m re-posting something I wrote about her, three years ago.

Thanks for stopping by!

~KBO

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Fans of old movies know Hedy Lamarr, star of 1930s and 40s American films, such as Ziegfield Girl, and Samson and Delilah.  She was dubbed “the most beautiful woman in the world,” and worked with such Hollywood greats as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart, Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Louis B. Mayer, and Cecil B. DeMille.

Ah, but you know there’s more, right?  Apparently, Lamarr was one smart cookie, and loved to tinker.  Did you know that, during World War II, she co-invented a frequency-hopping torpedo guidance system?  It was designed to evade the enemy’s jamming devices.  She received the patent for it in 1942.  If you think about it, it’s a precursor to what we now call spread-spectrum communication technology, used in wifi and cell phones.

So how did this come about, and why didn’t the U.S. Navy jump on it when she offered to give it to them during the war?  Check out the following video clip (only 4 minutes) for the fascinating story:

So what do you all think: was the device not taken seriously because one of its inventors was a beautiful, wildly successful actress, or the idea itself seemed too weird?  What about today’s Hollywood celebrities: do they struggle to “cross over” in the public sector, and be taken seriously in other endeavors?  I’d love to hear from you!

For anyone who’s interested, The Atlantic website has an index of links to more celebrity patents.  Check it out here:  Celebrity Invention.  My fave?  That’s a tough one: I’m torn between Lawrence Welk’s accordion ashtray and Bill Nye’s ballet slipper.  LOL!

Until next time…keep tinkering!

Kathy
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…and in case anyone missed it:

Just Released: a new Concordia Wells Mystery!

Unseemly Ambition: book 4 of the Concordia Wells Mysteries

 

cover by Melinda VanLone

cover by Melinda VanLone

Murder aboard the Overland Limited…

It is the summer of 1898. Professor Concordia Wells is eager to accompany her friend, Pinkerton detective Penelope Hamilton, on a cross-country train trip to San Francisco. Breathless vistas and exciting locales will be a welcome change from a fiancé impatient to set a wedding date and the threat of revenge from the remaining Inner Circle members back in Hartford.

But Concordia should know there is no such thing as a free ride. When the Pinkerton Agency switches assignments at the last minute, she and Miss Hamilton have their work cut out for them. Fellow passengers prove to be both help and hindrance: a lady reporter in hiding, a con man…and a corpse or two. Then there is the handsome gentleman with the dark hair, green eyes, and a secret agenda of his own. Good thing Concordia is an engaged lady. Or is it?

 

 

Start reading at the click of a button:

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